Guilt over stealing from your dad under the thrall of addiction also makes you ponder how his actions influenced your addiction. Welcome to 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:
- Guilt over stealing from your dad under the thrall of addiction also makes you ponder how his actions influenced your addiction. How do you come to grips with your past to break the cycle of affliction (especially now that the cost of therapy surpasses your budget)?
- Can you restore trust to a relationship once infidelity and lies are introduced? Perhaps it’s more important to wonder: Should you even try?
- Do you have legal recourse against a law firm that somehow leaked your personal information in an online data breach — although you never did business with them or gave them the info in the first place, and they refuse to answer your inquiries? [Thanks to attorney Corbin Payne for helping us with another sticky situation!]
- After running the family dojo during your stepfather’s cancer treatment and his subsequent surprise departure, he’s returned, accusing you and your mother of theft while poaching clients for his own dojo. Do you sever ties, pay the six figures he claims he’s owed, or intervene on behalf of his seemingly slipping mental health?
- You joined your current company because of its values and mission to help people, but you’ve seen those values shift since the death of its founder. Now the financial bottom line always trumps morality. Is there a way for an organization to strike a balance between give and take? Or should you simply give up and become another cog in the machine?
- 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 Instagram @gabrielmizrahi.
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!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- Airbnb: Find out how much your space is worth at airbnb.com/host
- FlyKitt: Visit flykitt.com and use code JORDAN to get a FlyKitt for 15% off
- BetterHelp: Get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan
- SimpliSafe: Learn more at simplisafe.com/jordan
- WRKOUT: Go to community.wrkout.com/jordan to sign up with a virtual trainer
Miss our conversation with reformed prisoner Justin Paperny, an ex-stockbroker who now helps people prepare for a stint in the big house? Catch up with episode 226: Justin Paperny | Lessons From Prison here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Flat Earthers | Skeptical Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Andy Clark | How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality | Jordan Harbinger
- Marc Andreessen | Exploring the Power, Peril, and Potential of AI | Jordan Harbinger
- Do Drug Addicts Live With Guilt from Stealing from Friends and Family? | Quora
- Encopresis: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis | Healthline
- 7 Tips for Dealing with Life if You Can’t Afford a Therapist | Psychology Today
- Neil Woods | Undercover in the UK’s Most Vicious Drug Gangs | Jordan Harbinger
- Recovering from Infidelity: Why Does Forgiveness Feel So Dangerous? | GoodTherapy
- How to Forgive Someone for Being Unfaithful | Regain
- What is Considered Infidelity and How Can You Forgive a Cheater? | Katie Couric
- Corbin Payne | Twitter
- The Data Brokers Quietly Buying and Selling Your Personal Information | Fast Company
- Lawyer Grievances | Ohio Board of Professional Conduct
- Cobra Kai | Netflix
- Martin Kove | Kicking It in the Cobra Kai Dojo | Jordan Harbinger
- Do Corporations Place “Profit over People” or Do They Need the Profit to Employ More People So They Have a Job? | Quora
- Revealed: Top US Corporations Raising Prices on Americans Even as Profits Surge | The Guardian
- Make Your Values Mean Something | Harvard Business Review
889: Win Against Addiction Uncovers Old Afflictions | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Airbnb for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show. Maybe you've stayed at an Airbnb before and thought to yourself, "Yeah, this actually seems pretty doable. Maybe my place could be an Airbnb." It could be as simple as starting with a spare room or your whole place while you're away. Find out how much your place is worth at airbnb.com/host.
[00:00:21] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the only vegan I know, who, to his credit, the other day for lunch, asked the waitress to bring him, and I quote, "The saddest thing on the menu," Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: I did do that.
[00:00:38] Jordan Harbinger: And you know what? She was like, "Oh, you mean the tofu butternut, whatever?" And you're like, "Yeah." Everybody knew what you were talking about.
[00:00:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly what I wanted.
[00:00:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:00:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: I got what I ordered. I really did.
[00:00:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It was nice of her to check, though, even though it was really very clear from the jump.
[00:00:53] On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. During the week, we have long-form conversations with a variety of amazing folks, from organized crime figures and hostage negotiators to astronauts, war correspondents, and tech luminaries.
[00:01:18] This week, we had Andy Clark on how our brain is a perception machine, how it creates our vision of the world around us. This one will change how you understand your brain and how your brain sees the world. I really found it quite a good mix between the scientific and, I don't know, philosophical if you can say that. We also had investor and billionaire and partially the inventor of the web browser, Marc Andreessen of A16Z, Andreessen Horowitz, on the show to discuss AI and why it's definitely, for sure, not going to kill everyone on the whole planet after deciding that we are a terrible scourge on the Earth. And finally, a Skeptical Sunday last Sunday on Flat Earthers with Dave Farina, probably don't need to explain that one. That was about how the Earth is definitely not flat, by the way.
[00:02:00] On Fridays, though, we share stories, take listener letters, offer advice, play obnoxious soundbites, and stumble into new reasons for y'all to write us emails about how we are, sometimes simultaneously, both left-wing brainwashed snowflakes and right-wing bootlicking shills, which I actually kind of love and consider a badge of honor, especially when those reviews come in one after the other. So the one above it is like, "One star, bootlicking shill," and the one below that is like, "These left-wing moron snowflakes." And it's like, funny. It's probably about the same episode too, which is insane to me.
[00:02:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Those are actually some of my favorite reviews when they're like, "Left-wing propaganda. Also, way to victim-blame by encouraging people to take responsibility for their lives." It's like, which one is it?
[00:02:41] Jordan Harbinger: Choose your narrative, folks. The older I get, the prouder I am to be essentially impossible to pin down.
[00:02:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:02:46] Jordan Harbinger: Or to not at least neatly fall into a bucket.
[00:02:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm with you. Anyway, speaking of taking responsibility for your life, you seem weirdly happy today.
[00:02:54] Jordan Harbinger: Do I?
[00:02:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Is there something, what's going on?
[00:02:56] Jordan Harbinger: I guess I am. Actually, something funny happened a little bit earlier.
[00:03:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh yeah?
[00:03:00] Jordan Harbinger: So today, Jen and the kids and I were in San Francisco.
[00:03:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:03:03] Jordan Harbinger: And I don't need to talk about how much that city seems to have gone downhill, but we passed a homeless woman who was sitting in a shopping cart, and she screamed at me, "Holy cow, you're fricking hot!" And so, yeah, I've been on cloud nine all day because of that.
[00:03:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, she actually catcalled you from the shopping cart?
[00:03:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, basically.
[00:03:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: You got catcalled from a Ralph's cart. Whoa, amazing. Okay.
[00:03:24] Jordan Harbinger: Might have been Safeway, but sometimes we just need—
[00:03:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:03:26] Jordan Harbinger: —to be appreciated, am I right?
[00:03:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: I didn't know you and Jen had an open marriage.
[00:03:31] Jordan Harbinger: Anyway, I scooped up my kids as fast as humanly possible and ran away because she was screaming at me and sitting in a shopping cart, which was a little unnerving.
[00:03:39] All right, as always, we've got some fun ones and some doozies, and I can't wait to dive in. Gabe, what is the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:03:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I'm in my late 30s, and I'm nearly two years drug-free, and I'm doing really well. I have my own business, which, although small, is also doing well. My relationship with my kids is fantastic. We are extremely close and loving, and I could not be happier. I've also rebuilt relationships with my old friends. I currently live with my amazing best friend of more than 20 years, and my relationship with my mom and dad is really good. My mom and I are especially close.
[00:04:13] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, amazing, congratulations. Sounds like a pretty big accomplishment, a massive turnaround for you and your life.
[00:04:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Huge.
[00:04:19] Jordan Harbinger: I'm proud of you for that, but let's get to the part of the letter where something terrible happens, and this all goes to hell.
[00:04:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: But, I have a horrible secret that I've been keeping from everybody.
[00:04:28] Jordan Harbinger: Here it comes.
[00:04:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Go grab your popcorn, Jordan. Just do not chew too loudly, please, because it will drive me insane. Okay, so he goes on.
[00:04:35] Eight years ago, while I was using, I worked with my dad in his business. We made a great team, and things started off really well. Six months in, I began stealing money to support a morphine and methamphetamine habit. At first it was just small amounts, $20 here and there, but within three months, I regularly began stealing upwards of $200 at a time to fund my habit. It got to the point where I was stealing at least $50 every single day. My dad's business began to suffer, and he had to cut back on my hours and reduce my wage so that the business wouldn't collapse. I was so sick and so exhausted from the addiction, from a dysfunctional relationship, and from being a new dad, that I couldn't stop myself from using. I am so ashamed of what I did, and it plays on my mind regularly, especially when I'm with my dad. I know that he knows I stole some money from the business, but he has no idea how bad it was. I don't even want to think about how much I stole, but it must be more than $10,000.
[00:05:32] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, yeah. Okay, so you were a pretty severe addict, you weren't healthy, you stole from your family, and it weighs on you. As you probably know, this is an extremely common side effect of addiction, and is really tough for most people.
[00:05:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: There's another wrinkle to this story, though. When I was young, I used to soil myself all the time. I don't know why or how, it just seemed to happen. I was teased, bullied, and humiliated relentlessly by kids and adults alike. Neither of my parents protected me from the bullying and, if anything, actually helped perpetuate it. I have horrible memories of being made to strip in front of everyone and bawling my eyes out. My dad hosed me down in the garden and of being locked outside at night like a dog as punishment.
[00:06:15] Jordan Harbinger: What? Oh my god. That is definitely a new wrinkle, but that is awful. That's really sad. I don't want to chime in too early, but you were at a minimum, seriously mistreated. And at a maximum, I don't really know where the line is. That seems like it would qualify as a form of abuse. I think if you lock a child up outside at night like a dog. That has to be abusive.
[00:06:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: For something he couldn't control as well, right?
[00:06:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's heartbreaking. I can imagine my son doing that and then he's crying and I'm hosing him down and I'm like, "And you can't come in. Sit outside." Oh, it's so cruel.
[00:06:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's a rough message.
[00:06:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, carry on. I had to react to that.
[00:06:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: The humiliation I experienced still haunts me. I still have issues with my self-worth and self-esteem 30 years on, and I believe this was a big part of why I started using heroin.
[00:07:01] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah, no kidding.
[00:07:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: That makes sense.
[00:07:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it completely makes sense. You sound traumatized, man. And heroin, from what I hear, it can be very powerful when you're in pain, psychologically, physically. So someone once described it to me, is crawling back into the womb.
[00:07:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Phew.
[00:07:15] Jordan Harbinger: The causes of addiction are complex, but yeah, this all tracks.
[00:07:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Neither of my parents are bad people. They're both from very repressed working-class families. They also felt the shame and just had no idea how to deal with it. Still, neither of them has really apologized to me for what happened. My mom has, sort of, but I've always blown it off. "It's okay, Mom, it's no big deal."
[00:07:37] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: But, it is a big deal. I've always felt betrayed by them in some way and I wonder sometimes if me stealing from my parents was a way for me to get back at them for leaving me out there in the cold alone as a kid. I had a great therapist, but now that I'm clean, my government will no longer help me pay for visits and I just can't afford a hundred-plus dollars per week at the moment as I'm pinching pennies for my business. Am I being reasonable in my assessment here? Or am I just shifting the blame for my own sh*tty, shameful behavior? And do I tell my dad about the stealing? If so, how? Signed, Doing the Sums on These Stolen Funds.
[00:08:13] Jordan Harbinger: Phew, well, this is quite a tale, man. There's so much going on in this one.
[00:08:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:18] Jordan Harbinger: I'm really glad that you were working with a good therapist before. Sorry that you can't continue now, I think that's awful, because what I'm hearing is that there's still quite a bit for you to unpack about your childhood, your addiction, your relationship with your parents, but I understand it's an expense. I promise we won't just hit you with the old, "Go to therapy, bro," even though you can't afford it. Sell a kidney. You've shared a lot of very difficult stuff with us. I want to thank you for being so vulnerable.
[00:08:43] Let's start with this theory about why you stole. That it might have been a way to get back at your parents for leaving you out there in the cold alone as a kid. And by that phrase, I take it you mean both physically and emotionally. That really is a stark metaphor for how you must have felt growing up. And like I said, my heart just breaks for somebody who has to go through that as a child. Honestly, I don't know if that's what the stealing was ultimately about, that's something only you can really decide. It's hard to draw a line from one thing to another like that, but you can try by continuing to explore all these layers of your story. What I am picking up on, though, is a decent amount of anger.
[00:09:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:19] Jordan Harbinger: Very justifiable anger, in my opinion, about how your parents treated you as a child. You had an issue that was probably very fixable with a gentle loving approach or possibly, you know, Gabe, now that I think about it, older kids don't soil themselves, normally. Often, this is a reaction. When I was little, we had family friends and there was some weird crap going on in the family and we don't really know what it was, but the kids were all, quote-unquote, "really bad." They always got in tons and tons of trouble. And the one that was my age, who was really young at the time, he just kept pooping in his pants at school. And they were like, "Why is he doing this?"
[00:09:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:09:52] Jordan Harbinger: And my mom was like, "Yeah, there's something going on in the house."
[00:09:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Something's up. Right.
[00:09:55] Jordan Harbinger: You don't have a teenager who steals a car, a younger kid who's shoplifting at age 12, and then a nine-year-old who's soiling himself, and it's just not related to anything.
[00:10:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:02] Jordan Harbinger: There's some abuse or some weird ish going on in the house. And I don't know what that is. It doesn't necessarily have to be from the parents. Maybe he was being bullied by other people and that was a negative, vicious cycle. Yeah, they could have fixed this with a gentle, loving approach, and they addressed it in this bizarre and hurtful way, and that obviously left some real marks that just didn't need to be there. And when you couple that behavior with your parents not protecting you appropriately from being bullied, in your view, actually making it worse, helping perpetuate the bullying, I can absolutely understand why you feel angry with them and why you feel betrayed.
[00:10:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Of course. How could he not? But also, there are a few other angles to that anger in my view. I thought it was interesting when he said that neither of his parents are bad people. He said they're both depressed and they also felt the shame and they just had no idea how to deal with it. Part of me heard that in his letter and went, wow, like that's very understanding of you. And kudos to you for even being able to appreciate why your parents did what they did, given how bad it was. So I commend him for that. But another part of me heard that and went, mmm, I don't know. I mean, I don't know if that's compassion or if that's letting Mom and Dad off the hook for some objectively horrible behavior.
[00:11:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Is he truly forgiving and empathizing with them?
[00:11:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:11:15] Jordan Harbinger: Or is he subtly diminishing and maybe even in some sense justifying what they did? And it reminds me, we did an episode a while ago with this former police officer named Neil Woods. I think it was a guy you found actually for the show.
[00:11:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. Yeah, the drug guy, right?
[00:11:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, drug guy, anti, former drugs cop in the UK. And what he said was he had befriended this one source and he really felt bad for the guy because one of the things the guy said was, "Yeah, my dad used to beat me up all the time, but really only when I deserved it." And he was just like, "Man, that's terrible."
[00:11:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:11:44] Jordan Harbinger: Because that guy wasn't necessarily forgiving and empathizing with his dad, maybe not really, but kind of justifying him being treated like crap and this guy was, what, a heroin addict or whatever it was that Neil was talking to.
[00:11:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:11:56] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, that was the thing. It was a drug user source.
[00:11:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Internalizing some of the blame that the parents might have made him feel like he deserved to bear.
[00:12:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: So the complicated thing is that our friend here might be doing both of those things at the same time. It's possible that we are hearing from a guy who is very compassionate, who is very evolved, and might not be fully in touch with some of this righteous anger toward his parents.
[00:12:17] Jordan Harbinger: Who, by the way, he seems to really love, right? He said his relationship with his mom and dad is really good.
[00:12:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:12:21] Jordan Harbinger: He and his mom are especially close, which I'm thrilled to hear that, obviously, after kicking this addiction and having that kind of childhood. But it's a little hard for me to understand how their relationship can be that strong. And I'm basing all this off of three three-paragraph letter. Okay, so we're fine.
[00:12:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:12:35] Jordan Harbinger: But how can they be that close when there's this deep, unaddressed pain in the background that he must, I don't know, compartmentalize somehow?
[00:12:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly, because then he pointed out that neither of them ever really apologized to him for what happened. And when his mom did try, sort of, he brushed it off like, "It's okay, Mom. It's no big deal." And so, I do wonder if that's another source of his anger. Not just anger at them for doing what they did. But possibly at himself a little bit, for now, letting them off the hook years later, at least his mom, anyway.
[00:13:06] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: And then anger once again in the other direction for letting him let them off the hook, you know what I mean?
[00:13:12] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: When it would be absolutely appropriate and possibly very healing for both of them to just let his mom say, "Look, what we did was wrong, and I'm sorry." And to not shut it down or let her off the hook in that moment because it's sad or it's uncomfortable.
[00:13:26] Jordan Harbinger: Even if her apology is a little clumsy, a little awkward, because it's absolutely warranted and it's about damn time.
[00:13:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. It's been a long time coming. So when he jumps in and he goes, "It's okay, mom. It's no big deal." He's depriving both of them—
[00:13:38] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: —of an important moment. And by doing that, I suspect part of him might be also protecting her.
[00:13:45] Jordan Harbinger: I guess. Protecting her from what, though?
[00:13:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, that would be a really good question for him to ask himself. I mean, it's hard for me to know exactly, but watching his mom wrestle with some very difficult feelings, maybe that feels cruel to him or shameful or just generally awkward. It could also be the intimacy of a moment like that. I mean, look, this is very raw stuff that they're talking about, and it might be extremely uncomfortable, especially in a family that let's remember, according to him, is a bit repressed.
[00:14:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that makes sense. And, you know, he might also be protecting himself in that moment, too. Like there he is listening to his mom acknowledge what she and her husband did to him. And it's like, "Maybe I don't want to relive that right now over fricking Cheerios in the morning."
[00:14:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:14:24] Jordan Harbinger: "I just want to eat my Special K and get to work. I don't need to confirm that my childhood was really as painful as I suspected, but thanks for trying."
[00:14:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Fast forwarding through that conversation keeps all of them safe.
[00:14:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: But these are words he needs to hear, and that I think his mom needs to say.
[00:14:42] Jordan Harbinger: I'd be very interested to know what would happen if he invited her to talk about all this without clenching up around the apology.
[00:14:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:49] Jordan Harbinger: I think it could be huge for them, but they both need to be willing to bear the difficulty of that conversation, right? She can't come over and be like, "Oh, it was nothing," and the like chicken out and he can't be like, "Yeah, you're right. Let's order a pizza and watch Netflix," right? The sadness, the shame, the discomfort has to be in the front row.
[00:15:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: I could not agree more. The big question, did you steal to get back at them for all of that, or are you shifting the blame for your own behavior, is such a good question. I think Jordan is right when he says that both things can be true. We're both noticing some profound anger that might have informed the stealing. Maybe you felt less remorseful about it at the time. Maybe you did on some level feel like your parents owed you something.
[00:15:26] And yes, that might have been the addiction brain doing its addiction math, but that's still a very relevant feeling in my view. That obviously doesn't make the stealing right, and it probably isn't the full story, but if that anger played a role in how you felt about your life at the time, I think that's legit. And it can also be true that you might be shifting the blame for your own behavior, because at the end of the day, this was your addiction. And you were stealing from people you love, who have not been perfect by any means, but who gave you a job, who are good partners and who have proven to be better parents to you later in life.
[00:16:01] My feeling is, I think you can appreciate how your childhood played into your addiction and the stealing, which is important, without justifying the stealing or avoiding responsibility entirely. For me, it's the difference between going, "My parents didn't do right by me, so I stole money from them, and it's not my fault because, you know, they owed me that," and going, "My parents didn't do right by me, so I used to cope with the pain and I stole from them. And part of the reason I thought it was okay was that I hadn't worked through certain parts of my childhood."
[00:16:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's exactly right. The second angle seems absolutely fair to me because that makes room for his stuff and his parents' stuff without letting either of them off the hook. So the $65,000 question, or the $10,000 question, I suppose, in this instance, do you tell your dad about the stealing? And it's interesting, Gabe, because I'm thinking about that question from last week, the guy who blew through half the money his dad gave him for the down payment on the house from Australia. Remember that guy?
[00:16:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, my mind went there, too, during the letter. It's such an interesting parallel.
[00:16:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, so our take there was ethically, eh, you could argue both sides. Maybe you owe it to your dad to tell him. Maybe you don't. The money was technically yours. This case, it was not. But in terms of the relationship, having the most honest and authentic relationship possible with your dad, we felt there was a really good reason for that guy to own up to what he did and put it behind him. And I find myself wanting to say something similar here.
[00:17:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:18] Jordan Harbinger: And actually, I think it applies even more in this case because what our friend here did was he was in an active addiction. It was more explicitly wrong, right? I mean, he stole from his dad.
[00:17:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:27] Jordan Harbinger: He lied to his dad about that. He nearly tanked the family business, whatever his reasons were at the time. He at least owes him an apology for that because that probably sucked for him too.
[00:17:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: And he's carrying around this huge burden because of it.
[00:17:38] Jordan Harbinger: My strong feeling is that a meaningful apology would be quite powerful for all of them.
[00:17:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:45] Jordan Harbinger: We've talked a lot about the wounds his parents caused and rightly so, but the stealing is a wound that he then caused.
[00:17:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:51] Jordan Harbinger: A wound that they all bear and he kind of has the power to heal it, right? So when you're ready. I would make some time with your parents, and I'm just going to improv what I would say, obviously, make this your own, but basically, "Mom, Dad, I want to share something with you. It's extremely painful to acknowledge. I carry a lot of guilt and shame about this, but it's eating away at me, so I want to tell you that when I worked in the business with you, I stole from you more than I want to admit to. I think it's probably about $10,000, and I stole because, as you know, I was extremely sick and exhausted, I was addicted to drugs. I wasn't thinking clearly. It was the only way I knew to pay for my—"
[00:18:28] I'm getting emotional here.
[00:18:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:30] Jordan Harbinger: This isn't even my conversation.
[00:18:31] "It's the only way I knew how to pay for my addiction."
[00:18:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:18:33] Jordan Harbinger: "And I feel really awful about this because I nearly destroyed the business and I compromised our relationship and I'm deeply ashamed about that. And I think you can see that I'm a very different person now," which by the way, that's going to help a lot with this, I think. "But this is on my mind constantly, especially when I hang out with you, dad. So I'm here to say, I am so sorry for what I did. And I hope when you're ready, you can forgive me."
[00:18:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:18:57] Jordan Harbinger: That's basically the message — short, earnest, honest. You can't go wrong that way.
[00:19:02] And god, man, Gabe, I got to say, people who run businesses, check the register, even in an all-cash business, he secretly suspects you were stealing almost for sure. They probably don't know how to bring this up without making things worse. Maybe they feel bad about all the other stuff, and they're like, "Well, I'm going to let that go because he was a drug addict and it's my fault."
[00:19:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, wow. I had not considered that. They're doing the same math that he was doing. Like, yeah, he thought maybe my parents owe me something, and they're thinking maybe we do owe it to him to let him.
[00:19:28] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe we owe him something.
[00:19:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:19:29] Jordan Harbinger: Come on, man, I know there's cash businesses, but when you're losing, he said, what, $100 at a time?
[00:19:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm hmm.
[00:19:36] Jordan Harbinger: If you're an addict on drugs like this, I'm assuming he means per day or several times a week, you know when your business is losing $5,000 per month. You're like, "Oh, we didn't leave the sink on. It's not the water bill. It's not people walking out with a candy bar at a convenience store. It is a ton of money. Where is it?" And you eventually come to realize that your son, the drug addict, might be the guy doing it, and you just don't want to say anything.
[00:20:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Just one more reason that this apology might be very welcome, and much easier than he thinks, and it can just heal the wound and they can move on. But this script that you just laid out, Jordan, I think it's beautiful, and it's efficient, and I completely agree. And look, in this conversation, I probably wouldn't get into your childhood and how that might have factored into the stealing your only job here is to own this and say, "I'm sorry," and later when the time is right if the time is right and if you feel it's necessary you guys can sort through all of that other stuff that brought you to that point of stealing but that's a separate conversation and I'm guessing one that will go better if you really nail this apology now.
[00:20:40] Jordan Harbinger: If I'm placing bets, I bet, Dad acknowledges the apology and then brings that up like minutes later.
[00:20:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Possibly.
[00:20:47] Jordan Harbinger: Because if it's on his mind, the whole thing we said before, like, "Oh, I owe him something," your dad might be holding onto an apology about a lot of stuff for a long time. I think this is going to open the floodgates in a good way.
[00:20:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:20:58] Jordan Harbinger: But yeah, for sure, you don't want to take your apology with anything that sounds like an excuse, even if the excuse might be kind of sort of legitimate. That's a lesson that I've had to learn over the years. Just take accountability. Say, "I'm sorry," without too many excuses when you have to.
[00:21:11] So I hope that gives you a way forward here. But listen, you're doing so well now. You've come such a long way. You beat a brutal addiction. This is no joke. That kills a lot of people. You see the world through a really great lens now. You sound like a great son, honestly, warts and all.
[00:21:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:26] Jordan Harbinger: And I have a feeling your parents are going to be pretty understanding about this, especially because the wounds are not fresh with the money thing, I think. It might come as a shock to them. I don't think it will, but I'm guessing they know how brutal this addiction was. And I am so sorry that they didn't know how to take care of you when you were younger. It's a tragedy, really. Parenting is hard. It might take you some more time to work through that. But in the meantime, this apology can do wonders for your psyche, for your relationship with them. It'll bring you guys closer, that's for sure. And in a way, it might also make the childhood stuff easier to discuss when that time does come. So we're sending you a big hug, and we're wishing all of you all the best.
[00:22:02] And Gabriel, you know what's a great use of stolen funds? And even better use of legitimate ones, by the way. The amazing products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:22:15] This episode is also sponsored by FlyKitt. If you travel internationally a lot, well, congratulations, maybe you don't have little kids. But anyway, jet lag is your enemy, right? It used to steal days, even weeks from my life. Enter FlyKitt, the jet lag game-changer. I first discovered it on a trip to Bhutan, ah, before kids, when I could actually do stuff. The trip leader swore by it. And at first glance, it seemed like glorified vitamins, and I was kind of pissed, I actually asked for a refund. And then, I tried the app, and it's not hocus pocus, it's algorithm-based scheduling, tailored to your trip details. It tells you when to eat, when to sleep, when to take the supplements, and it's like having a personal travel health assistant in your pocket. I've tested it on multiple time zone-busting trips to and from Asia and beyond and it works every single time. FlyKitt is rooted in Navy SEAL research and was initially designed for fighter pilots and athletes to combat inflammation that flying causes. FlyKitt uses AI because, of course, to time everything from light exposure to meals all tailored to your specific travel itinerary. So if you're tired of losing precious days of your life to jet lag, you've got to check out FlyKitt. A few of you have tried it, you said it was amazing. I'm telling you, this is not just like placebo, oh, I'm not tired. This is completely different than jet lag. It's like dealing with jet lag when you're a teenager. Like, you almost just don't even care. Everything is in one small organized packet. The app walks you through every step of the way. Go to FlyKitt with two T's dot com. That's FlyKitt, F-L-Y-K-I-T-T.com to get a FlyKitt for 15 percent off with code JORDAN, FlyKitt with two T's dot com, promo code JORDAN. Try it out on your next trip. Let me know how it lands for you. I want to know what you think.
[00:23:53] This episode is also sponsored by BetterHelp. You know those moments where life throws you a curveball, feels like you're stepping into the big leagues? It's exhilarating, but often it can be nerve-wracking as well. Think of therapy as a personal coach guiding you through big plays and tough calls. And, hey, I hear you. There's stigma with therapy. In fact, most people are like, "I don't need a therapist." And it's like, calm down, man. Maybe shatter the misconception that you need some sort of life-altering serious trauma to need therapy. And even if you do, then you do, so whatever, right? Come on, folks. Drop the ego. I've gone through therapy during a very difficult time when I found out my former business partners were essentially stealing from me. Therapy has helped equip me with ways to handle the situation best, as well as give me a sanity check on the situation. And if you're thinking about giving therapy a shot, check out BetterHelp. It's all online. They have an amazing app that has 115,000 reviews. There's a 4.8 out of five-star rating. Can't get much better than that. They will match you with a therapist based on a simple questionnaire that you complete. And if you don't click with your therapist, no worries, switch anytime, no additional charge.
[00:24:53] Jen Harbinger: Let therapy be your map with BetterHelp. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan to get 10 percent off your first month. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:25:03] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you for listening and supporting the show. All the advertisers, deals, discount codes, and ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for any sponsor using the AI chatbot on the website as well. That's going to be updating like an hour after the show launches. We had to manually ingest everything, took weeks. Now, it should happen almost instantly. So please consider supporting those who support the show.
[00:25:24] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:25:27] Okay, next up.
[00:25:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, ten weeks ago, I ended a three-year relationship after finding out that my girlfriend cheated on me. We aren't married and don't have kids, but we did live together. I had a gut feeling that something was wrong, so I looked at her phone. I learned that she had been messaging her boss over the course of eight weeks and booked a hotel on a night she was supposed to be working. There were messages and a couple of photos. When I confronted her, she said that was all it was and apologized profusely. A week later, though, I still had that weird feeling, and a big argument followed. To this day, she says she booked the hotel but didn't go. I then found this guy's partner of five years on social media and told her what I knew. She told me that he told her that he and my ex did go to the hotel and slept together.
[00:26:19] Jordan Harbinger: How did she not see that coming? Had to know that was going to happen. Just, I think at some point, people just pray that they're not going to dig a deeper hole and then they do, but man, good recon there. That's some meddlesome ish, but man, that is quite a revelation. I hate that it came to that, but obviously, I guess I'm glad you found out.
[00:26:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Over the next week, my ex told me there were also a couple of coffees before work, but it, quote, "wasn't as bad as you think it is," unquote, and that over the two months, it was very on and off. At no stage did she ever just lay it all out for me in one go, something I asked for several times. Now, I'm struggling with who to believe. I believe that everyone involved has gone to ground and will stick to their own truth. Still, the information I confirmed was enough for me to end the relationship and tell my girlfriend to leave the house. But I still love her. And for some reason, I don't hate her, even though I think I should. I've never seen her so upset, so apologetic, and in so much pain. She doesn't wear her heart on her sleeve, but my god, she has over the last few weeks. She's stubborn as a rock, so to see her clearly suffering has been eye-opening and made me question the whole situation. I truly thought I would marry this woman and settle down. Now, I'm left feeling dejected and a bit lost. I want nothing more than to be able to forgive her and try again, but deep down, I know this will rear its ugly head in the future. How can I forgive her? How could I ever trust her again? Is it even worth trying? Signed, Aching for the Enemy and Contemplating Clemency Amidst This Infidelity.
[00:27:53] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, I'm so sorry to hear about this. Finding out that a partner has cheated on you, especially when you really love and thought you'd marry is extremely painful. And what you're going through right now, you're right in the thick of the aftermath. That's a super intense and confusing place to be and emotions are running high. You're torn between protecting yourself and wanting to stay connected to your girlfriend. It's dramatic. It's messy. It's crazy-making. It really sucks. That things played out this way and my heart goes out to you, man.
[00:28:23] This conflict you're stuck in, "I'm angry at her, but I love her. I don't hate her, but I think I should. I want to get back together, but I can't trust her," all of that is super normal. Your head and your heart are all over the place. Things might feel that way for a little while as the dust settles, but you have touched on something very meaningful here, which is how you're responding to your girlfriend's pain. She's upset, she's apologetic, she's suffering, which is appropriate because, you know, she freaking cheated on you, bro. She banged her boss and lied about it and continues to lie about it. You don't talk to somebody's partner and then they say they, "Oh yeah, my partner told me they slept together." People sugarcoat the story, right? So he didn't say that it was worse than it was. You have to take the partner at the word and be like, "Oh, okay. He told her the, maybe not even the worst version. And it was worse than the version she told you."
[00:29:10] And by the way, coffees before work, I don't mean to be crass, but that definitely doesn't mean coffee before work. I mean, something else. I don't know if it's parking lot hand job or what, but it's definitely not coffee.
[00:29:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: They could have been caffeinating up.
[00:29:22] Jordan Harbinger: That's true. But is that it? Is that all that's up?
[00:29:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Different ways to get energy in the morning, for sure. But it's a bit sus even just to go to Starbucks four times a week before work with your boss.
[00:29:31] Jordan Harbinger: It's irresponsible financially, that's for sure. But look, you're watching her go through it, you're seeing a side of her she doesn't show very often, and that's been eye-opening. That's making you, as you said, question the whole situation. And that is what I am most interested in here.
[00:29:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:46] Jordan Harbinger: Why her pain, her frankly warranted and self-created pain, is having the effect of making you question whether you were right to say, "Hey, sorry, but this is wrong. You've hurt me in a profound way, and I don't know if we can be together."
[00:29:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:30:00] Jordan Harbinger: And to be clear, I'm not saying she's consciously doing this. It's not like a tactic or manipulative. I assume her suffering is genuine. I really don't know. But what I'm hearing is that her suffering is going through a few filters in you or flipping some switches and those filters are returning the result that you're saying, "Maybe I'm overreacting here. Maybe I'm being heartless. Maybe I just need to forgive her and give this another shot because watching somebody I love hurt this much is brutal." And that's a response, I would just pause and sit with that.
[00:30:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:30:31] Jordan Harbinger: Because again, your girlfriend's reaction, it is appropriate. It's healthy, it makes sense, she hurt you, she destroyed your relationship, and she knows that, she's ashamed, she's feeling guilty, she's scared to lose you, that's definitely really hard to watch, okay? In some twisted way, just hear me out here, you might even feel like you are the one that is making her suffer, which, for the record, you're not. I'll say it again. She cheated on you, not the other way around, but none of this means that you are wrong in pulling back and reassessing this relationship.
[00:31:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: I am so glad that you zeroed in on this, Jordan, because that's really the crux of his conflict. How her feelings seem to have a way of infecting his outlook on the situation. It's a very interesting co-production between the two of them. As confusing as the situation is, I do think your next move is actually pretty straightforward. I would take some time for yourself, take some time apart, dude. With every week that passes, things are going to become clearer. And once the intensity of these feelings ratchets down a little bit, you can start to pick them apart better. You can maybe have some conversations with your ex about why this happened and where this leaves you guys. You're going to be in a much better place to balance your feelings with her feelings. Also, this feeling of being dejected and feeling lost, that is also very hard. And I think you need to go through a phase of mourning, really, the relationship that you had, or the relationship you thought you had, and coming to terms with a great deal of uncertainty.
[00:31:58] Jordan Harbinger: Which actually might be one of the hardest parts of this for him, just accepting that there are a lot of unknowns ahead, and that's always scary.
[00:32:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's often the most terrifying part of a situation like this. So, once you go through that phase, then you can decide how to proceed. I think you know that an affair is a huge blow to any relationship. It always signals some more fundamental issues, maybe in the relationship, maybe in the party who cheated, possibly in the innocent party and how they respond and how they operate in the relationship or all of the above. But if there's a way forward for you guys, if that's ultimately what you want, then it'll require a lot of conversation, a lot of work, right? The kind of work you're probably best off doing in couples therapy because this stuff is so complex and it might take some time. And it'll definitely take a willingness on both of your parts.
[00:32:46] But I got to say, especially hers, because she generally doesn't wear her heart on her sleeve, which I think is an interesting detail, a willingness to acknowledge some very difficult material and to work through that with you. But you're going to have to see if you have it in you to truly forgive her. You know, for some people, an affair like this, unforgivable, right? It's just too damaging. For other people, depending on the circumstances, it can be a crisis that reveals some really important information, and it's an opportunity to dig into that information, maybe hit the reset button, and try things in a new way. But that's something you'll have to learn by exploring this both on your own and by talking with her.
[00:33:23] Jordan Harbinger: I agree, but honestly, Gabe, if he doesn't even want to try because something is irreversibly broken here—
[00:33:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:33:28] Jordan Harbinger: —I think that's fair too.
[00:33:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure.
[00:33:29] Jordan Harbinger: It's all fair. If it were me, I might be like, "Sorry, you ruined it. Peace. I'm done. I'm over it. I'm young. We don't have kids." Come on, man. It's really hard to forgive somebody for doing something like this.
[00:33:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:33:40] Jordan Harbinger: It's hard to trust somebody again. It just might not be worth trying.
[00:33:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: And listen, just to give you a little more perspective, I hope it's not too soon to say this to you. Maybe what I'm about to say will only make sense in another month or something, but at some point, in the near future, if you're not already there a little bit, you're going to look back at this and you're going to go, "Phew, man, that was horrible, but that kind of had to happen." I don't know why that's going to be the case for you. It's just always the case.
[00:34:06] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Maybe there was an issue you guys were avoiding. Maybe your girlfriend had some qualities or some conflicts to address in herself. Maybe she wants a different kind of relationship. I don't know. Maybe there's a communication problem that's surfaced after all of this and that actually runs a lot deeper. It's hard for us to know, but any number of things could be happening. I say this not to minimize what you're going through, it's objectively painful, but just to remind you that these things don't happen by accident. Something is always driving them. And that's something needs to come to the surface one way or the other if you want to have an honest relationship, if you want to have a well-functioning relationship. The price you pay for that coming to the surface is this pain that you're in. But the pain, I think, usually is a symptom of a very important process.
[00:34:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Well said, Gabe. Look, I've never been cheated on by somebody I was in love with and wanted to marry, but I've definitely had my heart broken personally or professionally if I can relate that way. And every time that has happened, I've always arrived at that place that you're describing, it's not immediate, but my only caveat is that getting to that place, it really does depend on how you navigate these transitions.
[00:35:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:12] Jordan Harbinger: If he uses this crisis to learn more about himself and his girlfriend, and his needs and how he operates in relationships and all that, then this breakup is going to be very fruitful whether they get back together or not. If buries his head in the sand, suppresses the pain, or quickly forgives her without doing any of the work. Then, he's going to miss that opportunity.
[00:35:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:35:31] Jordan Harbinger: But given his email, I feel like he's going to do this the right way. I know it's going to serve him really well. So that's our hope for you, man. Again, so sorry this happened. I know this is brutal and sucks. It completely sucks, but you're going to be okay. And there are some really important lessons and insights ahead. So take care of yourself and we're rooting for you. And I guess, yeah, time to reinstall Tinder or whatever. And maybe who knows, maybe you'll match with your girlfriend's boss's ex.
[00:35:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: That would be incredible.
[00:35:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Karmic justice.
[00:35:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Karmic justice. And just write us an email. We'll take that on the show.
[00:36:02] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly.
[00:36:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: I would love to hear about that.
[00:36:03] Jordan Harbinger: You can reach us email@example.com. Keep your emails concise. Try to use a descriptive subject line that makes our job easier. If you're finding dead squirrels in the mailbox, your stepdad's got your nudes, or you're trying to figure out what to do about your sociopathic pedophile grandfather, whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:36:26] Okay. What's next?
[00:36:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. I just learned that a law firm in Ohio had their internal network hacked, and my name and Social Security were among those acquired by a, quote-unquote, "unauthorized actor." The firm offered a 12-month membership to Experian Identity works as compensation which was part of an extremely generic information letter written in legalese. I don't know anything about this law firm. I've never worked with them before. I did attend college nearby, but that's the only remote connection I have to the area. I called them to ask how they obtained my social security number in the first place. The person answering the phone did not engage and just kept repeating the statement, "I've been advised not to answer any question on the matter. Please call Experian for more information." So I called Experian. They read me the letter I received in the mail verbatim for an escalation, and a few days later, they left me a voicemail informing me that I was either a former client of the firm, or that they had obtained my information by acquiring a smaller firm, neither of which is true. I called back and asked for it to be re-escalated, but I never received a follow-up. The firm won't answer my questions, but they also haven't provided Experian with the necessary information. All I know is that these people are supremely talented at CYA. Do I have any legal recourse here? Any steps I can take to learn how they got my information? How can you engage a lawyer on an issue when they're determined to protect themselves? Signed, An Unwitting Victim Trying to Figure Out How They Tricked Them.
[00:37:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, this is super annoying and, unfortunately, pretty common these days. Hackers are getting more and more brazen and creative. And a lot of cyber security just doesn't exist, right? Sadly, that means a lot of personally identifying information, PII, is ending up on the dark web. We really, as consumers, can't do a whole lot about that, but we did want to get a handle on your legal options here.
[00:38:15] So we reached out to the one and only Corbin Payne, attorney and friend of the show, and Corbin confirmed what you said that this firm's refusal to communicate fairly with you is clearly some good old-fashioned ass-covering. He obviously doesn't know how the firm got your information, but he did wonder if they could have gotten it from a client. Corbin has reviewed contracts on behalf of clients for the other party's social security number, date of birth, stuff like that. It's all right there on the page. So it's possible that your information fell into the firm's hands through a similar route. You know, an employer or something like that. That said, attorneys are bound by rules of professional conduct.
[00:38:51] So, I would Google Ohio's rules of professional conduct and see what they say. Corbin is not licensed in Ohio, so he can't opine on any specifics, but generally speaking, Corbin said that every state has a rule about client confidentiality. You might not have even been a client of the firm, but it's very possible that your information came to the firm through a client, and that information is out there. Corbin said he would want to know whether this was really the fault of the firm, or whether it was somehow out of their hands.
[00:39:20] And I can't imagine how that would be if they had your information, how it would be out of their hands, but who knows. Corbin also pointed out that a best practice for law firms is to have a suite of good security tools and protocols in place. If they had the best defense systems money can buy and they still got hacked, they probably didn't breach their professional responsibilities, but I know hackers look for easy targets. If they have some crackerjack security package, which is almost certainly the case, and somebody got in because they were just sleeping on this, then, as a general rule of thumb, they probably did breach their professional responsibilities. Also, there are rules in place regarding how lawyers communicate with a pro se party. In other words, somebody representing themselves without a lawyer. What they convey to you, their duties of candor, which basically means their obligation to tell you when something has gone wrong, stuff like that. I would also look up those rules to see if the firm has breached those as well.
[00:40:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, given all of that, Corbin's take is he doubts that it would be worthwhile to retain an attorney and personally sue these clowns, but he did say that a class action lawyer might be a good option to explore. Law firms are supposed to have malpractice insurance, so a cut of a reasonable settlement for this could be a just outcome for you and also for everybody else who was impacted. I am very curious to know how many other people were impacted. It could be dozens.
[00:40:36] Jordan Harbinger: It's everybody who the firm had on file, which is thousands of people.
[00:40:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: It could be a lot of people.
[00:40:41] Jordan Harbinger: And if it's a big firm, it's tens of thousands of people.
[00:40:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: The main challenge, though, will be getting a class action attorney interested. Corbin said that going up against a firm of other lawyers can be a little bit daunting for some attorneys. But this isn't his area of the law, so, you know, don't take that as gospel. Just book a few calls and see how different lawyers respond to the story. If dozens or hundreds of people were affected by this breach, and this law firm truly screwed this up, this could be a pretty good case.
[00:41:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, you're going to look for cyber security or privacy lawyers who've done class action lawsuits. And yes, it's daunting to go up against a firm of lawyers. These are also firms of lawyers that go up against other firms of lawyers, not necessarily as a client. But if you sue Procter & Gamble for this, they're hiring a big firm of lawyers, too. Maybe it's a little personal, because this is the firm who's the client, and they're going to represent themselves. Someone's up to this challenge, trust me. There's a lot of money when it comes to this kind of thing.
[00:41:33] Corbin did mention one other avenue to consider, and a much easier one, potentially, which is reporting this firm to Ohio's Board of Professional Conduct. In Corbin's view, this firm should at least be able to tell you whether you were a client of theirs, or some firm they acquired, or something along those lines. The fact that they haven't said anything about that struck him as odd and strikes me as odd as well. And if they're not playing ball in their communications, that could be an issue. If nothing else, Corbin said these complaints are supposed to trigger the board to send the firm notice that a complaint has been filed and that might be enough to kick them into action.
[00:42:07] We're going to link to Ohio's Board of Professional Conduct in the show notes for you. So there you have it. It sucks. It's maddening. You do have some options. And I know that this question was a little drier than our usual Feedback Friday smorgasbord of craziness, but you would not believe how many emails we get about this kind of thing.
[00:42:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:42:25] Jordan Harbinger: So many people are being hacked. Their data's gone online, compromised somehow. It's just a crappy part of modern life. So we thought we'd tackle this one with C Payne's help and, hopefully, help some other people listening right now who are dealing with breaches like this. So good luck.
[00:42:40] Gabriel, you know, it's a great use of that class action settlement money?
[00:42:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Is it the amazing products?
[00:42:44] Jordan Harbinger: It's the amazing products and services that support this show. Yep. We'll be right back.
[00:42:50] This episode is sponsored in part by SimpliSafe. Thinking about squeezing in one last summer escapade? Let's talk home security first. SimpliSafe isn't just about protection, it's about proactive defense. Picture this, a would-be intruder thinks they found an easy mark because you're not around, but bam, SimpliSafe's monitoring agents catch them in real time through your smart alarm indoor camera, issuing a warning loud and clear, basically harassing anybody who breaks in remotely from a place where they might not even be able to see. And I just can't wait until they start releasing footage of people breaking into other people's homes and having a panic attack because the camera/wall/television is talking to them. If you've had this happen to you, please send it to me. With SimpliSafe on the job, you're not just leaving your house, you're leaving a fortress. Go ahead and dive into that last summer sunset. And if there's an unexpected fire flood or other curve ball of life, simply safe to Live Guard Protection can see and determine the issue, sending help swiftly. Just basically making sure it's not a false alarm, so the cops don't take their time or the fire department actually shows up. No wonder SimpliSafe snagged the title of Best Home Security of 2023 from US News and World Report.
[00:43:52] Jen Harbinger: Right now, our listeners get a special 20 percent off any SimpliSafe system when you sign up for Fast Protect Monitoring. This huge offer is for a limited time only. So visit simplisafe.com/jordan. That's simplisafe.com/jordan. There's no safe like SimpliSafe.
[00:44:08] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Airbnb. Whenever we travel, we enjoy staying at Airbnbs. I love that many properties come with amenities like a kitchen, laundry machines, free parking that's not fricking 60 bucks a night. Having a backyard is nice, especially when we bring the kids around. We've stayed at an Airbnb in Kauai that had like an outdoor shower, so we built one at our own house as well. And we find that Airbnb hosts often go the extra mile to make our stay special. They provide local tips, personalized recommendations, sometimes a welcome basket. I know you guys are sick of my banana bread story, so I'll spare you on this one. There are a lot of benefits to hosting as well. You might have set up a home office. Now, you're back in the real office. You could Airbnb it, make some extra money on the side. Maybe your kid's heading off to college in the fall. You're going to have that empty bedroom. You could Airbnb it, make a little cash while they're away. Whether you could use a little extra money to cover some bills or for something a little more fun, your home might be worth more than you'd think. Find out how much at airbnb.com/host.
[00:45:05] Hey, you've heard me talk about this on the show before probably a few months back, but I wanted to highlight this once again. I got an online trainer and I was highly skeptical of online fitness training, but about six, seven months ago through some business connections, I decided to give online training a shot. This has turned my entire life around in such a good way. You know, like I said, I was skeptical of online training. This has really delivered. I'm more flexible, I can play on the floor with my son a bunch, I can run around a ton, I can lift heavy things, I don't get back pain, I fixed some knee and hip issues that were starting to come up, which turned out to be because of an imbalance. I feel much healthier, I look better, I mean it's just like, really just flipped everything around for me. And I highly recommend anybody that's been like, "Oh, maybe I should get in shape." It's not just about losing weight. It's about getting stronger, functional fitness. You know, if you're spooked to go to the gym or your workouts are half assed, get a trainer. I'm telling you. Uh, this company is called Wrkout, W-R-K-O-U-T.com, W-R-K-O-U-T.com. Usually you get a free trial, but I love this company. So now, if you tell them that I sent you, you'll get your first three sessions free and 20 percent off your first training package. Again, highly recommended, W-R-K-O-U-T.com. Tell them I sent you to get a few free training sessions. That's W-R-K-O-U-T. So work out without the first O.
[00:46:25] If you liked this episode of Feedback Friday and you found our advice valuable, I invite you to do what other smart and considerate and probably good-looking listeners do, which is take a moment and support our amazing sponsors. To learn more, all the deals, discount codes, and ways to support the show, those are going to be at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for any sponsor using the AI chatbot on the website or email me, you lazy SOB, email@example.com. I'll look up the code for you. If that's what it's going to take, I'm here for it. Thank you so much for supporting those who support us. I really do appreciate that.
[00:46:56] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:47:00] Okay, next up.
[00:47:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I grew up in a martial arts family business. After college, marriage, and a few kids, I came back for eight years to run my parents' dojo for them with plans of one day taking over. Near the end of that time, my stepdad battled skin cancer. He went to radiation treatments, alone, acting like it was no big deal. He was too proud to let my mom really be there for him, and I believe this is when their marriage problems began. Soon after he was cleared, COVID hit. We started losing students and money fast. I decided that it was best to resign and move my wife and kids out of the state to start fresh. A week later, my parents asked if I would consider returning to the dojo with nothing to lose, I said that I would stay if they gave me 100 percent of the business and finally retire. I offered to save the dojo, cover a few of their bills, and occasionally hire them for business coaching or teaching if they wanted to be involved. So my stepdad signed over his half of the business and proceeded to sell the house, split assets, and move to a tropical island without my mom.
[00:48:03] Jordan Harbinger: Whoa.
[00:48:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Our family was devastated, and the students were shocked. But we covered for him, saying that it was part of his cancer recovery journey. I decided to keep my mom on as a partner since she was always the brain behind the scenes anyway. And I stopped calling my stepdad. Slowly, we rebuilt the business and proved that we didn't need him to succeed. Two years later, he moved back to town. When people asked him what happened, he said that my mom and I stole the business from him in a weak state. That kicked off a wave of staff resignations and membership cancellations. He began recruiting high-ranking students and even my instructors to train with him at a competitor's dojo. My stepdad now says that I owe him six figures. Without that, he says I won't get my dad back and my kids won't get their grandpa back. He also says that he'll continue to do everything in his power to harm my business. I offered to pay him to teach or even get a handsome commission on students he recruits. But he doesn't want to work for me in any capacity. Up until now, I've kept my side of the agreement and continued to pay his bills every month.
[00:49:05] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:49:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: I haven't been a perfect son, I'm sure, but I have kept the door open to a better relationship. Do I cut my stepdad off completely? Do I pay him this money? Do I stage an intervention and get a mental help? Signed, A Sensei Trying Not to Give Way to this Foul Play in a Family Melee.
[00:49:24] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. What a mess. This is all really unfortunate, especially because so much of it, I mean pretty much all of it, sounds completely unnecessary. I know we're only going on your story here, but you sound like a pretty chill, thoughtful, responsible dude, I mean, humble, too. Look, what you did for your family business, how generous you've been with everyone here, too generous, in my opinion. I'm finding it hard to imagine that you did something egregious to provoke your stepdad in this way.
[00:49:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: What could it be? I don't understand. His stepdad agreed to sign over his half of the business to him. He didn't steal it out from under him. This was all on the up from the sound of it. Plus, to your point, he's gone above and beyond in helping this guy. He did not owe that to him at all.
[00:50:01] Jordan Harbinger: Which is why I'm honestly mystified by this dude's antics. A big part of me wonders if his stepdad just knows he can get even more money out of him if he continues to make his life difficult. So he's using every tactic at his disposal, which, from what we're hearing, is basically threats, attacks against the business and emotional manipulation.
[00:50:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which is very telling, right? He's not going, "Hey, the terms of this deal were unfair or you didn't honor our agreement. You need to make things right." He's going, "I don't like that you're running the business better without me, so you have to write me a check for $200,000 or you won't get your dad back."
[00:50:33] Jordan Harbinger: Right. "I'm not going to be your dad."
[00:50:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: "Your kids won't have their grandpa around." That's a different thing.
[00:50:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Also, "I'm making it my life's mission to destroy your business." First of all, pure sour grapes. And I'm very familiar with this type of situation, given what happened to me when I split off from my last podcast and company.
[00:50:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:50:48] Jordan Harbinger: They didn't give a crap until we were successful, and then it was lawsuit galore. And it happens with petty assholes, man, which your stepdad definitely is.
[00:50:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: And meanwhile, our boy here is still offering him a job, he's still offering him a great salary if he brings students in, and the stepdad is going, "Nah, I just want the lump sum and I want you to fail."
[00:51:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, this isn't business, it's emotional warfare, it's extortion, it's dumb, it's petty, and it's boring.
[00:51:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, I don't mean to diminish the stakes of this because I know that this business is very meaningful to him and his family and I respect that, but let's just remember, we are talking about a family-owned karate dojo. This isn't succession. There aren't billions of dollars at stake here. The stepdad is going to war over a place where they're teaching classes and they're handing out purple belts. I mean, again, I'm not like diminishing what they've built. For anybody who doesn't know I did karate for 10-plus years and it was a huge part of my life.
[00:51:38] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:51:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: So I love this world and I respect it. But come on man, like relax a little bit.
[00:51:42] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know man. You don't watch Cobra Kai. You don't know how serious they take the all-valley tournament either, clearly.
[00:51:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: I haven't seen that show, but everybody says it's so good. Is that true?
[00:51:52] Jordan Harbinger: It's really good nostalgia but, yeah, there's like full-grown adults who are like doing crazy things and it's like, "If I win, you never teach karate again." It's like, okay, relax, dude. This is like North Hollywood, California, in the valley. Just relax, move to Sherman Oaks. You'll be fine.
[00:52:10] I did forget about that. You're a black belt, yeah?
[00:52:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: I am, yeah. I am.
[00:52:14] Jordan Harbinger: That's so wild. I feel like I only found that out a few years ago and I remember being shocked then too.
[00:52:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: It was such a big part of my life. I was like competing every weekend. I was nationally ranked at a few points. Like it was a whole thing.
[00:52:25] Jordan Harbinger: Ranked in what?
[00:52:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sparring.
[00:52:26] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, okay.
[00:52:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was actually pretty good. I was, at one point, I want to say it was 2003, I think I was second in the country.
[00:52:33] Jordan Harbinger: No big deal. Wow, this is like blowing my mind, how you went from throwing badass roundhouse kicks to the dome to sipping Chagaccinos at Cafe Gratitude. That is an absolute mystery to me how that happened.
[00:52:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: How did you know my favorite beverage at the Cafe Gratitude? That's so weird.
[00:52:48] Jordan Harbinger: You don't do it anymore, obviously.
[00:52:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: What Chagaccino or do karate?
[00:52:52] Jordan Harbinger: No, that's in full swing. I mean martial arts.
[00:52:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, I stopped. I stopped training when I went to college. I just got interested in other stuff.
[00:52:58] Jordan Harbinger: Got it.
[00:52:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Anyway, I just say that because like I didn't mean to sh*t on this guy's dojo. It's an incredible—
[00:53:02] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:53:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: These businesses can be great and I really loved martial arts. I just mean that the stepdad is going to war over something that feels very not worth it in my opinion.
[00:53:10] Jordan Harbinger: Look, Cobra Kai never dies. That's the point of this tangent. Back to the other black belt in this story, not to be callous here, but it's not like this guy went through six months of chemo and was on the brink of death and our friend here shoved a contract in front of him in a hospital and made him sign over the business when the morphine kicked in.
[00:53:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point.
[00:53:27] Jordan Harbinger: His stepdad had skin cancer I'm sure that's horrible for many people, but he himself said it wasn't a big deal. Then, he ditches his wife, I don't know, has an immediate midlife crisis, leaves town and goes to a place with more sunlight. I can't really put that together myself, but that's neither here nor there. I don't see how our friend here conned him when he was vulnerable or whatever.
[00:53:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:53:46] Jordan Harbinger: This is it's just a total fiction. That is designed to destroy your business because of his ego. So, do you cut your stepdad off completely? I mean, yeah. I would also sue his ass, to be honest, but that's just me. There's tortious interference, he's messing with your business, he's making up lies, which are potentially defamatory. I definitely wouldn't keep paying his bills if this is the approach he wants to take. You've been more than fair with him, to the point where I feel like this arrangement is unfair to you, and he's not engaging in good faith. So I think your stepdad has already effectively made this decision for you. You can keep the door open to a better relationship if he approaches you in a very different spirit. But I wouldn't hold my breath for that. This guy is a piece of work.
[00:54:28] And should you pay him the money? Hell, no. You guys negotiated fairly. He agreed to sign over his half of the business for what it was worth at that time. Now, he regrets it. That's his problem. What he's doing is essentially extortion. Do not capitulate to him. If you do, he's going to ask for more, he's not going to undo all the damage. And here's the thing about egotistical liars, he's not going to go to all those students and all those other people and be like, "Yeah, I made the whole thing up, my bad."
[00:54:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:54:53] Jordan Harbinger: He's just going to double down or ignore the problem. He's not going to repair the damage to your business once he gets a check. Anyone in this position has seen this movie before.
[00:55:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Although the fact that you're even entertaining paying him this money is interesting to me, maybe you're just a very generous person, but maybe being generous is also a way to keep the peace and avoid conflict, and that's something to consider.
[00:55:15] Jordan Harbinger: Like I alluded to earlier, I do wonder if this stepdad knows that his stepson is maybe an easy target. He's a guy that maybe he's always been able to sort of bully everybody to get what he wants. Sensei Kreese over here, he's just going to get whatever he wants. Strike first, whatever it is. Maybe he just knows he can get something out of you, which again, look at the sympathies he's playing on. I'm guessing he knows exactly which pressure points to hit, and that might be why it's so hard for our friend here to stand up for himself.
[00:55:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree completely. So do you stage an intervention and get a mental help? No. First of all, not going to work. I don't think the guy is going to respond to an intervention from the guy who, quote-unquote, stole his business from him and who is now his competitor. More importantly, not your job, dude. All you need to do is get clear with yourself about what you can tolerate from this guy, what kind of relationship you want to have with him, which is not much of a relationship at all from the sound of it. I think it's pretty clear that this relationship is severely damaged, which is very sad to me because I know you guys were family, but a lot of this was his choice, and that's just his stuff to work out, not yours.
[00:56:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, this is a no-brainer for me. From here on out, focus on yourself and the dojo, keep building a great business, he can whine and threaten and talk crap about you till the cows come home, and he'll probably continue to do that as long as you ignore his baseless demands and continue to crush it. But that's your reward here. You're doing a great job of running the business with your mom.
[00:56:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:56:38] Jordan Harbinger: That is driving him crazy. That's why he's attacking the business. He's not calling you with another sob story. He's not harassing your mom or whatever. He wants you to fail. This guy won't be happy until you fail, and/or he gets even more money from you, ideally, causing you to fail. That kind of tells you all you need to know. And I'm sorry things played out this way, but it sounds like you are better off. This a-h*le split the assets, and he thought he was doing it on his terms, and he was going to ride off into the sunset and be the happy one, and now he's the miserable S-O-B. That's what happened. Be grateful that this crap didn't happen before your parents got divorced, or he would be making this so much worse for you and your mom. You have options now. And I also hope your mom doesn't take this scumbag back. I doubt she will, but who knows? He knows what buttons to press. Tell him to fricking screw off to Tahiti or wherever he thought the grass was greener. He made his bed, time to sleep in it.
[00:57:29] All right, next up.
[00:57:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I joined my current company many years ago, largely because of its values, and I've been eagerly awaiting the day I can step up to the plate and make a difference for the people who need it most by leveraging my abilities and my passion for people. But I've been in my newly promoted role for almost a year now, and very little has changed. Also, the founder recently passed away, and we've been restructuring our labor model. I'm seeing this organization slowly turning into another device that squeezes its stakeholders and employees to the point that they have little to nothing left. I feel defeated. It seems no matter where I go or what I do, the bottom line always trumps morality. If profit margins were to decrease ever so slightly in order to provide a few more perks or stability to our people, heads would roll. Do you believe that there's a way for an organization to strike a balance between give and take? Or should I simply give up and become another cog in the machine? Signed, Confronting the Schism in Late Capitalism.
[00:58:28] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, yes. The wheels of capitalism grinding all of us down. I think most people listening right now can relate to how you're feeling, right? Hashtag America, et cetera. It can be a bit depressing and demoralizing sometimes. So, I get why this is troubling you, I mean, it's greatest engine of upward mobility in history is capitalism, but yeah, I mean, to each one of us on any given day, it can be kind of a pain.
[00:58:49] So, first of all, let's acknowledge something important. All companies, even the nice ones, even the cool ones, they all exist to turn a profit. That is why they are companies and not hobbies or co-ops. In the system that we operate in, the bottom line always ultimately wins out. Profits always trump morality. And although, look, we can debate what that morality really is reasonable. People can disagree about what a company owes its people. That's another conversation. Now, there are obviously still better and worse companies out there, so obviously, a company's values are quite important. But depending on how cynical you are, you could argue that the nice companies out there are only nice because it makes them more successful. Google is not feeding all of its tens of thousands of employees for free, just because they want everybody to have a full belly. They do that because it keeps you at work and it keeps you productive and it keeps you happy and it makes it harder to quit when they're getting all these perks, you can go to the gym. And there's a trainer there and whatnot. It's a lifestyle thing.
[00:59:46] But look, it sounds especially challenging. You say that it's squeezing its stakeholders and employees. People are burned out. The higher-ups aren't open to giving people more perks or stability. Maybe your company really is stingier and more ruthless than the other ones because of management issues. But then you need to decide if this place is for you. It sounds to me like you have a strong moral compass. You're passionate about people. The whole reason you wanted to get promoted in the first place was so you could make a difference for other employees. You sound like a really thoughtful leader, and that is great. But that lens, that can make it very hard to work in an environment like this. So, it might be time to consider if there's a company whose ethos meshes better with you. And maybe that's a place that would also reward a leader like you.
[01:00:30] Yeah, I do believe there's a way for an organization to strike a balance between give and take. Those companies definitely exist. And the ones that truly live their values, they love to let people know it. And they love to recruit people who share those values. But, I do think, just as a practical matter, that you need to balance your idealism with a healthy acceptance of life under capitalism.
[01:00:53] And I know I'm talking weird now because who uses the word capitalism like three times in three paragraphs?
[01:00:57] But, even these magical, "we live our values" type of companies, they still want to survive, they still have to make money, they have to answer to shareholders, stakeholders, I promise you even the most hippy-dippy, Ben & Jerry, progressive, generous companies out there, as soon as things get tough, they got to cut costs. They got to let people go because they got to do whatever they have to do to survive. Them's the rules, and they are the best rules that we have right now.
[01:01:22] So, in a way, yes, you could give up and become another cog in the machine because we all are. But that doesn't mean you have to put up with an actual toxic company, or that you have to be miserable, or that you can't find a way to make a difference for people and create meaning within a flawed system if you view it that way. I say be passionate, push for change, but man, be realistic too and maybe start looking for an employer that does its best for its people while also doing right by itself.
[01:01:49] Or if you think there's a conversation to be had in your company, maybe you can help your bosses see that treating people better would actually make the company more successful. There's retention and performance bumps to that stuff. That's a great act of leadership. At the very least, it'll be an interesting experiment, and if your bosses don't even want to hear it, then you can feel even better about kicking rocks and moving on. Either way, you win.
[01:02:10] And on that note, it's time to accept my own role as a powerless cog in the great soul-crushing machine of American capitalism! And say that I hope you all enjoyed the show. And I want to thank everybody who wrote in and everybody who listened.
[01:02:21] Go back and check out the episodes with Andy Clark on our brain, and our brain as a prediction machine, and Marc Andreessen on how AI will definitely, for sure, not kill everyone on planet Earth. If you haven't checked out those episodes yet, I highly recommend that you do.
[01:02:34] The best things that have happened in my life and business have come through my network. The circle of people that I know, like, and trust. You can get jobs better through your network. You can develop your own business through your network. You can even just have a happiness dividend. through your network if you're retired or you're a teacher and you feel like you don't need this, just go give it a shot. The course is free, jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig that well before you're thirsty and enjoy reconnecting with people and systemizing it, not having to think about it all the time. Again, jordanharbinger.com/course.
[01:03:02] And if you haven't signed up yet, our relaunch newsletter is Wee Bit Wiser, it's a bite-sized gem from a past episode from me to you, delivered to your inbox. If you want to keep up with the wisdom of our 800-plus episodes and apply it to your life, I invite you to come check it out. It is, again, new and I love your feedback, jordanharbinger.com/news.
[01:03:20] Show notes and transcripts on the website at jordanharbinger.com. Advertisers, deals, discounts, and ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals or ask the AI chatbot at jordanharbinger.com/ai. I'm at @JordanHarbinger — I say my name way too much during these shows — at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:03:44] Are we going to call it X ever? I feel like we should just never ever switch.
[01:03:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: I have no plans to do that.
[01:03:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I refuse.
[01:03:50] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and, of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own and I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Ditto Corbin Payne, who is a lawyer by the way, a real one. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love, and if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, I hope you apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you learn, and we'll see you next time.
[01:04:24] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show, where the guest who committed a white-collar crime went to federal prison, and now advises lots of people that you've heard on the news.
[01:04:33] Justin Paperny: I'm going to speak openly about breaking the law. I'm going to speak openly about living in denial. I'm going to speak openly about what I've learned from this experience. I'm going to speak openly how I was a privileged, rich kid who had all the breaks in life. And I deserve to be scrutinized. I deserve to be punished. And I'm going to talk about how I'm going to climb back up.
[01:04:50] I knew that it was wrong. I knew that while I was sitting in a meeting and someone was being told that a certain return existed, I knew that it was a lie and people were hurt as a result of that. Even though in my case, all of the money was repaid, all the victims got their money back. Some of the humanity was stripped away.
[01:05:06] It comes back to intent. The government doesn't care. It doesn't matter if you were swept into this. They think you broke the law. They have a narrative and they are out to punish. And they love, they love cooperators. I broke the law. I cheated. I created victims. It is a lifelong stigma. You know, it takes some time. It takes some peppering and understanding of reading and learning and thinking.
[01:05:27] You've got to find that perspective. You've got to become grateful for what's left versus all that's lost. And that was really a big transformation. For me, focusing on what was left, my family and my mind, and a willingness to work hard and be competitive versus obsessing over everything that had crumbled down.
[01:05:43] The hardest part isn't prison. It's frankly the easiest part. There is a value in being in prison and losing everything. There is a freedom that comes with it. I didn't have a career to return to. I didn't have money to return to. I didn't have a relationship to return to. Everyone has to find value in the climb. I found great value in climbing back to a sense of respectability.
[01:06:04] Jordan Harbinger: To hear why Justin Paperny says his 18 months behind bars was one of the best experiences of his life, check out episode 226 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.