Speakers

Greg McKeownJordan Harbinger


Transcript

Jordan Harbinger      

You’d mentioned that an answer I gave was pretty essentialist and because you’d asked me to do something, and it doesn’t matter what it was, but I said, I don’t do that. And he said, Oh, that’s different than No. And I’m curious why me saying I don’t do that is different than no, I have my own theories. But I’m curious what you think? 

Greg McKeown      

Well, I think the difference is to say no to a request is sounds like I could do this. I do it under many circumstances. But for you, the answer’s no.  

Jordan Harbinger    

Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too. 

Greg McKeown    

So it emphasizes the personal rejection, because you’re not giving any other explanation. And even if you say, Well, no, because I have this other commitment, it still implies, well, there are many situations, I would still say yes, but if you use the phrase, like you just did, which is I just don’t do that, then you’re, it’s identity. It’s there’s no circumstances in which that would work. So it’s not personal to you. It’s a strategic, it’s like a strategic reality. That that we just, we just need to work around that, that, that is that is identity based, rather than circumstance based. 

Jordan Harbinger      

You have to make it a part of your identity. Because the second you go, we’ll all do this for this person, but not for you. Then the other person says, Oh, I guess I’m not as close of a friend, or I guess this is only something that certain people get, and it becomes like this offensive upfront or a challenge for them to overcome. But if I just don’t do something full stop, like you said, it’s an identity thing. And it also not only does it sort of invite less conflict, but it’s good for me as the as the owner of that identity, to sort of reinforce that about myself. And I also don’t have to think hard about the decision, because the answer is a unit exactly. 

Greg McKeown      

it simplifies the process for you. But it’s also an empowering way of saying it, there’s a similar phrase that you can use in a family with children, which is Oh, well, so and so’s family is doing this, as soon as this family can use that video game, and they can do it and, and you can fight every one of those battles. Or you can say, well, in our family, we do this. And that’s it, you to fight it, then you’re fighting who we are, which is, which is a completely different thing. And you’re not going to budget because this is we thought through this, and this is who we are. So this is how we, how we behave. And so I think it is a distinctive thing, not the No, but we just we just don’t do that. That’s not who we are. So as COVID has happened, and as I see everybody struggling with 

Jordan Harbinger    

Waiting for actions when they’re an attorney? 

Greg McKeown      

Right and, and what took us several years to get adjusted to people had to adjust within five minutes. And I just feel like, I just feel for everybody having to done that. Because that’s not really how change is optimally done right to suddenly cramming everything together, everything integrated, everything converging. Must, has been, of course, enormously stressful for people but it also has been an opportunity, I think, for people to look at their own life, their own home, whether they want to or not, you have to confront it, you have to see how it is. And if you have a strained relationship, or many strained relationships, you are facing that. And it’s probably not very pretty. 

Jordan Harbinger      

It’s you’re absolutely right. And I look at working from home as the same thing. I’ve been working from home since 2007, or something like that. I used to be a wall street attorney, which is like the opposite of entrepreneurial thought and working from home because you’re always in the office, and you’re always doing something that has just come down from three, three layers above you. And for me, it took me multiple years to become an effective work from home type.  

Greg McKeown      

What were your transitions, what things did you concretely do differently when you went from being attorney in Wall Street to entrepreneur at home? What did you learn that worked? 

Jordan Harbinger    

So first of all, I started realizing that everybody who sort of tells you how to run a business, from an office, especially back then didn’t necessarily know they just knew how to run hierarchical organizations and they weren’t necessarily going to be able to teach you how to be more productive and then all the people that were teaching you how to be more productive. Were kind of more concerned with all of these little hacks and tricks to get you to do more things in less time. Which is actually not the way to go either these days in my opinion and yours to judging by your entire body of work and creating and so for me it was like reading sales books and when they go set up your entire week in advance if by Sunday night, you’re about to go to bed and your entire week isn’t planned out an hour long blocks or whatever, you don’t go to bed you plan it out. So I started doing that. And now I plan everything in my day and 15-minute blocks. Not that each task is 15 minutes long. But the calendar happens to work well in 15-minute blocks. So I’ll have like my lunches on there, my workout time is on there, my shower is down there, my time with my family is on there. And that’s what default fills empty time, by the way, because again, I have a 14-month-old. So if I have something that cancels, I don’t go, let me fart around on YouTube. It’s like where’s the kid, or going for a walk, planning out phone calls, making sure that everything is scheduled in advance, and also I refused to be reactive. And that might be obvious for a lot of folks. But what was really helpful is, let’s say that I get a phone call at 1pm. And there’s nothing in my 1pm calendar slot. I don’t pick up the phone, because I haven’t talked to that person in a while. I send them a message and it says, Hey, it looks like you call does everything, okay? And if they don’t say I’m in jail, come bail me out. You live in San Francisco still right? Then I just ignore, you know, whatever that sort of message was, and I say, Let’s catch up on and I have a block of time elsewhere in the week. Does any of these times work for you? Yeah, great. call you on Saturday at 1030 in the morning, and I’m on my walk, and I’m doing my phone calls. Because the second you start reacting to one thing, you think that call is going to take 1520 minutes, it ends up taking 45 minutes, you’re pushing your next meeting, that ends up pushing your next thing, pretty soon you can’t work out or you’ve missed the walk with your kid or you are late for dinner. And it’s just that reactance will it’s like a virus that can that is highly contagious during your day. The second you react to one or two things, you even if you had nothing in that slot, you have destroyed the mindset that you are in charge of your own time. 

Greg McKeown    

I just think that’s so true and powerful. you’re describing in a highly intentional and structured approach to that intentionality. So you’re saying once a week, you are scheduling every part of your week ahead of time. Yeah. When the unexpected things come in, you still respond by saying, let’s do this at this time. You’re not just picking up the phone responding because that person happens to have called you or you happen to have an idea to call someone, you’re saying you still translate that to a specific time on the calendar is that we? 

Jordan Harbinger    

Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. And now it ends up being my calendars probably 95% full and again, by full, I don’t mean busy, there’s plenty of times it says do nothing or like, watch a movie with your wife that’s also in there. And people go, Oh, I don’t need that. I remember to do that. Okay, do you because it doesn’t matter if you remember to do it, it’s whether or not you have planned the time to do it. And if you don’t do this, I’ve never met anybody who does it successfully, where they go, Oh, I just remember the five things I have to do this week, or I’ll just figure out when to do this tomorrow. It doesn’t work. Because the reason I plan everything out in blocks is because I have a pretty good idea of how long things are going to take. And if I’m wrong about that, I can move a very important task, I can continue it later or move something else. And if it’s if it’s something that is taking less time, then great. Now, like I said before, I’ll go where’s my kid? Oh, he’s upstairs with his aren’t playing with finger paints. I’m gonna go join them. You know, because I have 30 minutes because this thing ended early. I will do that. What you have to be careful of doing is people go, Oh, yeah, I’m just gonna start doing some email. And then it’s like, oh, I’ve got to call that guy back. So you get on the phone, you do that and then you go, Wow, I can’t believe it’s almost lunchtime. That never happens to me. The reason is because I start in the morning by going okay, I have to take a shower done. All right, I’ve got a video call with Greg McKeown done, okay, now I’ve got a lunch unit, or our half hour or whatever done. Now I’ve got to clear out this particular part of my inbox books ran out of time doesn’t matter done, move on to my next thing. And if something happens, where I go, I just need a nap, I’m burned out, I take that block. And I don’t just say I’ll figure out when to do that. I have to drag that block on the calendar with the mouse to another part of that calendar. And it’s still an hour long. So if I take a three hour break in the middle of the day, and I’m dragging things to later in the day, or dragging things to other days in the week, I don’t just go I don’t end up with that to do list that says like write book as item number 72. And there’s no time allotted for it. And I don’t end up with 30 things to do on a Tuesday when I have time to realistically do eight of those things. That’s how overwhelm starts. And whenever I go and talk to my friends who are like how do you get more done in a week than I do in a month I always go show me your calendar and either they don’t even have one or it’s got like four things on it’s like call Jan. All you have to do tomorrow was call Jan well and I have to get to zero inbox. And I got to take my kids to school and I’ve got to make dinner and I’ve also got to set up my home studio. Oh, and I’ve got to take the TV back to Best Buy cause it’s broken, and I go, where’s all that stuff? Because by the time you get in your car and go to Best Buy and take your kids to school, it’s 1pm. You’re not doing any of this. And they go, Oh, yeah, that’s probably why things get backed up to 9pm. And I’m like, and then when are you spending time with your family? And if you have everything planned, then you’re done when you’re done. Like Cal Newport, you know him, right? Yeah, he like he has that sort of thing at five or six, where he just says out loud shut down completes, or something along those lines, you get to do that. But if everything’s just been kicked down, you end up at the end of the day, going, dammit, I didn’t even get through 12 of the things on my list of 20 things to do. What a non-productive day. So you feel like garbage, but you’re also exhausted, and you’ve just wasted and done a bunch of inefficient things that weren’t prioritized. That’s the other thing about being reactive, you don’t prioritize things, you just do things as they come in. So you’re like, I’ve got to take this TV back, and I’ve got to mail this thing. And pretty soon you realize, I did a I did 18 things. 16 of them were things that I didn’t even have to do at all this month, or myself personally. And the other three things that were supposed to get done that didn’t get done, are like, call your mother and spend time with family. Write a chapter in your book or part of a chapter in a book and create a podcast, none of that got done. So all of your non-essential work got prioritized because it was urgent because you screwed up your calendar, you screwed up your priorities, you screwed up your planning. So all those non urgent, or urgent but not important stuff got done. None of your important stuff got done, because you just ran around putting out fires 

Greg McKeown      

What what’s your weekly planning process? It sounds like that key for you to be able to maintain control of your calendar in the way you’re describing.  

Jordan Harbinger      

So first things first is every Monday, I have a meeting with my assistant who actually is my wife, before I just had a different assistant. But now it’s like, my wife works with me because she was an accountant. She’s like, it’s not fair. You get to stay home. And I was like, I’ll show you how fun it is. You get to work with me now. You’ll regret that. 

Greg McKeown      

So you have a meeting with Jen, at what time? 

Jordan Harbinger      

At like, let’s see this week, it ended up being I can open up my account. I can open up my calendar and actually show you this because that’s generally easier. It looks like it was at 1pm on Monday and, or last Monday. 

Greg McKeown      

Okay, and you spent how long doing it? 

Jordan Harbinger      

Half an hour. It’s actually quite easy because I don’t have, I don’t have a blank week. Right. I have a week that has several podcast interviews for the Jordan Harbinger show already scheduled. So it’s like I’ve got Lieutenant General HR McMaster on Tuesday, I’ve got a jewel thief on Friday, I’ve got my feedback Friday advice show where I give advice to listeners on Wednesday, those were at those times, I’ve got my lunch blocks in there. And then I go, hey, let’s on Thursday, go out to lunch, because there’s outdoor dining, and we can it’s like really safe. There’s no one at this restaurant, let’s drag that down and make that two hours instead of a half hour or an hour. That gives us plenty of time. And I start to populate things in there, like workouts go in there. So I’m really on Monday during that planning meeting, all those recurring things and all those things that got scheduled three months ago, those are already populating it. So I’m not planning a 40 Hour Workweek, I’m planning the remaining 10 hours that I have, or the remaining 20 hours or whatever it is, of time that isn’t already spoken for. That’s what’s going on. So it’s pretty quick actually. 

Greg McKeown      

Well, it makes sense to me. Because you’ve designed somewhat of an ideal week for yourself, you’ve been really careful about how much time you want to spend on various activities personally and professionally. So as you come into each week, that basic design already exists. You’re just trying to say, well, which of these things do I want to shift this week or what changes have happened, what things got canceled, what things got moved around, and you’re just updating your ideal plan, rather than creating it from scratch?  

Jordan Harbinger    

Exactly. It’s more maintenance. I’m not like you said, I’m not looking at this blank slate and going what wondrous things do I want to do this week, because that’s a big task. And it would take way more than half an hour. Which means the reason I keep the planning meeting to half an hour is because if I were to create a plan from scratch, it would take 60 to 90 minutes. 

Greg McKeown      

You’re saying if you do it and you do it in a small increment, you’ll actually face it and do it. Rather than trying to do something that’s longer overwhelming, then you abandon it for something easier, more trivial, whatever. 

Jordan Harbinger    

Exactly like if you’re writing a book which you’ve done, you don’t have write book and then March is blocked off, right? You don’t have write book and then like Thursdays blocked off you have I assume you have writing blocks that are I don’t know one to three hours long, whatever you sort of have figured out your brain can do and they’re probably in the mornings or whenever you feel most good Creative slash caffeinated. And they go either every day, every working day, or most working days. And they probably don’t necessarily end except for vacations that you’ve chosen in advance. So I just get through what I can, and I’m done. But it’s all blocked off in time, and delineated.  

Greg McKeown      

You’re again describing a highly structured approach to controlling your life and keeping what’s important to you actually, front and center. But what do you say to mother, father, they’ve got their children, they’re at home, they’ve got any number of interruptions, any number of uncertainties that come at them, you have multiple children, lots of different needs, you’re describing, I think, a process that feels inflexible, or relatively inflexible, you talk to me about that? 

Jordan Harbinger      

So I’d love to address that. So first of all, I will put this caveat in there that I, my kid is 14 months old. And I can’t begin to say this is how you do things with kids, because I have 14 months of experience and one kid and you have like four, and they’re teenagers, so it’s different. So there are gonna be a lot of people that go, you don’t know what you’re talking about and I will accept that, if they are convinced that they are right. What I will say is, I get a lot of interruptions as well from other things that are not kids. I’ve got family members that live in the house. I live with other family members right now, because we’re building a house next door, we have construction on that house. So people come in and ask things, they need things, they need us to look at the plant does the drain go here, you know, I can’t go let me get back to you on Thursday. In the meantime, just don’t install any plumbing, like that’s not going to work. So I have similar problems like that. Maybe fewer temper tantrums depends on my father in law’s feeling that day, but like, I will just move things around. If somebody comes in the middle of my email block, then perhaps I don’t get to finish that particular task. Or I put in a 30 minute, my wife makes fun of me for doing this. But I’ll put in like a 30-minute thing, little calendar entry in a block. And it says, like, I get distracted taking out the garbage and talking to the neighbor. And she’s like, why did you put that in your calendar? What’s wrong with you? Are you that OCD? And the answer is no, I want to look back at this and go where were my inefficiencies last week. So I almost will do a post mortem. And I’ll go wow, last week felt like crap or yesterday felt horrible. What happened? I got distracted for 90 minutes. Can I avoid that? Not really, without being antisocial or not really without holding up the construction Is that something I can avoid in the future? If yes, figure out system to do so. If no, then forgive yourself and move on stop beating yourself up for like talking with the nice old lady next door who just wants to be friends with their new neighbors? Don’t do that to yourself. 

Greg McKeown      

So you’re saying that you would if I looked at your calendar for last week, I would be looking at a detailed account of what actually happened, not just what was planned? 

Jordan Harbinger      

Right, yes. And that’s important to do, because a lot of people will look at my calendar, and they’re like, yeah, you could really order this differently. And I go, Well, I could, but that would be rewriting history. In many ways. If a call goes long, I drag that thing out. And people will get these calendar invites. And they go, did you change the meeting time that we just had to go? Yeah, we started 15 minutes late. And we ended 15 minutes later. And I changed it to reflect that. Like why and then I have to have this little conversation with them and half the it’s my idea of converting people to my, to my system here. But I will add those things in a because otherwise you have no real historical record you. That’s the journal entry, where someone goes, today was great, the sun was shining, and everything was nice. And you read that, and you go this person never had a problem in their life. How educational is that? It’s not, I want to be able to look at last month and go look at this mess of everything that happened. Okay. That’s how I learned things like turn your phone off during the day. Hey, can I have the hospital call you and you tell me if I need to do anything? And my wife who’s like, again, my assistant will say yeah, sure, no problem. So now people who need business stuff, they don’t even have my phone number like friends like you will have it you can shoot me a text or an email or call me. But somebody who’s just like trying to plan something or you know, the hospital that’s calling to tell me my COVID results are negative. They just don’t even get to interrupt me. They don’t have my information. They only have the gatekeeper. So I want a real accounting of where the time went. Is it possible for me to work out in 15 minutes? No, it feels like it is because I work out from home, but it just never happens. I’m tired. I want to rescue another minute between each set, I need the half an hour and if I don’t drag the calendar entries to expand and be a true accounting of that I will never actually be able to diagnose this problem. I will always lie to myself and tell me that this call is going to take half an hour and this lunch is going to take 20 minutes and this workout is going to take 40 I will also I will continue to lie to myself on this, I have proof to the contrary. 

Greg McKeown      

I’ve recommended many times to people that they do a time log for a day or for a week and just show what they’re using their time for as a type of mirror for their life. You’re using the calendar as a perpetual time log. So you’re not just using it as a forward looking tool, you’re also looking at it as a learning tool. Yes. So that when you’re reflecting on how you’re using your time, you’re not guessing. You literally can show me sounds like to the minute, or at least to the 15 minutes, yes, where you are spending this precious life. I think a lot of people don’t have anything close to that specificity. And so they don’t know. Yeah, they did. They just know their life feels reactive. I think some people listening to this will say, Well, this is fine for you. And we you Eugen is your wife, and also your assistant, but what about her life? How does she prioritize her life? Does she use a system like this? Is her life in balanced? Or does she just enable your life to be simple and in balance and prioritized? 

Jordan Harbinger      

So it’s a little bit of both. She does use the system, but she’s not as rigorous as I am. And I, it’s, as you can imagine, there’s a lot of her going, I didn’t even have time to do this today. And I go, Well, if you just If only you’d listen to me more, and it’s a great way to get a like a lasagna thrown in your face. So you got to be kind of careful when it’s your right. But there’s, I think what you’re leaning, asking or hinting at asking is, is it possible to do this, where it’s not just somebody else’s life being totally exploited, essentially, for the sake of yours? Like, does my mess just get pushed off onto somebody else or does the mess actually get eliminated? Right? 

Greg McKeown      

Yeah, I think I think I think that there are I think that there would be women, wives, you know, support people listening to this saying, well, this is great, Jordan, it’s great that you have someone else making your life possible. Good, good for you. Good for you. But I’m in that role. They’re saying, I don’t have somebody, you know, I don’t have an assistant. I don’t have, you know, a spouse doing this for me, I’m doing this for someone else. How can I? How, what really, is this applicable? You know, if so, prove it. 

Jordan Harbinger   

Yes. So long before I had an assistant, I was using a similar system. My similar my systems evolved and gotten better since then. It doesn’t require an assistant. But if you want to do it yourself, you absolutely can you just have to be more honest with yourself about how you felt, let’s say last week, were you comfortable with the workload you did last week? Or did you go to bed on Friday thinking thank god this week was over it was an absolute nightmare. Because if so I suggest you do your planning meetings on Fridays, when you’re not feeling super energized. When I’m not feeling like caffeinated Monday, well rested. Yeah, let me do 17 interviews in August. I don’t want that I want to be kind of feeling what’s important to me, what do I have to get done? And where can I take a break.  

Greg McKeown      

I love this idea of using the calendar very intentionally in the first place. And then secondly, as a source of truth afterwards, so that you’re doing a perpetual you time assessment of what actually how long it actually takes to prepare for something, how long it actually takes to be on that phone call with so and so. So that you just get educated in your future planning, actually getting honest and real about the logging of your time. I love this. Tell me there was another system that we talked about previously. But the idea of the network, you’ve mentioned that in passing, but one of the things you shared that seemed so relevant to me is that people normally talk about networking in a very ad hoc way, as if it’s the only kind of networking is informal, and that that’s sufficient, but you have chosen and learned and taught structures for how to network better. That was key to you being able to rebuild within 11 months of an even bigger show than before there was even more successful than before I teach us how to do that. 

Jordan Harbinger      

Sure. So I was teaching networking and relationship development skills. Networking is kind of a dirty word. A lot of people don’t like to hear it and I understand that because they think of like the security system salesman throwing a business card in your face and showing up with a briefcase. What I’m saying networking and relationship building, what I’m talking about is I’m reaching out to people using one of the things I use is this CRM, which is essentially a giant electronic Rolodex of people’s names and emails and phone numbers. And in this system, I tell it to its ConnectionFox.com is the one that we created. And it’s free right now, I’d love if people go ahead and try it out, it looks at your email and you tell it, hey, I want to talk to John Doe every 90 days. And when that time comes that you haven’t spoken with him or emailed or called, then it will remind you, and every time you have an interaction with that person, you can go in there and say, I just had a phone call and talk with Greg McKeown for a while. So I’m gonna mark that interaction in there very quickly. And then put some notes in to say what we talked about. And it will keep track of that. And it will show me my record of communication with you. And like I said, it will remind me if I’m overdue for something, and you sort of have this gauge of network health that says you’re kind of up to date on people, or you’re kind of not. And that’s really useful for making sure that you’re maintaining relationships with hundreds or even thousands of people in a way that doesn’t require you to keep it all in your head doesn’t require you to go out of your way, in any specific way to like, create other systems around it. And it’s really easy, it takes like five minutes a day to look at and go, Okay, I’m up to date with these people. And you’re not just reaching out and saying, Hi, I want this from you. I usually give people a brief update on what I’m working on, find out what they’re working on, because the real value in this is, oh, Greg’s doing a podcast Well, okay, let me know if you need any help with this. Yeah, I’ll happily get on a call with you on Saturday and talk you through some stuff. Let’s chat about that. Or someone will say, oh, man, sorry, took me a while to get back to you. I’m doing a book launch. And I go, okay, anything I can help with? Well, I need a website for the book, let me introduce you to my web designer, he’s a really reliable guy with reasonable pricing. So now I’m able to find out what they’re working on what their needs are and match them to other people in my network that may be able to fulfill those needs. A lot of people think networking is like a pie, where if you ask someone for a favor, you’ve eaten a slice of that pie, and eventually the pie is gone. It’s not how it works, it’s a muscle, that the more you give, and the more they give to you, the stronger that relationship actually is. 

Greg McKeown      

Watch, ah, give me two or three things that you that you think I like, you know, these are elite networking tactics. 

Jordan Harbinger      

So the first thing is that the use of the CRM, which we kind of talked about the ABG mindset, which is always be giving. So I’ll go into this a little bit more. What ABG mindset is, is I go into that, and I go, alright, I need a graphic designer. But I’m open to finding anybody that can benefit anyone else in my network at any time, whether it’s now in there or in the future. So the first person I talked to was a corporate attorney that does trademarks, great file that not just in my brain, but in my CRM in Connection Fox and I go this is a trademark lawyer that specializes in digital intellectual property that’s very useful. All right, I don’t have anything for them now. But I may in the future in the next five years, who knows, I’m going to keep in touch with them because it takes almost no time. And I’m going to be able to throw them clients. As people ask me, for people who do digital IP, then I move on to the next person, they own laundromats. I don’t know I’m not super interested in that. But laundromats need signage, they need digital ads, they need to protect their premises, legally, they need security. And also who knows what else that person or group of people is into. So I file that away in my mind and in my CRM. Now, if I’m looking for a graphic designer, fine, I can ping my network. But I’m not primarily only looking to get something out of this. I’ve just made 10, 20 new connections at that event. And those are people now that are nodes in my network that can help other people and that I can introduce to other folks as well. 

Greg McKeown      

These are fantastic. Give me one more. So sure, given two concrete things, give me a third that somebody isn’t can do right now to improve their, their long-term relationships. They’re creating higher value in important relationships. 

Jordan Harbinger      

So this is my favorite one. I always save it for last. So good thing you remembered because I might have forgot. Every day, around 10 o’clock in the morning, I pick up my phone, I go into my text messaging application, and I go all the way down to the bottom. And at the bottom are those threads that it’s like I met you at a lunch where we were speaking at Facebook and we had a you know one of those like crappy corporate catered lunches afterwards or something and I sat next to you. And I’m sure at Facebook, it would be delicious, but whatever. And we kept in touch, but I never really got back with you on a lot of it or I’ve emailed you or I’ve you know, we like you’re kind of at the periphery of you’re a dormant tie in my network. You know, we didn’t keep in good touch. You’re not in my you’re not in Connection Fox. You’re just kind of like a guy that I met, and I followed up maybe once because that thread is old. It’s a two-year-old text. Read, I go down through those every day. And I call it Connect Four because I try and re-engage four of those threads every single day. And I send them a not a scripted type of response or not a scripted message, but something that follows a formula. And the formula is, I use my name, I use their name. So I say, hey, Greg, it’s Jordan Harbinger. We met at Facebook in 2017 when we were talking at Facebook is the future networking event, corporate event. We sat next to each other at the lunch so I’m telling you that I know your name. So it’s not Hi, friend. This is a mass text from a scam artist or from you know, the IRS. I tell you my name first and last because you never want to be like it’s Sam. And I’m like, oh, Samantha. It’s like no, Sam Jones from face. Oh, oops, that’s awkward. I’m never going to answer this thread again. Right. Also, there’s the place where we met so you don’t have to guess what we’re trying to avoid is new phone who this or just them ignoring you because they go Who is that person? I don’t have time for this. Next, you’re making it really easy for them. Then I also send an update about what I’m doing. Hey, I’ve got a kid. He’s 14 months old. NorCal. You know, San Jose is crazy. I’m building a house out here the smokes going wild? I’m growing the Jordan Harbinger show every day, what are you up to? It’s been so long, we haven’t done a good job. I haven’t done a good job of keeping in touch and I’d like to change that. I call that out because otherwise people go, Why is he reaching out now is you’re going to sell me some protein shake multi-level marketing crap, is he tried to get me to join Scientology? Like what’s happening? You know why, why is it I’m not going to respond or I’m going to be cautious. I just say I’ve done a bad job keeping in touch and I’m trying to change that they may still be suspicious. But the good news is, I’m reaching out to those people now and re engaging those weakened dormant ties. And I don’t have an agenda other than re engaging those weakened dormant ties. And what that does, is it allows me to kick the rust off that relationship. And then get it moving forward. Again, don’t do it. Don’t start doing this when you need to launch your book. Because if you go, Hey, it’s been so long, I’ve done a bad job keeping in touch, send me pictures of your kids. Here’s a picture of my kid, by the way, will you email my book to your email list, they go I knew it You son of a gun, I don’t want to talk to you anymore. You know, delete my number, they feel burned. You want to reengage this relationship and reinvigorate this relationship, these weak and dormant network ties now, while you do not need anything. And then later, nobody’s in two years, when you need something, they’re not going to go I knew it. You contacted me of June 2014, just because you were launching a book. Now, they’re not going to do that. That’s nobody saying things like that. So the more you do this, the more of these people you reengage and get these relationships back going, the better off you’re going to be. And you’ll get 7550 to 75% response rate from this. Don’t be upset if people don’t answer some people are busy, some people go you I don’t know you, they forget, they’re bad with texting, just ignore it and move on. And you can literally keep relationships going with hundreds and or possibly thousands of people in the time that you would normally waste on Instagram waiting in line at Starbucks. 

Greg McKeown   

But without a system, you have to, you have to consciously think of it. And there’s only much conscious thinking one can do. And this is why the system you’re describing is so helpful, and so valuable. 

Jordan Harbinger  

Also, if you just try to keep it in your head, what happens is you end up texting the same 15 people, maybe the same 50 you just can’t scale. It also wastes so much cognitive cycles. I mean, Oh, I got to remember to text these 15 people tomorrow, just not even remotely realistic. And that means that my cognitive bandwidth is freed to do good work. It’s free to remember other things and add them to these apps later. So people go How do you keep in touch with 11 1200 people? Well, it’s easy, I spend X amount of time each day reaching out. And when the time’s up, it’s done. And somehow magically, when you add up 10-minute blocks a day over six months, it’s a lot of time. 

Greg McKeown      

The final quarter of the book, Essentialism, is about systems. And it’s almost like even those that have read the book, even those that have read it multiple times, it’s almost like they don’t know it’s there, which I suppose somehow is on me. But it’s like this, it’s this hugely important factor of, of, of how to be an essentialist. You want systems that make things as easy as humanly possible. You don’t want to do what matters, in this case, building relationships. That’s a highly important, highly valuable activity. But you don’t want that to happen only when you consciously think of it. You want a system that works even when you don’t consciously think of it. And that’s what you’re describing. There’s somebody that came into my world who has a strategy for networking that basically is he identifies who it is he wants to have in his life. He wants to extend his relationships. And he says, okay, that person that relationship so important to me, I’m willing to invest a year of giving, with never asking for one thing. It’s very different than what you’re describing in terms of the whole system. But just that alone, in he says, effectively, there’s nobody he can’t build a relationship with that strategy, because it’s so not what is normally done. 

Jordan Harbinger      

That’s why it’s ABG always be giving instead of ABC, always be closing, right? Always be always be giving or always be generous. You don’t, you should not be keeping score or calculating what other people can do for you. Because you have no idea what they can and can’t do for you in the future. There have been people, I’ve got them jobs, and they’re like, anything you need, I’ll help you out. And I’m like, what’s this person going to do for me, this person, I got him a job in another town. This, there’s been many occasions where that person is like, I’ll get an email from them. And they’ll be from a company that I’m working with, and they’ll go, Hey, I saw your information, come into our lead pipe today. And I’ll go, Oh, interesting. I didn’t know you work there. Yeah, the job you got me at this led me to working with Rodney. And then when he came working here, he brought me with him and I go great. Anyway, I was trying to buy ads, and he goes, I’m gonna make sure that you get a discount. I’m gonna say this is a really good guy to work with. And we should give him a low CPM. And you know, and I go, you don’t have to do that. And he’s like, No, no, I insist. This is a guy who I helped find him a place to live because he was my roommate in Law School’s friend growing up, he called me out of the blue. I told him about safe and unsafe neighborhoods in LA. And then I introduced him to somebody who I guess ended up hiring him at a podcast studio, he ended up following that person to their new company. Now he’s selling me ads, and I saved thousands of dollars, because he got me a lower rate. That’s how that works. You can’t predict that. 

Greg McKeown   

I feel like in life that two of the highest value assets is time, and how we use it and relationships and how we build them. You have dealt with systems that you use, and others can use that are listening to this for managing and accessing the use of time, and then also actual systems for doing the same for relationships. I think it’s highly valuable for anyone who is trying to live a more essential life. And that’s everybody that’s listening to this Jordan Harbinger. What a delight to talk with you today.  

Jordan Harbinger   

Thanks for having me on. That has been a lot of fun.  

Greg McKeown   

Thanks, Jordan 


Essentialism Podcast

Greg McKeown

Wheelhouse Entertainment

Credits:

  • Hosted by Greg McKeown
  • Produced by Greg McKeown and Wheelhouse Entertainment
  • Executive Produced by Greg McKeown, Avi Gandhi, Brent Montgomery, Eric Wattenberg, and Ed Simpson
  • Edited by Emma Gladstone and Deanna Markoff