When you gave your girlfriend a place to live rent-free while she went through college — only to have her break up with you over the phone after graduating because she had to “find herself,” were you unknowingly a sugar daddy? We’ll get to the bottom of this and more right 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:
- When you gave your girlfriend a place to live rent-free while she went through college — only to have her break up with you over the phone after graduating because she had to “find herself,” were you unknowingly a sugar daddy?
- As a new project manager at a high-speed startup where the learning curve has been tough and your confidence has been low, how can you forge new working relationships during COVID at a company where everyone is seemingly heads-down focused on work all day?
- The person you’re romantically interested in accidentally totaled your mailbox with their car. Should you let them slide on taking responsibility for it (even though it means lying to your parents) in hopes it’ll earn you brownie points with this person?
- You’re writing your first children’s book, and you’re wondering about the best ways to publicize it — possibly through influencers and podcasts. How do you make sure you stand out to your potential audience and the people who can help you find it?
- You want to learn and grow and you assumed that conferences were another way to do so, but you’re becoming skeptical of anything or anyone offering any sort of education or training. How can you tell the legit courses and teachers from the scam artists?
- 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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Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Joaquin “Jack” Garcia | Undercover in the Mafia Part One | TJHS 392
- Joaquin “Jack” Garcia | Undercover in the Mafia Part Two | TJHS 393
- How to Save Yourself and Loved Ones from Scams | Jordan Harbinger
- The Most Valuable Currency | Adam Grant, Twitter
- Adam Grant | How to Know the Real You Better | TJHS 153
- Randolph Nesse | Good Reasons for Bad Feelings | TJHS 377
- Mad Men | Prime Video
- Can I Date a White-Collar Criminal? | Feedback Friday | TJHS 385
- George Washington and the Cherry Tree | US National Park Service
- Hamilton | New York City
- Malcolm Gladwell | What We Should Know About Talking to Strangers | TJHS 256
- Coffeezilla | How to Expose Fake Guru Scams | TJHS 368
- Ramit Sethi | I Will Teach You to Be Rich | TJHS 199
- Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins | Noah Kagan, OK Dork
- Athlete A | Netflix
- Rachael Denhollander | What Is a Girl Worth? | TJHS 332
- Frank Abagnale | Scam Me If You Can | TJHS 1
Transcript for Was I Unknowingly a Sugar Daddy? | Feedback Friday (Episode 394)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, 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 and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:00:33] And 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, performers. And for a selection of featured episodes to get you started with some of our favorite guests and popular topics, go to jordanharbinger.com and we'll hook you up.
[00:00:57] This week, we had Joaquin aka Jack Garcia, who infiltrated the Gambino crime family while working for the FBI. Gabriel, this is one of those guys that's like, "You know, badaboom, badabing. You know what I mean? It's a beautiful thing." He talks like that, which is awesome because he pretended to be Italian for years. He's actually Cuban.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:01:11] He went straight out of Goodfellas and onto your show.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:13] He did well with like a detour yeah through the FBI. Also, I write every so often on the blog. The latest post is How to Save Yourself And Loved Ones from Scams. So make sure you've had a look and a listen there to all of that. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do keep your emails concise if you can. Try to include a descriptive subject line. That will make our job a whole lot easier.
[00:01:37] Adam Grant said something pretty brill this week. He said, "If you define success solely in terms of gaining wealth, achievement, or influence, what you often lose is freedom. One of the greatest accomplishments in life is earning the autonomy to choose how you spend your time. No currency is more valuable or more scarce than freedom. That's Adam Grant. He was interviewed on the show among other episodes, episode 153. So if you go to jordanharbinger.com/153, you'll find that there. Brilliant though, yes, you really do sacrifice freedom when you book yourself solid and you start building all these different revenue streams, and everyone's like, "Oh, you should do this and you should monetize that. And you should do live events and you should be traveling and speaking." I'm like, "No, thanks."
[00:02:21] I like reading books and talking to smart people and everyone that I tell that to has one of two reactions. One, "You're an idiot. You're leaving so much money on the table. You could probably retire earlier." Or they go, "Great. You must really enjoy your life," which I do. "And I don't really think about how early I can retire because I don't really care about that right now." So I thought that was smart.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:42] So wise, so true. I feel like we often chase the wealth or the achievement or the influence as a means to freedom.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:48] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:49] But the irony is that you could have that freedom now and spend it doing things that you actually enjoy instead of chasing all the other things that you think will get you there, maybe in the future.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:57] Yeah, plus all these rich people that I know are now, like, "How do I get popular on podcasting and Instagram?" And I'm like, "Why? You have $55 million. Go take a vacation with your kids."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:06] Go read a book.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:07] Yeah. Except for, "Oh, wait, your kids hate you because they grew up without you because you were doing your stupid MLM bullshit and trying to make money before that or whatever. Yeah. Anyway, I'm getting on a rant. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:18] Hello J's.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:20] Oh, wait a minute. Do we have to call you Jaybriel from now on?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:24] Yeah, so I can fit in.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:25] Jaybriel Mizrahi. It sounds fine.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:27] It sounds perfect, but yeah, "Hello J's and G," does not roll off the tongue quite as well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:32] No, Jaybriel, continue Jaybriel Mizrahi.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:35] It's a J umbrella. We're good.
[00:03:36] Hello, J's. Three years ago, my life fell apart when my girlfriend of four years dumped me over the phone while she was on a humanitarian trip in South America, claiming that, although she loved me and was happy with me, she needed to find it herself. I went through some really dark times, but I'm doing way better now with the help of therapy although I still have a hard time moving on and I cannot feel anything for a woman anymore.
[00:03:57] I mean that's heavy. That's a heavy thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:59] Wait a minute. Yeah. I was like taking a sip of my White Claw and I was like, wait a minute. You can't feel anything for a woman anymore. I didn't really see that coming honestly.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:07] it took me by surprise because he's like, "I went through some dark times, but I'm doing way better now. Also, FYI, dead inside."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:13] I'm good. Now that I've stifled all human emotion. I'm sorry. I'm making light of this serious situation. My bad.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:19] All right. Let's not judge if he can't feel anything for a woman anymore. He wanted us to know that, okay.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:23] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:24] I'm eight years older than she is. And for the better part of the relationship, she went to college. While I worked full time, not wanting to add financial stress to her situation. I told her, "Don't worry about the rent. You can help me after you graduate." Even while I was laid off from work and couldn't find another job for a year. She moved to a new town after she returned to the country. I was assured both by her and people close to her that I was not cheated on. And that she didn't leave me for someone else.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:47] Those are such guy concerns too. I understand that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:51] It's interesting because I understand his obsession with that. It's almost extraneous to the problem at hand.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:55] It is, but it's funny reading about it because I'm thinking, "Oh, I don't need that information." And then I'm thinking, "Wait, that is the first thing I would be curious about if I were this guy." So it's amazing how, like, it reminds me of the Randolph Nessie episode where he's like, your emotions were evolved to get you to reproduce. They have nothing to do with your happiness, longevity, long term, like nothing. This is just one of those examples where we've evolved emotions to protect the transfer of our DNA. And it has absolutely nothing to do with our happiness or productivity or anything.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:27] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:28] Right. Because of the whole event, her leaving and then him financially supporting her and then worrying if she was cheating is probably pretty threatening to him on a few levels.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:35] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:35] But if you get right down to it, it could be that. It could be as primal as that. All right. Let's find out what the rest of this is.
[00:05:41] I now know — he writes — that she wasn't the one and I stopped wanting her back a long time ago. Well, I'm not short on money now, one of the things holding me back is the feeling that I was taken advantage of. Part of me feels like I serve my purpose for her, that I wasn't required anymore as I wasn't the earner I used to be. She recently wrote to me, after three years of silence, clearly feeling guilty and apologetic. Would now be a good time to share again how I felt used? Should this be filed as a life lesson or are there things I could do to help get what I consider is owed to me? Am I even owed anything? Thanks for the help. Not a Sugar Daddy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:16] This guy might have been used, but it almost sounds like not consciously. If he was used, it sounds like even she didn't really know what she was doing at the time.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:27] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:27] Or possibly she rationalized it really well because you have to be a little bit — I don't want to misuse this word. You have to really kind of be a little bit of a — I'm going to misuse it — a sociopath to like use someone for that reason and just be like, "Whatever. I'm important to no one else." It sounds to me like she was just young and went, "Oh, I don't know. I mean, I'm in a good situation right now, so it's fine." Or she was just like, "I love him." And then left and was like, "Wait, I guess I kind of didn't."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:53] Right. Like she wasn't targeting this guy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:55] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:55] She wasn't running a play on him from the beginning.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:57] Right. It wasn't like, "Oh, if I use this guy, I can do all these other things. And then I'm just going to bounce." Because when I was young, I left girlfriends. I was like, "Oh yeah, I'll see you when I get back from Serbia," and then I get to Serbia. And I'm like, "I'm not calling my girlfriend. This is lame. There are so many other girls here." And then she's like, "My heart's broken." And I'm like, "I'm 23. Like my whole life is ahead of me." I was like that guy.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:15] Exactly because the relationship is built on a number of assumptions that turn out to be incorrect.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:20] Yeah and you're just young.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:22] What's tricky about this is that I think this guy probably understands that on some level and he still feels pretty raw about it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:27] I understand that though too. I get that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:29] Yeah, I know. And I also feel like on a certain level, he feels like, I don't know if it even makes a difference to this guy. He seems angry. He seems pretty hurt by this whole thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:39] Again, I want to highlight, even though I've sort of like chuckled earlier, I get that he's angry. I think I would also be angry. If I'm being a hundred percent honest with myself, I think I'd be pissed off too.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:50] But the question for me is, is he mad at her or is he mad at himself?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:55] Eh, probably a little bit of both, right? I mean, probably a little bit of both.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:00] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:00] I think, but I think it manifests as him being mad at her. Because what are you going to do? He's already spent the last few years beating himself up.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:06] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:06] Now it's her turn, right? That's what he's thinking.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:09] Not only is it her turn, but she has made herself available to become the target of his rage.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:13] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:13] By reentering his inbox after three years being like, "I'm so sorry. I feel so bad." And he's like, "Oh, now I have a place to put all that anger. Whereas before he had to carry it himself.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:22] Yeah, slash he was kind of like, "I'm done thinking about that. Oh, you're going to write to me and apologize to try to get this off your chest. Well, let me just open up a few, little, I got a little Post-It notes. I'd like to read off to you right now." Telling her that you feel this way, in my opinion, I think it's a hundred percent fine, but he shouldn't take it out on her emotionally. It can't be like, "You're a user and a terrible person and F you, and I hope you get hit by a bus." It has to be like, "Yeah. You know, I kind of felt used and I don't know. Were you using me or what? What was the deal? Like what actually happened? I just want to know so I can close it up.”
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:01] Sure. Trying to understand what went down as opposed to just like raging at her for the sake of it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:06] Right. Because I'm sure that this guy has had like on dark drunken nights has had his thought about like, "Oh, I'm going to post nudes of her on Facebook." Like, or what, you know, like if he's really been pissed about this, he's had those dark thoughts and those are not comfortable for anyone. I think it might clear things up if you just have a conversation about it. If you're trying to decide whether to do this, ask yourself the following: Would now be a good time to share again how I felt used? Sure. But be very clear about what you're trying to accomplish here. If you're trying to make her feel guilty, probably just not worth it. Just not worth it. You're going to make yourself mad. She already feels guilty. She's only going to feel guilty to a certain extent. You might make her cry once. Big deal. Is that really going to make you feel better? Trust me. It's not. If you're trying to express your anger in a healthy way, okay, cool. If you just want to kind of put a bow on this and be like, "Yeah, I felt used," and she's like, "Yeah, I was just really young and I left and it was out of sight out of mind. And there was no one else. I just didn't even know who I was." You're going to be like, "Wow. I feel dumb almost being angry about this for three years." That'll feel good. Believe it or not, feeling dumb about feeling angry feels good, at least for me.
[00:10:14] I would ask you this: Is sharing how you felt — if you felt used — is that part of the healing process or is it just going to reopen the wound? Is it going to give you more reasons to be resentful? Are you trying to build a relationship, some kind of friendship with her? If so, which I don't necessarily recommend, I guess it could be healthy to be open about what the breakup did to you. So you can process it. You can resolve the conflict, but if not, I'm leaning towards you just getting angry for the sake of getting angry.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:10:39] Yeah, that's the feeling I'm getting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:40] I'm good at that. So take it from me. I'm really good at getting angry for the sake of getting angry. It's never helpful. Should this be filed as a life lesson or are there things that you could do to help get what you considered as owed to you in air quotes? Yes. Life lesson. Namely, don't financially support someone unless you really care about them for the right reasons and you're willing to accept that you might not be paid back.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:04] That second part is very important.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:06] I think so.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:07] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:07] I think that's important. And you can certainly ask to be paid back, but there's obviously no legally binding agreement that entitles you to reimbursement and it doesn't sound like that's on the table. You could ask but here's the thing, even if she was like, "Good, I made a spreadsheet in Google of every single thing you bought for me. And every meal we had. And I can give you exactly what you're owed." You could get a check for that and you would — I promise you, you'll still be pissed off.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:30] Oh, really? So you think that this isn't just about the money.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:33] No, I think it has very little to do with the money. It's not like, so if this was a letter that was like — you've heard this story before, right? Like, "I worked as a server and then I worked at two jobs and I paid my husband's way through medical school. And then when he became a doctor, we got divorced." Like we've all heard that kind of story.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:50] Yes, totally.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:50] Then I would say, “You better pay for her college tuition. If you want to get this off your chest. Like, you better deal with that." Even if you pay for everything, you're still a bastard because you left her in the lurch. This guy's not hurting for money. He didn't buy her a house and start up her family business in Barbados. And then she's like, "Eh, I met a guy in Barbados. Thanks for buying me a restaurant and supporting my family. Bye." That didn't happen. He just paid for her while she was a student. You're not going to feel better if you get reimbursed. I promise you, I promise you that much. Gabe, what do you think?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:12:21] Well, what I'm really realizing as we talk about this is that what he is dealing with is being in a relationship where the assumptions you have about what are the terms of this relationship? What do we mean to each other? What does it mean if one of us leaves and we did something for each other, and how does that all shake out in the ultimate calculus? You know, those things are very — they go unspoken most of the time and people or into these implicit agreements when they're together that they don't actually hash out because A, you don't think it's ever going to become a problem. B, it's super, not fun, not sexy, not interesting, not romantic. But the fact that he is financially okay now, and is still nursing this wound — I think you're dead-on — like, this is really not about the money ultimately. It's about what this chapter of his life and what her leaving made him feel about himself.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:12] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:13:12] And on a certain point, once he gets past the dollars and cents of it, I think that's probably where he's going to have to do some work. And by work, I don't know if it's as simple as him making a mental shift and just deciding to forgive her. And release this anger and decide that he's not going to be the kind of person who nurses this wound, or if it's something more involved. I wouldn't be surprised if it is a little bit more involved because you know, every relationship ultimately triggers some aspect of us that is so much older and so much more raw than the thing right in front of us. Right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:40] For sure. You know, what he is wondering — why wasn't I good enough to keep her when she moved? That's what I think.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:13:46] Slash — is there something about me that made me a vulnerable target and do people only look at me? You know, and I think in his letter, which we might've had to pare down a little bit for time, like he might've touched on this feeling of — well, actually, no, I'm sorry. It was right there in the letter. He said something to the effect of, "I feel like part of me served my purpose and I wasn't required anymore."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:03] Right. So it's like, "Am I enough or only my wallet?"
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:07] Exactly. Yes, and again to your point about the money, I have a feeling that that might have more to do with him and how he views himself than about how this woman viewed him when she decided to break up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:16] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:16] am I even owed anything at all? It depends how you look at it, but given the facts, I'm leaning toward no. You know, you lent her the money, so to speak, on two assumptions: one, that you would stay together and two, that if you did, she would honor the agreements help you, so to speak, after she graduated, but that might've seemed like a slam dunk back then but as you know, now it's not. Relationships evolve, feelings change, circumstances shift. Especially for somebody as young as her, right? Like she was in college. He's eight years older. That means he was probably about 30 when she was in the middle of college. So you were probably a lot more certain about what you wanted your life to look at than she was. So even if that was part of the implicit agreement, I feel like that agreement depended on a lot of things that turned out to be false. So that to me is the biggest life lesson. You're owed something from the narrow standpoint of this agreement that is made up in your head and that you're still hanging on to, but you're not owed anything given the context and also just how life goes down.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:09] Good advice, Gabe. I would spend all this emotional energy on things that matter in a way you're living in the past. Clearly, you're still scarred and nursing a wound. I get it, but you need to forgive her or at least just forget about her and move on. Just, you got to forgive yourself for this one, not to get all whoo on you. But this is just as much as you thinking, "Was I dumb? Was I a victim? Am I good enough?" Like, just move on. And I don't want to make you feel bad or shamed by feeling this way, but I'm telling you there's no value to continuing to feel this way, to allow yourself to feel this way. There's just not, there's no value. There are no additional lessons. You're going to glean from continuing to beat yourself up about this.
[00:15:53] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:37] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:18:42] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:18:43] Hey guys. A few months ago, I became a product manager at a hyper-growth start-up that is racing to IPO. I knew this job was going to be fast-paced and that's what made it attractive to me, but holy shit, it is going fast. And I feel like with every mistake I make every concept that I don't completely get or every question that I'm afraid to ask, I fall even further behind. This is also the first place I've worked, where I don't feel super welcomed. There's no small talk or banter and no team bonding or virtual happy hours. Everyone just seems to log on at 8:00 a.m. grind until 7:00 p.m., then log off. I've never felt so not part of a team before. There have also been a handful of communication challenges. There was one particularly embarrassing moment where I was presenting some research that I put together just to learn that someone else had compiled the same research, but much more in-depth a week ago. It wasn't until after the meeting that I realized this information was sent out on the department LISTSERV, which I had not yet been added to. I'm also a bit intimidated because I'm the only product manager in my group without a coding background. There've been a couple of times where I've asked someone if they could walk me through a technical concept and instead of having a 30-minute meeting, I got referred to a video or a document that sort of answered my question, but not really. Every time. I have a question. I feel like I'm burdening, whoever I'm asking, I'm all for being a self-starter. But when you're in that phase where you don't know what you don't know, it's tough to absorb knowledge from just reading something, but I've also messed up plenty in the last few weeks. In two meetings, I presented some research only to discover that I wasn't clear on the actual problem. Other mistakes I made include leading some calls where I forgot to check my audience. I wasn't aware of work that was delegated to me and got caught up doing other work, and literally forgot that I had to start leading a weekly meeting that week. I completely dropped the ball. That was a bad miss by me. All of this has me dealing with a ton of self-doubt and performance anxiety to the point that I woke up in the middle of the night, freaking out about it. I guess I'm a little afraid for my job, but I'm mostly just disappointed in myself for making a ton of rookie mistakes and making the same mistake twice on multiple occasions. How can I forge new relationships during COVID at a company where everyone is seemingly heads down, focused on work all day? How can I build up my confidence and my reputation at work? Sincerely, Managing My Own Product.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:46] First of all, I really admire your self-awareness and humility in recognizing where you're falling short at work. And most people in your situation would jump straight to defending themselves, or like me come up with some rationalizations and you're not doing that. I know it's painful to admit when you've made mistakes, but in the long run, this is going to make you a better employee, a stronger leader. I think 20-20 hindsight for me, I never knew that when I was making mistakes in my first jobs. I just beat myself up and then tried to lie to myself essentially. So just know and trust that you're better being thrown in the deep end like this and having some screw-ups, it might get you fired, but probably not.
[00:21:27] It honestly sounds like you're dealing with a mix of different variables. That's making the job tough. So one, this guy/gal is onboarding during a pandemic, which is — this has to be very weird and hard. You don't get to meet the team. You don't get to hang out. There's no banter. There's no team-building like, like not even the water cooler stuff, not even like in the elevator on the way home chatter, just nothing. You've joined a culture where obviously people are not welcoming. They're not that keen to help you out, which kind of sucks. Well, you know what? It definitely sucks. And also isn't your fault. You weren't on that LISTSERV. That's somebody overlooked at and then you paid the price. That's not fair. It's a bummer. Hopefully, it won't happen again, but that's affecting not only your performance but your sense of community, your morale in a new gig. That's — ugh, I feel your pain. You're out of your depth sometimes on the tech side of things, you do have a unique background.
[00:22:19] You do also have some room to improve. I don't want to sweep that all under the rug. So get that up to speed, settle into your new role. Then on top of it, it sounds like maybe there's — and I could be imagining this, Gabriel, but it sounds like there are some feelings around asking for help. Like every time I have a question, I feel like I'm burdening, whoever I'm asking. Then there's me, who I got in trouble for asking too much crap back in my law days. And it turned out to be a firm culture thing. The first firm I worked at, they were like, "Oh, you're supposed to be figuring these things out." And then the second firm, they were like, "Hey man, if you don't understand something, ask somebody." And I thought that's weird. There's no right answer. It's almost like different companies have different cultures.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:58] Yeah. But to your point, I did actually, that really stood out when we were reading the letter. And I wonder if that's more about him or it's about the people he's working with.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:07] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:23:07] But it's probably about the two of those things interacting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:09] I think so.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:23:10] For sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:10] Yeah. And it doesn't mean — by the way, it doesn't mean you're not a good fit for this culture. It just means you've got some getting used to.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:23:15] Totally.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:15] When I started working at this British law firm called Linklaters, it was, as one might expect, very stuffy, a little bit pretentious, and then a lot pretentious when I finally got to London, it was like, ridiculous. And then I started working at this other firm, Thacher Proffitt & Wood, which is like all these New York guys, these like kind of Italian, New York guys, and they could not be more different. One firm, I remember getting in trouble asking one of the managing partners, what he had planned for the weekend after he asked me what I had planned for the weekend. I said, "How about you?" And I got reprimanded on Monday, "That man has worked very hard to get where he is." And I'm like, "So I can't say, 'And you, sir,' at the end of a sentence. That's disrespectful. And then the Italian firm was like, "When Patrick slaps you on the back, you got to slap him on the back too. And if he's going to drink, you should probably go one for one with the whiskey shots. And if he stays until midnight and everybody else stays," I mean, it was just stuff like that. It was like, so I'm not drinking enough. So I'm not staying late enough. Like it was just stuff like that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:24:17] I did not know that you worked in the mad men's office.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:21] You know what? That's a good point. It was kind of like the mad men's office. There were guys with whiskey in a drawer. You know, what's funny, this is — this is kind of interesting. I never thought about this. There were guys with whiskey in the drawer at Linklaters and they were straight-up alcoholics that were just like high functioning. And everyone's like, "That's the guy with the whiskey in the drawer." And then at the other firm, there were guys with whiskey in the drawer and they were like, "That's Kerwin, he's fun. He's got whiskey in the drawer. Do you want a shot? Go ask Kerwin." And it was just like a completely different attitude around having whiskey in the drawer. One guy needed it for breakfast and the other guy was like, "It's Friday night, we're still in the office. Do you know what that means? Whiskey in Kerwin's filing cabinet."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:24:56] Dude, what huge swath of white-shoe corporate life is actually composed of functional alcoholics?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:03] A huge amount.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:004 It's big, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:05] Only drinking alcohol on Wall Street, it's like you're vegan. It's like, "Oh, you only drink booze?"
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:11] What do you mean by that? Do you mean because they're also doing cocaine?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:13] Yeah. They're also doing cocaine and other stuff. Yeah. Like if you're in finance — I'm not speaking for all of Wall Street — if you're in finance, which a lot of Wall Street is, and you only drink, people are like, "Man, you want to at least a Red Bull or something," and you're like, "Nah, I'm just going to have my beer." And they're like, "Oh, Jordan is a little bit — he's new. He's new, he's fine. He'll loosen up."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:33] He'll work his way up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:34] Yeah. He'll work his way up. Yeah. Eventually, he'll stop getting dopamine responses and he'll switch to the hard stuff.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:39] He'll switch to the ice, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:40] Anyway, we got a little off track there.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:42] there's a lot going on in this email. So maybe we should talk about each piece of it one by one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:48] Oh, you don't want to talk about my substance abuse career as a lawyer. All right, fine.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:52] Unless there's even more. I didn't know —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:53] No, I'm good. That's enough for this week.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:54] Okay, cool.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:55] What's next? Continue.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:56] I'm having flashbacks of working at Deloitte and it wasn't as bad as finance or law, but like definitely when you're on the road Monday through Thursday and you're away from your family and your significant other, and you're working late nights in a trailer behind the client's office. No, one's like, my drug is working out.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:12] Yeah. I like to go yoga. That's where I get my high. No, you don't care. Yeah, no, you don't care. And I've seen the vials in your purse.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:26:23] All right. Let's talk about onboarding during a pandemic. This is not ideal. It is tough all around. It is tough for everybody, not just you. A few weeks ago, we actually answered a question from somebody who is really struggling to connect with their new colleagues after onboarding during COVID. So I would say go back to that episode, listen to it. I think it's in the last two or three weeks, I can try to track that down for you if you want but know, that you're probably going to have to make an extra effort to chat with people, to book five-minute intro Zooms with them to go out of your way to be in touch, to be friendly while you're working remotely.
[00:26:54] I understand that you might be working with a bunch of a-holes who do not want to be anywhere near that kind of conversation. And if that's the case, then there's a culture conversation for us to have. But while you're new, I do think it's important for you to make that effort, so you know for sure whether people are a-holes or if they just haven't been reached out to, in that way. because I'd be willing to bet that a lot of people are struggling with working remotely, especially at a hyper-growth startup where there's so much to do.
[00:27:19] Jordan, we talked about the culture a little bit. The problem here, as far as I understand, is that this company doesn't seem to have a strong culture in terms of having your colleagues back. They don't sound especially warm and fuzzy, and sadly, you're working at a place like that, there's really not a lot you can do about it although you maybe can lead by example, by trying to reach out and being that person for other people when they need your help. So again, I think it's worth trying and hey, maybe you'll find the one or two or three people from the office who are actually cool. And if you end up connecting with those three people, it'll be worth it. One thing to keep in mind is that your colleagues might be so distant and quick with you and rude at times because they're so stressed out and spread so thin. Not because they don't like you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:58] I'm almost sure that's the reason.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:28:00] I don't think they're like targeting him or freezing him out.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:03] It's actually more energy and work to be like, "We decided we don't like Gabriel this week."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:28:08] Good point.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:08] It does happen.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:28:09] Yeah. It's like, "Oh, I'm working 90 hour weeks, but I should really carve out some time to exclude him from the LISTSERV." You know, like that listserv is actually a perfect example. It probably seemed to this guy, like they were excluding him.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:19] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:28:20] But the more likely explanation is that they were so overwhelmed, they simply forgot to add him. And I know that doesn't make any of it better, but I hope it does help him take it a little bit less personally. Jordan, we talk a lot on the show about imposter syndrome. People write in talking about how they've accomplished all these things. They are performing at a high level. They're crushing sales goals. They're getting promoted. People love them and they still feel like they can't really own those accomplishments. Like they feel like somebody is going to find them out. And every time we talk about that, we end up sort of separating imposter syndrome from actual impostorism, which is when you do have work to do, when you do have room to grow and get better. And I think what I love about this guy writing in is that he is so transparent about the fact that he's dropped the ball. So there is a piece of this that he just needs to get better and that's okay. It might be uncomfortable. It might be scary in his original letter, which again, we had to pare down, he talked about how the company is making decisions on letting people go pretty quickly if it's not a fit. So I get stressed. But the bulk of your work is going to be stepping up in the ways that you haven't been able to. you clearly have room to improve and that's okay. This is how you're going to build your confidence. This is how you're going to build your reputation.
[00:29:28] I feel like I should remind you. It's so easy to lose track of this. They did not hire you as a product manager without a coding background, to be nice to you. If they thought that you couldn't do the job, they would not have hired you. So please remember that. And also along the way, figure out how to fill in the gaps in your knowledge, whatever that requires mentors, courses, self-teaching. You might have to stay up until 11:00 p.m. on some nights, reading up on some stuff that wasn't addressed in the documents because you don't know how to do that yet. And it's going to make you tired and it's going to make you stressed out, but it's just what you have to do for the six months or nine months for you to get up to speed. If you can find one or two friends or advocates in this company, that could go a very long way. And if you can be a little patient, put in that hard work, be tenacious, you might have to put in a double effort for a while, I feel like this guy is going to get there because he seems so smart and he seems so driven and he was good enough to get hired. I would be very surprised if he could not actually hack it there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:21] Yeah, this is a rough start, but it's totally salvageable. Know that everyone is struggling with work right now, whether it's onboarding, getting stuff done from home, staying close with colleagues. You're just not the only one feeling off right now. What you're experiencing right now is personal. It's just more about them than you. I'm almost sure of it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:39] Yup. So true. And I think he needs to trust that he can grow into this role and that he might even be rewarded for getting better rather than punished for not being perfect from the start. Also know that this company might not be a good fit for you long term if it's really as miserable as you say it is, and you're not the right person for the job and then you can always leave. This happens all the time. It's okay. Nothing bad is going to happen. But definitely give it a real shot and try your hardest. So, you know, for sure if it's not a fit before you decide to move on.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:05] And start-ups are hard, man. They are really hard. People don't talk about this a lot because it's all like sexy, high growth venture capital. Things are messy. They move quickly. People are intense, they're stressed. They're scared. It's a crazy environment, especially right now when the economy is not great. Their funding could be in danger, try to learn to work within that, and adapt. That's really what you have to do. I think in those high-growth start-ups, especially it's just either sink or swim, but it's more like fly or fall because you have to be going so fast. And so everybody's working those 90, 100-hour weeks, and it's unsustainable. It's a recipe for unhappiness. So what you can do is carve it out and deal with what you can and not worry about the rest.
[00:31:45] All right. What's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:31:47] Hey, Jordan. Last night, I woke up to a text message at 12:30 a.m. from a girl I'd liked and had gone on a few dates with a few months ago. She was hanging out with her friends across the street from our house. And as she was leaving, she hit our mailbox with her car. She was freaking out not knowing what to do. So I went outside with her to check it out. It was definitely hit, pretty good. We figured it would be $300 to replace the mailbox, which I know would be very expensive for a young college student like her. Even though it was a mutual decision to not continue dating. I'd still like to give her another shot as we had a very genuine connection. So I told her not to worry about the mailbox. I had to keep the incident to myself and wouldn't tell my parents, it was her. The next morning my mom saw it and was pretty angry but I didn't tell her what happened. Is there any way I can use this to my advantage in a suave way? Or am I doing something wrong by protecting a friend for having to pay for her mistake? Thanks a bunch. Mailbox Manipulation.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:38] Cringe. I'm just going to get that out of the way. I don't want to be a dick about this. But, man, this guy is trying to get laid and in service of that, he's going to lie to both his parents and protect someone from their own mistakes.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:32:50] Yes, he is.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:50] I'm not going to lie. I think we've all been there. Many of us have been there. I don't know. I should say many of us. I certainly have. How's that? My man, you're asking if you're doing something wrong by protecting your friend from having to pay for her mistake. What you're really doing is using this mistake to curry favor for her, or get leverage or something, to ingratiate yourself, to make her owe you something — that is not protective. It's manipulative. Yeah, it's relatively innocent. It's still manipulative. The fact that you're asking how to use this to your advantage in a suave way, that tells me that you're aware at some level that this is what you're doing. And, of course, you wouldn't have to use this to your advantage if you had built a meaningful relationship with this woman in the first place.
[00:33:32] Here's the thing you're young. This is a young man's misguided thinking. Again, I've been there. I don't mean to be condescending. I don't mean to be rude. We've all been at this stage, but let's call it what it is. You're sparing your friend the consequences of her mistake and making your parents foot the bill in order to attempt to advance your own interests. Interests which are very clearly not reciprocated by her by our own admission.
[00:33:56] When I was younger, when I was like in middle school, I had these a-hole popular kids over once. And one of them right in front of me took $5 out of my dad's money clip, which was laying on the dining room table. And I was like, I saw it. He looked at me and he goes, "Is it cool, man?" And I go, "I don't even care." And I totally cared and I felt horrible about it. I wanted to be cool. I felt guilty about this for like 30 years.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:22] Dude, I feel guilty. It didn't even happen to me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:23] I know, right? It's so not worth it. It's not worth it. And I told my dad later and he was like, "Oh, whatever, I understand." I mean, not like right after, probably like 10 years later, but like, you know, it was bad. I felt so bad. I mean, think about it. I remember like five things from middle school and that was one of them. I mean, it clearly made a negative impact on me. You don't sacrifice your values for this. You certainly don't trade your parents in for like the promise of getting a handy in the backseat of your car. It's just not really — it's not cool, man. Don't do it. You're going to feel worse for having done this. I promise you. No matter how this shakes out.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:55] Yes, yes. And I have to say, I admire him for writing it and being so transparent about it. I'm glad he did. Because I think this is definitely a learning moment and it's something that you do when you're younger and I'm glad we're talking about it.
[00:35:07] Here's my advice, dude, get clear on your feelings and your agenda here. Do not lie to yourself about your intentions, right? This is how you can live with some integrity, which is not only the right thing to do, but it's also more attractive to other people, right? And I also have to say, I feel like this guy needs to respect this girl's feelings about him. You know, you said, even though it was a mutual decision to not continue dating, I'd still like to give her another shot as we had a very genuine connection. Hold up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:32] Hold up.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:35:32] Just because you had a connection, it doesn't mean that she did, right? And that's okay. Like it's not a genuine connection if she isn't reciprocating. That's just a genuine infatuation. It's one-sided. Also, I just got to say this. Covering for her with the mailbox is not going to make her like you. Sorry, that's not a winning strategy. I don't think that's ever going to work out. Jordan, what do you think about this? Should he tell his parents what happened and explain why he did what he did and apologize? Or should he just sort of take the lesson, take the L and move on?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:00] Nah, tell your parents, tell your parents. I mean, unless you think they're going to be super mad and unreasonable in terms of their reaction, but yeah, you should probably say, "Hey look, honestly, my friend hit it. I didn't want you to get mad. She was leaving another person's house." You don't have to be like, "I wanted her to like me." You know you don't have to like, raise your hand and be like, "I was being pathetic." You can just come clean.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:36:23] He could do that though.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:24] He could do, yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:36:24] He could do that if he wants to. I don't know what his relationship is like with his parents.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:27] Yeah. That's the question, right?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:36:28] He doesn't have to, to do the right thing is what you're saying.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:30] But you should do the right thing, but you don't have to — I would, I would just do the right thing. Just do the right thing. Your parents, if they're cool, they might be like, "Well, she can pay us $20 a month for three years like who cares."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:36:40] Right, or he could help pay for the mailbox —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:42] Sure.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:36:43] — himself. I don't know. It's a real George Washington and the cherry tree shit but —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:46] Yeah, it is.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:36:46] — most importantly, I feel that this guy needs to start learning how to build meaningful, genuine relationships with people, especially women, and know that you do not have to use a mailbox, my friend, to get someone to like you. Or to put it another way, if you have to use a mailbox to get someone to like you, then there's something wrong.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:02] I cannot tell a lie unless I think I'm going to get some, George Washington.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:37:07] Was that a line from Hamilton?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:09] No, I'm pretty sure that was actually what George Washington said. I vaguely — it's been a while since I learned about this.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:37:16] Okay. I was like, what did I just completely miss something in American history?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:20] Unless I think I'm going to get some, no, that definitely was not in the book.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:37:23] For a second. I thought you said it's a genuinely, I was like, maybe that's when Lin-Manuel Miranda does the story of George Washington and he'll cover that part of it, but —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:30] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:37:31] I don't know what happened.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:31] Remix.
[00:37:35] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:37:39] This episode is sponsored in part by OxiClean. When Jayden, my son, pooped in our sheets and we just sprayed that OxiClean Max Force on it. We let it sit for a few days. It washed right out. And this was no ordinary baby booty either. This was a cheery poop pit and all, right? If OxiClean Max Force can get that out. I'll use it on anything. It even works on dried-in stains. Also, it's not just for white clothes or sheets, but on any color that you can stay in which after having a kid, I've learned are all colors. So even if you, you don't have kids and you just got to stain on your clothes — I mean, my kid has gotten stains on his clothes. He has gotten stains on my clothes and I've thrown out a couple of. And I know what you're thinking, "Just get rid of the kids." Well, now you don't have to because you can try. OxiClean Max Force, spray it on there. Get the stain out. You've got to try OxiClean Max Force for yourself. To work your magic with OxiClean, go to oxiclean.com/maxforce to get a coupon for a dollar off. That's O-X-I-C-L-E-A-N.com/maxforce to get a coupon for a buck off.
[00:38:39] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help. I am a huge proponent of therapy. You've heard me say it before. And a lot of people in my inbox with some grief, anxiety, depression, being cooped up in the house and having job stress, not fun. You should talk to somebody, not just vent to your partner if you even have that ability, but somebody who can listen and give you some real constructive feedback. Get a counselor in under 48 hours with Better Help. You fill out a little questionnaire. Everything's safe, private, confidential. It's a video if you want it to be. It's a phone or text if you don't. And if you're unhappy with the counselor, just get a new one, no extra charge. There's a million-plus people doing this. Take charge of your mental health. I, again, am a huge believer in therapy, even if you just want to act the fool and then not have to pay the price later, you know, who cares to act up with your therapist. That's kind of why they're there. So many people are using Better Help. They're recruiting additional counselors in all 50 states as well. So no time zone excuses. Jen.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:46] This episode is also sponsored in part by NetSuite. America is ready to get back to work. Well, it depends on where you are. But to win in the new economy, you need every advantage to succeed. And if you're running your own biz, I'm going to tell you about NetSuite by Oracle, the world's number one cloud business system. You need visibility and control over your finances. I've had a couple of start-ups in the past. I don't know if you all knew that, but we needed control over our financials, inventory, all that stuff. There are a billion different dashboards. We couldn't reconcile them. They were on different screens. Some worked on the phone. Some didn't. NetSuite has everything in one place. So whether you got a million in sales, a hundred million in sales, manage every penny with precision, with NetSuite. You've got the agility to compete with anyone, work from anywhere, run your whole company, right from your phone. 20,000 plus companies are making it happen here on NetSuite. And NetSuite surveyed hundreds of business leaders and assembled a playbook of the top strategies they're using as America reopens for business.
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[00:41:12] And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:41:16] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:41:18] Hey, Jordan. I'm currently writing my first children's book. I'm extremely excited about it and believe it is something families around the world will enjoy. I've been doing a lot of research about self-publishing and how to promote a self-published book. Some of the advice I've read mentioned getting on platforms like podcasts or connecting with influencers with large social media followings to have them help promote it. How would you suggest going about this? I'm sure they get tons of people flooding their inboxes. What can I say and do to help me in my book stand out? Do you have any other advice to help self-promote a book? Thanks so much. Bumping My Book.
[00:41:48] So this is interesting, Jordan, right? Because the question is about promoting a book on podcasts, but I feel like it could just as easily be about promoting a product or an idea or even yourself. So you get requests all the time from people to come on the show. What makes them stand out? What do you look for in an email from a prospective guest? Like what have you learned about the best way to go about this?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:06] Publicity is a part or even full-time job. So first what I would do if I were in this person's situation, I would pitch the low-end shows. So new, small niche, whatever, pitch those shows as much as possible. And I'm not even exaggerating, do like 20 or 30 interviews to get practice with the microphone and technique, your talking points, the messaging, your little sound bites that you're going to share. Those talking points will evolve a ton as you do more and more and more interviews. Even my talking points evolved now, and I've been doing interviews for like 13 and a half years. You should take notes on your talking points as you go start to outline what you're going to say when you go on shows. Keep them in a living document that just keeps getting refined as you go on shows, get interviewed, and get practiced.
[00:42:52] And at first you'll be clunky, which is normal. You'll simply reply to the interviewer's questions. And then you're going to get to a point where your talking points are really polished and smooth, and then they're going to get robotic because they're so automatic, you're going to be on autopilot. And at that point, you can either get a coach to help you sound more natural or you can simply work at making those sound bites, even more conversational. And then your next 20 or 30 interviews are going to smooth that out. And beyond that, once you get to like being on, I would say hundreds of shows, if you ever get that far, you'll just start to be yourself, but you'll be so comfortable in front of a microphone that it'll be like, it's not even there. That's where I'm at right now in many ways.
[00:43:33] So after you've done the first couple of rounds at this point, or at that point, you've got 50-plus interviews under your belt, you're going to know a lot about how to deliver great content to a podcast, to a radio show, for whatever timeframe you got. And at this point, you can either pitch larger shows that have bigger audiences or tailor the pitch to each show based on what you think is going to fit well with those larger shows. Larger shows are more choosy, obviously, and you shouldn't just blanket email the same pitch to each of them. Those always get deleted. Short personal emails are a hundred times better than those press release type emails, which just get immediately archived without a second thought.
[00:44:08] Don't bother hiring a publicist, unless you know, someone who is good at this. They care about you. They care about your project. 90 percent of publicists that pitched to me, they do more harm than good. Like if I got an email or a tweet from an author and they were like, "Hey, I did a book about arms trafficking." I'd be like, "Whoa, cool. I want to see that." If I get a press release, that's like, "New impactful book by Gabriel Mizrahi bestselling author on Amazon about arms trafficking." I'm just going to be like, "Ugh," depending on what mood I'm in, it's just gone, I'm deleting it. I'll always read an email from somebody who takes the time to send it to me. But if I get a show pitch that's just some generic crap from a lazy publicist. And I've got a thing about publicists. Don't even get me started. I just report those as spam most of the time. I wish I were a bigger person, Gabriel, but every week I will reply to at least one publicist and I will say, "Never pitch me again. This is the third pitch I've gotten from you. It's complete rubbish. You're so lazy."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:05] Wow.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:05] I do that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:05] You actually do that? Do you do that because you're so angry and you just need to let it out or are you trying to teach them how to get better?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:12] It's not the first time they hear from me. Usually the first time they hear from me, I'll go, "Hey, look, I don't want pitches for life coaches or whatever it is. You know, I don't want pitches from these kinds of things. Please pitch me this, this, this, and this." And then if I get another sort of like, "I'm still on your stupid emailing list thing." I'll go, "Hey again, I really only want these, these, and these. Please spare me this. Do I need to unsubscribe? If so please, unsubscribe me now." Then if they send me another one, I'll just say, "You're banned from pitching me. I'm circulating your name to other big podcasters. You need to tailor your pitch. You're wasting everyone's time." Something along those lines.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:43] Got it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:43] Many times publicists, they just keep an email list of like all podcasters and they're just blasting everyone. It's super irritating. They don't even care that they're spamming 99.9 percent of people. They just don't care. They only care about their own time. It's really irritating.
[00:45:57] Booking shows successfully is usually going to be about having a personal connection with the subject matter of the show. It's a process. I'd expect to spend the next couple of years getting good at being interviewed, talking about your project, talking about your book. This is one of those marathon-not-a-race types of endeavors. You're not Malcolm Gladwell or J.K. Rowling yet. I hope you become a super famous superstar author if that's what you want to do. But for now, you have to treat the marketing of your project with as much TLC and energy as you spent on the process. There's a lot of authors that think, "Well, it's the publisher's job. I just wrote the book." If you know an author like that, you know an author that is so jack shit and is not getting another book deal it time soon. I'll tell you that. Not in this day and age.
[00:46:41] Hopefully, you find the interviewing and talking about your work fun and entertaining because if you don't, you're in for a long slog or you're just going to have to sort of cut your losses and publish and not worry about sales, but if you get good at it, you can turn the media you're doing into a hobby that you enjoy rather than a task that you despise.
[00:46:58] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:47:00] Hey guys, I recently attended a major conference where a lot of the speakers were there to sell a course, sell content, sell coaching, and so on. I think I'm a pretty smart guy, but I seemed to have a hard time deciphering which were legit and which were a load of crap. Based on what Coffeezilla was saying in his interview with you — that's episode 368, by the way — just about all of the speakers that offered something for sale were probably crap or scams. Is it safe to assume all such conferences are the same and probably a waste of time and money or are some legit? I want to learn and grow, and I assume that conferences were another way to do so, but I'm becoming very skeptical now of anything or anyone offering any sort of education or training. Is this just a hard lesson to teach me that building and network the legit real way is the best way to go about it. Keep up the great work. I've been listening since the old show. Looking For That Real, Real.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:45] Well, I'll just handle this one because I love talking about scams. Most courses and coaching are somewhere between mediocre and total scams. Very, very, very few are amazing or even worth the price of admission. So some principles: Use your instinct. It is rarely wrong. If you're sitting in the audience, you're listening to someone talk about how to network with Puff Daddy or triple your sales in six months and your BS meter is going off. You're probably right. You're not going to 10X anything in the next 90 days. You know when you're in the presence of someone legit often when someone speaks something true in you, it's a very simple and powerful experience. You don't just go, "Hmm. I wonder if this is a scam." You go, "Damn, that really lands with me. I'd like to know more."
[00:48:27] But there's a difference between, "Damn, that really lands with me," and, "I'm so excited because somebody's pumping me up." There's a difference there. And some of that you're going to get from life experience, but most people who are selling something that's really worthwhile, they don't spend a whole lot of time getting you unreasonably excited about some unrealistic goal. They just tell you something — like Ramit Sethi does good marketing — I will teach you to be rich. He says things like, "Hey, you know, you don't have to make 150 grand a year to take nice vacations. You can do these really unsexy things that I outlined in my book and course, and yeah, you can invest and you'll be able to save for retirement and you'll be able to go on nice vacations." But scammers go, "I'm going to teach you my three secret ways that I've been making hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax-free profits from government loans." Like that's scammy because they have to make unreasonable promises.
[00:49:18] And also Gabriel, I don't know if you've ever heard this. One of the golden rules of Internet scam copywriting is you want dumb people to buy your stuff because there are more of them. And also they don't fight as hard for things like refunds and they don't really know — they don't have the resources to sue you a lot of the time.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:49:36] Wow.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:36] So making unrealistic promises is a great way to screen young, inexperienced people that aren't going to fight you when it comes time to get their money back. So you say things like, "Learn how I make $10,000 a month in passive income from home using my secret credit methods," you know, like that kind of thing, scam. Somebody who's like Ramit, who's in my good guy example, he just goes, "Hey, I'm going to teach you how to make a thousand dollars a month up to a thousand dollars a month, extra on the side, doing a side hustle that's something that you might actually enjoy. And then maybe later you'll eventually be able to scale it into a job." You know, that's not a sexy promise. That's not a wildly irresistible, kind of call to action. It's something that smart people go, "You know, I could use that.”
[00:50:24] What scammers are trying to do is make you go, "Oh my gosh, I can't live without this. And I better act quickly." You know, there's false scarcity. There are all kinds of things. "That deals only available right now if you run back to the table in the back of the room." That's that kind of thing, false scarcity. Ask yourself with the coach or the expert is asking you to give up in exchange for the product. Are they taking advantage of you financially? Are they requiring tons of your time or are they asking you for unwavering loyalty? Do you have to call them by some weird culty name? These are all red flags. Check out what other people have gotten out of the program as well. Read testimonials, look on Reddit. Do your homework. How successful, happy, rich, fulfilled, whatever are their clients? Don't just settle for the marketing. Dig deeper, do some actual research, google the person's name and scam and see what shows up.
[00:51:11] Most importantly, ask yourself this — are they making you dependent on them or dependent on the program or are they empowering you to take what you learn into your own life and just run with it? This to me is the ultimate litmus test for a great coach or product. People will write to me sometimes — it's rare, but they'll go, "Why should I take your course?" Which by the way is free, Six-Minute Networking. They'll be like, "Why should I take this? I bet there's an upsell." And I'll go, "Just do it. The first exercise and the first thing and if you don't like it, if there's no value in it, just unsubscribe." And they'll be like, well, then you already have my credit card." And I go, "No, you don't have to enter your credit card." There are numerous people that just don't even believe me and they sign up with a fake email and I'll get an email like three months down the line and they'll go, "I can't believe it. You didn't ask me for my credit card and you didn't upsell anything." And I'm like, "You know, I should be offended, but I'm also totally understanding of the thing that you're on the Internet all the time and you're surrounded by a-holes trying to scam you."
[00:52:03] Again, search Reddit for product reviews. Make sure the refund policy is crystal clear, not fraught with little technicalities, like, "Well, you need to work through the entire program with a coach, and then you've got to mail your physical binder back for a refund. Your physical this, that. You need to send back to the USB drive we mailed you." Like these are little tactics and tricks that scammers have with their products where they say, "Oh, you didn't give us back the book."
[00:52:29] I went to a Tony Robbins seminar a long time ago. And when I went to go get my refund, the person at the table said, "You need to give the book back." And I said, "I didn't take the book. I don't want it." And she goes, "Well, I don't know that you didn't take the book." And I go, "It's a $12-book."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:52:43] Wait, hold up, hold up, hold up. So you went to a Tony Robbins seminar. Why did you want a refund?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:47] I didn't like it. I thought it was a bunch of hype.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:52:49] Really.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:50] It was a lot of like dancing and I go — dude, he's trying to sell me protein shakes on day two. And I'm just like, "This is ridiculous. "
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:52:57] Wow. So you went in person?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:58] I went in person. Yeah. And I went with a bunch of friends and my friends stayed and one of my other friends walked out. He actually — my buddy, Noah Kagan walked out with me. We weren't even sitting next to each other because we didn't want to influence each other's decisions. We both walked out. We just didn't like it. In fact, one of my friends works for Tony Robbins and she goes, "Oh yeah, you shouldn't have gone to that one. That's like my least favorite seminar of his," or something along those lines. So I don't think, maybe it wasn't a good representation of him. I'm not trying to take down Tony Robbins. What I'm trying to do is say like, one of the things that they had is their refund policy was you had to return the book about financial management. And I go, "I didn't take the book." She didn't believe me. She said, "Well, I can't give you a refund." And I go, "You're like two seconds away from me charging this back and posting about it."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:53:43] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:43] And she's like, "Oh, I have to go to someone who works here." And I was like, "Wait, you're a volunteer." They don't even have staffers.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:53:50] So this was all part of the process.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:51] It was all part of the process. You had to come between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on day two, not day one, not day three, not earlier, not later, very narrow window, and you need to bring all of your physical materials back. Like Xerox crap in a book that probably cost some $3.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:54:06] Not like a huge loss for them if somebody walked away with it, it's just a way to get people to lock them in.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:10] Correct. I clarified that and they admitted that. And then I called the guy who sold me the ticket because I bought it from a guy and it was like a $1,200 ticket to this event.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:54:20] Sure. Yeah, it's expensive.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:22] I said, "Hey, man, you're not going to catch me on a technicality. I'm going to make this cost you." I always say this whenever anybody gives me a tough time with a refund. And feel free to steal this line. I always say, "My goal all isn't necessarily to get a refund if you're not going to give it to me. My future goal is to make this cost between 10 and 20 times more to you in lost business than it cost me in lost finances." You will get your refund because all I do is say, "Look, you don't need to give me my $1,200 back. I just want to make sure that I cost you $20,000 in lost business. And they were like, "Here's your money. Keep the book."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:54:54] Yeah. They get the business proposition of that pretty quickly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:57] They understand that. It's like if you're going to go on a crusade against them, just keep the effing book. They're trying to get you to go, "Oh, I don't have the book. Guess you can just have my money. I'm a sheep." You know, that's what they're hoping you do
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:55:09] Which be true, right? That must be the case with —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:11] It must happen all the time.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:55:11] 99.9 percent of people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:14] Or at least half. Right? I mean, look, it's just a retention technique.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:55:18] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:18] And again, I don't mean to pick on Tony Robbins. I have no idea. I know plenty of people that love him, whatever. I see this at a lot of seminars and the more scammy a seminar is the more of these little tricks they have. Like you'll buy something and you'll pay for it and then the next day, you'll get another charge on your card and you'll go, "What happened?" And they'll go, "Oh, you didn't get in, in the discount window." And it's like, "What are you talking about?" "Well, your chargers run at 4:00 p.m. and our discount ends at 2:30."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:55:47] Oh, that's shady.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:48] "What are you talking about?" So they charge you like a surcharge the next day, and they're just hoping that you don't call your credit card company and go, "This is a fraud."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:55:55] Yeah you don't check it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:55] Yeah, or that you don't check it. So I'm vigilant about that. Normal business will literally never do that to you on purpose. There's no incentive for them to do that to you because they want you to come back. Scammers don't give a crap if you have repeat business, they don't care about repeat business or customers. They're not trying to earn loyalty. They're just trying to get your money. So unless there's software or there's some other worthwhile subscription product, it has to be a one-time charge. Forced continuity is a huge red flag that almost all scammers have. So forced continuity is — let's say I sell you access to my website, Gabriel, and it's 16 bucks. And I'm like, "Great 16 bucks for all these articles and videos. All right, that's worth it." Then I find out it's $16 per month. That was in the fine print at the bottom of the website. Now I'm like, "Okay, well, crap. I don't want that." I leave a message. I go through the refund portal. Then the second-month charge comes through and I go, "What the hell? You keep billing me. It's hard to cancel." Then they say, "Oh, well you have to write a letter to this post office box in Yonkers with a note about why you're canceling." There's no phone number, there's no email, right? Like that is what forced continuity is. It means you're charged every month. You didn't know that was going to happen and there's no way out of it. And usually, it's really difficult to cancel. Legit companies like if you look at a company that's doing what you're supposed to do, look at Athletic Greens, sponsor of the show, you do their subscription thing, they'll mail you Athletic Greens every month. But if you cancel, they stop. Right? They stop. This forced continuity, they try and pretend they didn't get your request or that you can't cancel because it's too late. "It's already the third and we ship on the 16th. I can't stop your order. I'll stop it for July," instead of May, like they do that kind of thing.
[00:57:42] I also use privacy.com. I used to have a code for this. I think it expired. Try privacy.com/jordan. Privacy.com generates a not fake credit card number but like a one-time use credit card. You create it using your bank accounts. So you log into privacy.com, you link your bank account. They make a credit card number for you. That is let's say, it has a limit of 24.95. So scams.net can run it for 24.95 and then the next month when they're rubbing their fingers together and like, "We're going to get this sucker." It just doesn't work anymore. The card's dead. It expires the day after they use it, run it, whatever. So privacy.com is genius.
[00:58:17] And if you ever have an issue with something you got from listening to this show, let me know. I've been known to bend a virtual finger or two when companies don't mind their manners and give you guys a hard time. I emailed them and I simply let them know my policy. "This is a friend of mine. You got to play nice." If you don't want my metaphorical foot up their brands, metaphorical ass, they better treat you guys nice because it's my policy to make it cost them 20 times of what it costs you or me.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:58:44] That's the podcast version of the Goodfellas guy you had on the show this week.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:47] You know what It's funny. I wrote this answer after the interview and I was like, you know, I do the same thing in many ways for good guys — that's you listening that the mafia does in some ways. Like I'm not going to go to the manager and make a big stink. Yeah, maybe that's my first move. Like explaining why this is something you should honor. But if I get a whiff that somebody is trying to take us for a ride, I immediately get street on their ass. I'm just going, "You know what? I'm not going to go jump through your hoops. I'm going to Google reviews, Yelp, Trustpilot and I've even gone so far as to buy businessnamescam.com just to show them that I own it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:59:28] Oh, that is cold, Jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:29] It's cold.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:59:30] Damn. That's intense.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:30] It's like four dollars, sometimes though.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:59:32] It's inexpensive, but it is intense. I didn't know. That's wild, man. I didn't know that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:36] Suppose you do something that's — you buy something that's 200 bucks. They won't give you a refund. They're being unreasonable. Go to hover.com/jordan. Also a sponsor of the show. By the name of the company, scam or fraud.com, and then just do a screenshot of you on your checkout page. They will know you mean business. You just bought the domain. In fact, you don't even have to buy it. You can just be on the checkout page. They will give you your money back so fast. Your head will spin.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [01:00:02] I've never heard of somebody doing that before. That was dope.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:05] Well, I hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. I recommend Athlete A on Netflix. We don't do recs anymore, but Athlete A is about the USA Gymnastics scandal. Rachael Denhollander, who's been on the show episode 332. She's in that. We're creeping up on episode 400 here. I've been podcasting for something like 13 years. I keep thinking about which are my favorite episodes. Here's what you should check out next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Frank Abagnale: [01:00:32] When I put that pilot's uniform on, no one questioned that I look too young to be a pilot. I did walk up to a TWA counter. I was in a uniform. I was getting ready to purchase a ticket. And she said to me, "Are you buying or riding." I said, "I beg your pardon?" "You want to be in the jump seat?" I said, "The jump seat?" "Yeah, I'll give you a pass. Just go on the jump seat." Well, I learned everything as I went. I had no idea you could do this. So then, I started riding around on planes in the jump seat.
[01:01:03] I walked in a bank in Chicago, so I went in the bank and opened the account and I handed the girl a hundred dollars and she said, "Well, here's some temporary checks. We'll be mailing you your printed check." Now, because I was young and inquisitive, I just happened to say to her, "I noticed that I don't have any deposit slips." "Oh no, if you need to make a deposit in the meantime, just go over there to that table in the lobby and help yourself to a blank deposit slip. Then write your account number in and then use these until you get your printed ones." Well, I wonder what would happen if I encoded my account number on the bottom of all these blanks. And then I went back to the bank, put them on the shelf. So that's exactly what I did and everybody who came in, put their money in my account.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:42] Oh, Frank Abagnale, could write a check on a piece of toilet paper, drawn on the Confederate States Treasury, sign it U.R. Hooked, and cash it at any bank in town using a Hong Kong driver's license for identification.
Frank Abagnale: [01:01:56] I could, and I believed I could, and I probably would. They only saw that uniform. They paid no attention to the check.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:04] If you want to hear more from the mind of one of the most successful imposters the world has ever known, check out episode one of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:02:14] Go back and check out the guest Joaquin "Jack" Garcia if you haven't yet. And if you want to know how I managed to book all these great people and manage my relationships, using systems, tiny habits, check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig that well before you get thirsty the drills, take a few minutes a day. Ignore it at your own peril. It's all free jordanharbinger.com/course. A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. There's a video of this show on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm also at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter, Instagram. Hit me on LinkedIn.
[01:02:52] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and my amazing team, Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Rob Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own. I'm a lawyer, not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. And remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with someone else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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