After a nasty split from his 11-year business partners at the Art of Charm podcast, Jordan Harbinger found himself putting his own networking lessons to work as he started a new business from scratch with the Jordan Harbinger show and the Advanced Human Dynamics platform.
Jordan's money story:
Yeah, so it was supposed to be an amicable split. I got sick of being the dating guy, because I'm pushing forty, and I'm married, and I'm in a healthy relationship, and I just wasn't interested in that anymore. And a lot of the shows that I was doing were interviews with athletes, and generals, and all these really high-profile people, and they were always shocked, like 'oh, this is what this podcast is about?'
Well the show was evolving, with you.
The show was evolving with me. And my business partners were not super happy about that, and so they decided that we were going to split, and then when they proposed a split, we all agreed on it, and then later on, they decided, 'actually, we're not going to give you anything,' because ... I think that they had ... well it's only one guy, really ... I think he had hoped that I wouldn't leave, because I was doing all of the stuff that they needed to do to generate revenue.
And so, I think he really, kind of had a little bit of an ego melt-down.
When you say they didn't give you, is this about money? That he didn't give you the money, the buy-out?
Right, I still own a third of the company.
But I'm locked out of everything. So instead of fighting for that, I said, you know what? I'm just going to start over. So I started my show, social media, email list, website, all from scratch.
For people that don't know, can you talk a little bit about those assets, the value, and how they're created and what it takes to rebuild it?
Sure. So, I had, essentially, created social media, Twitter accounts, since 2008 or whatever. An email list that had over, at that point, hundreds of thousands of people on it. A website that was getting millions of visits per month, and shows that were getting millions of downloads per month. And then, when all that was locked, I just basically ... I mean I literally created a new account on Twitter, called friends and said, 'hey man, can you whip up a website?' Put an email collection plug-in, in there, that was from a friend, Noah Kagan over at sumo dot com.
Oh I love Noah Kagan, he's terrific.
He's great. Yeah. And so, I started The Jordan Harbinger from episode one, after doing the other show for eleven years.
Was there a way to make people aware of this, other than, you're suddenly not on this show? And they're just being silent about it?
No, there was no way for me to tell anyone. The listeners all had to come and look for me. And that's actually what happened.
Where does this stand now? I mean, is there any recourse when this happens. Because people ... it's unusual, but it's sort of not.
It's actually not that unusual, yeah. Now that I'm telling my split story everywhere, almost every successful entrepreneur is like, 'oh yeah, this happened to me a while ago,' or 'that happened to me a while ago, and I've never been happier.' It's really, really interesting to see. And, I've actually never been happier, myself, either. It's strange, you never realize how toxic environments are until you're out of them, because, it's that whole boiling frog thing, right? If they turn the temperature up by a notch every year, you're there for ten years, you don't realize you're on some sort of crazy funhouse ... funhouse is not the right word, a funhouse mirror-covered crazy-house, more like.
So when you get out of there, you go, 'oh! This is how normal people treat each other on teams, and this is how people celebrate wins together, and this is how people reinvest in a company.' Instead of causing stress, and blowing it. And so, it's actually just really, really been nice, for me, to pull the plug and start over. It's been rough, but it was absolutely worth it.
There's a human element to this. So you lost ... your website, you lost your branding, you lost your email list in that. But, you've took humans with you. Tell us about that.
When everything hit the fan and fell apart, what I did is I made a list of people I wanted to call, and the first ten or twelve phone calls that I made were to people I know would say yes to helping me. CEOs and other entrepreneurs, and people that were really, really great to me, in the past. And they said, 'yeah, we're going to help you!' So I had this massive support network. I went on over a hundred other podcasts this year, along, well over that, actually, at this point. And rebuilt the show up to millions of downloads a month, from zero, in February. And now it's better than ever.
And it's just been so strange, because, oh! I also took a lot of the team with me. Because when I left, a lot of the other team, that was at the old company, was like, 'well, we came to work with you, man.' So they all left. And I said, 'I can only pay you half of what you're worth for the next foreseeable future,' and they said that's fine. So that's what happened, and I've made them whole since, but that was a massive vote of confidence.
Because all of this qualified staff left the old company. They all bounced.
Well they followed you, more than they left. They went to where they saw the opportunity, and that's human nature.
Yeah, that's true. I mean, I still have my production team, my [inaudible 00:08:14] team, everything. Everybody came with me.
And, probably, many of your listeners are gradually migrating over, if they have not already. And because you have adjusted your format, and constantly evolve it, that's probably expanding what your opportunity is, and they see that.
Exactly. There's been a lot of people that have said, 'oh, I didn't even know about the old show.' And I'm like, that's good. That's what I like to hear. Because, I don't necessarily just want to bring the same crowd, from the last show. There's great listeners from the last one, but The Jordan Harbinger Show is just a much better interview. It's a much more interesting project for everyone involved, and I've done a lot of the things that we used to do in the old company, like try to run live events, and do all this, and do all that. And I've realized, I actually don't like doing it.
So, it's pretty fun to just be on my own.
How do you move past something like this? Or do you not? Do you just work it into your life, and use it as part of who you are now?
You work it into your life and use it as a part of who you are now. And granted, look, this is ten months since this thing. The lawsuit is still in full swing. So, it's not exactly, something I'm going to forget about this year, or probably even next year. But, that's all fine and good, I mean, this is trial by fire in a lot of ways. And I've certainly been through worse with less resources. Losing a business is a problem, but it's not losing a kid, it's not losing a spouse.
In fact, I look at it this way ... this isn't just rationalization either ... when I look at this, I think, if the deal that I had signed with the old company, had actually been honored, I would have been forced to gradually disentangle with them, over the period of three years. I would have had to promote their stuff, their products, the low quality stuff that was coming out now, I would have had to promote on my new show.
Instead, since they didn't honor anything, I have no non-compete, I can do whatever I want, I can make money however I want to do it. I can do anything in any niche, they have no say in anything. I can run any ads that I want and I don't owe them anything. In fact, they owe me thirty-three percent of the company share value.
So, it really ended up being like, the dumbest thing they possibly could have done. And for me, it was really scary, and then it turned out to be the best possible thing that could have happened.
Jordan’s money lesson:
I'm here to tell you, dig the well before you get thirsty. Because, if you try, when this stuff all happens to you, to reach out to everyone, and you're going, 'hey, look, I'm having a really hard time,' some people will be understanding. But a lot of people will be like, 'we haven't spoken in two, or five years, or whatever it is. I don't know what you want me to do. Best of luck.' Right?
But, since I'd done such a job ... I won't say great job, but such A job ... building and maintaining network connections, giving value, offering people things that can help them, without the expectation of getting something in return, when I did need help, people were coming out of the woodwork.
I mean, it was just, people I didn't even know were like, 'hey, heard what happened. Let me know if you want to come on my show and tell the story.' 'Hey, can I write an article about this for Ink?'
Jordan's everyday money tip:
I see a lot of people doing things like, spending ninety minutes, round-trip, driving to this produce farm, because they get cheaper stuff. And look, maybe you like organic produce from that farm, that's fine. But I see a lot of people doing really silly things to save money. Little, I wouldn't say scams, because they don't elevate that far, but I'm going to move the car eighty-five times, instead of renting a parking spot in my building in San Francisco. I mean I see stuff like this.
And they're lucky to break even on the cost of parking tickets at the end of the month, let alone all the time they spent, getting up at 5 AM so they can move their car, or driving around for twenty minutes, and then going back to sleep. I mean it's ridiculous, right? Pathological in some people.
But we like to focus on the big wins. And when I say that, what I mean is, the same people that will not rent the parking space in their building, in the city, so that they can park, and will drive around all day looking for parking spaces? These are the same people who will often keep credit card debt, so that their credit score takes a little bit of a ding, and then when they go to buy a house, they get a lower ... I should say higher ... interest rate, on that mortgage, and it ends up costing them sixty-eight thousand dollars. Right?
So we have to be really careful and focus on the big wins.
Financial Grownup tip number one:
Show up. Guys, we edit these podcasts, because, as you know, I really value your time. I want to keep them to around fifteen minutes. So, sometimes those edits are pretty severe. But we also edit out things, just to make the podcast better, not just for time. And in this case, we cut out a lot of Jordan coughing, and fighting to sound his best, for this interview.
Not that you would notice, he's a pro.
Jordan was battling a cold, and probably, at some level, exhaustion. He had just returned from a big speaking engagement, and was really not feeling well. But Jordan showed up. The man has done over one hundred podcasts promoting his new venture, not to mention, keeping to an aggressive appearance schedule, and other projects, building out his new business.
The guy shows up, and he works hard. No pity party, no year off, finding himself, blah blah blah. Jordan Harbinger works, and that is why his business is, and will continue to, grow, exponentially.
Financial Grownup tip number two:
Did I ever tell you guys I was married in my 20s, and got a divorce? And believe me, I was the one that always said I did not believe in divorce. But it happened. The best thing I did, was give stuff up, because you know what? You can get it back, or you know what? You really don't need whatever stuff you're fighting over, in the end.
So if you have a split, business or personal, of course, fight for what is yours, to some degree. But eye on the prize. Be like Jordan and move on. Take the long road, and most of all, get to work building your new life, or your new business. Do not let your ex walk all over you, but don't get stuck fighting for some material item, or every last cent, so much so, that you get caught up in your past, and don't move forward.
Bobbi and Jordan also talk about:
How Noah Kagan was instrumental in helping to get Jordan's business off the ground. To learn more about Noah, check out his website here - https://okdork.com/about/
Check out Jordan's website - www.jordanharbinger.com
Here is a link to his course we mentioned - https://www.jordanharbinger.com/course
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