Jordan Harbinger, Co-Founder of The Art of Charm
How to Become a Master Networker to Increase Your Income, Happiness and Startup Success with Jordan Harbinger
Jordan Harbinger is one of the most influential people in entrepreneurship today, thanks to his popular podcast The Art of Charm. His show recently hit its 10th anniversary, and Harbinger has interviewed some of the greatest minds and personalities in the startup space and more.
Starting off as a law school graduate who landed a job as a financial attorney on Wall Street, it didn’t take long for Harbinger to become quickly disillusioned with the life that being a big shot attorney offered. Within a year, he left his job to work full-time the Art of Charm podcast, but not before taking with him some key lessons from his stint on Wall Street.
During that time, Harbinger learned of “the third path” to success that no one seemed to talk about. The one that wasn’t about working long hours, or even being the smartest person in the room, but instead was all about networking. He found that the key to success was all about sharpening your social skills in order to develop the key relationships you need in order to succeed.
That lesson turned Harbinger’s life around and opened up a whole world of possibilities that he never thought possible.
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- How to develop and master the social skills you need to succeed
- The competitive advantage behind networking and building relationships
- Why podcasting changed the game and how you can harness its power
- How to become a highly influential person
- The secret to creating a successful podcast
Full Transcript of the Podcast with Jordan Harbingerr
Nathan: Today’s episode is proudly brought by our sponsor, Fresh Books. Fresh Books is an easy to use cloud accounting software that’s completely transformed now over 10 million entrepreneurs deal with their day to day paperwork. It’s an absolutely amazing product, and you can start your 30-day trial at freshbooks.com/foundr.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the “Foundr” podcast. My name is Nathan Chan, coming to you live from hometown, Melbourne, Australia. And I’ve got a bit of a croaky voice. Apologies for that. I just come back from the States. Had an epic true three-week trip, oversee the printing of the book. For those of you that backed the “Foundr Version 1.0” campaign. the book is coming to you very soon. It is looking amazing, really pumped about that. Spoke at a conference, interviewed Tony Robbins. That interview’s coming out very, very soon. I met up with a ton of super successful founders and entrepreneurs, and just learned a lot.
So, that was May. I try and go to the states a couple of times a year just to learn and network, and, you know, keep relationships strong with people that I can learn from, and that can also help grow the “Foundr” brand.
So that’s me in a nutshell. Sorry, still adjusting to the jet lag. But enough about me, let’s talk about today’s guest, the one and only, Jordan Harbinger. Jordan’s an absolutely amazing guy. I met him at a conference that I spoke at [00:02:00] last year. And ever since then, you know, I’ve been honored enough to call him a friend, and he’s a super smart founder. Monster of networking, and knows anybody that is an influencer or a mover and shaker in his niche or marketplace. He’s been doing podcasting for a very, very long time. He has one of the top business podcast, easily in the top 50 podcast on all of podcasts. I think in the tens of millions, maybe even hundreds of millions of downloads. He’s a master.
So, you know, me and Jordan talk everything around networking, relationships, how not to be that person. You know, that person that’s always wanting to take from you, the person that you don’t wanna be friends with, or that’s, you know, a person that just doesn’t add any value. So, we go through a whole ton of stuff, and networking is so extremely key, guys. You’re gonna learn a lot from our conversation.
If there was one thing that I can tell you from, I’ve found from experience since growing “Foundr” these past three and a half years, is that pretty much, you know, it’s all about learning from the smartest people out there doing the things that you wanna do. So, jumping on clarity, speaking to people, networking, connecting with other people, that’s what I do all day as much as I can, and that’s what really helps grow the brand. So, you know, I hope that helps.
Also guys, I just wanted to let you know, that we are working on an amazing product that if you haven’t launched a business yet, or you currently run an e-commerce based business, you sell physical products online, we’ve teamed up with someone that has built four multimillion dollar companies, and we’re gonna help solve this problem. If you want to start a business, don’t know where to start, the idea of selling a physical product sounds exciting to you, please do go sign up [00:04:00] at foundrmag.com/ecommerce, where you can join the VIP list to make sure you’re on the early bird beta test group. I’m really, really excited about this product. I know you guys are gonna love it.
Anyway, that’s it for me guys, now let’s jump into the show.
The first question I ask everyone that comes on is, how did you get your job?
Jordan: My job that I have, I made it for myself.
Nathan: Awesome. Can you tell us about that?
Jordan: Sure, I mean this… Yeah, I probably should on your podcast here. Sure, so the the job that I have now, which is actually a job, I work in my business as well as on my business. I was an attorney for a while. Well, even before that, I was in law school, and I went to work on Wall Street. And the guy who hired me for this internship, his name was Dave, and everybody said , “Man, Dave’s the man. You’re so lucky you work with Dave.”
And I never saw him even though he was supposed to be my mentor, which is a bummer, because when you think mentor and you think Wall Street, you’re thinking like, Leonardo Di Caprio having oyster shooters’ with Matthew McConaughey on the roof, and just laughing about how much money you’re making, and the world is your oyster, you know, no pun intended, and you’re just loving it. And it wasn’t like that at all. It’s kind of like, “Where is this guy? Everyone else is going out for beers, is going to see Blue Man Group, my mentor doesn’t even come to work.”
And HR basically made him take me out for coffee one day, and was like, he goes, “What do you wanna ask me?” He just thought, you know, why not? This kid probably just has some questions about real estate finance or something. And I said, “How come you make a ton of money and you’re a partner but you’re never in the office? You know, do work from home a lot?” and because we’re response to bill in six minute increments.
And he said, “No, you know, I bring in a ton of business. I’m more valuable outside the office than inside the office,” because if he can go get $1 million deal, and he can do that once a quarter, what are the odds he’s going to build $1 million worth of hours every quarter? Pretty low, right? So he’s [00:06:00] more valuable on the golf course doing jujitsu, on a cruise, at a charity dinner event, whatever, sailing, whatever, he’s more valuable there than he is inside the office, and that change the way that I look at work.
So, when we started “The Art of Charm,” which was originally networking, relationship development, dating and all that stuff, those people skills that David showed me were so important, I viewed that as, “This is the secret third path to becoming a top partner at a law firm,” because I wasn’t going to be able to necessarily outwork everyone. I wasn’t necessarily going to be able to make myself smarter than all these other Wall Streeters. But I can start working on these people-skills before other people even realize they’re important.
And Dave was such a crucial influence when it came to that, because when the firm eventually did hit economic hard times in 2008 along with everything else, he walked into another firm as a partner, and a lot of the other partners at my original firm just got retired early, because they had put in the hours and they would work up in that particular firm, but they didn’t have a book of business. So, not only did Dave make more, he worked a lot less in the traditional sense of the word, and he had more job security. So, that for me it was like, “Okay. I’ve got to be able to write my own ticket.”
And so, when we started the show we had that in mind. And then of course the show became something that is now my job. So ,that’s how I got it. I created it for myself, in the process of learning other skills that I thought would actually give me a huge advantage in another industry and another job that I had.
Nathan: Interesting. So, you’ve been running your podcast. Is it close, is it over 10 years now?
Jordan: Yeah, next week, it will be 10 years.
Nathan: Yeah, I thought it was close. So 2006, so, when did you meet Dave?
Jordan: I met Dave in 2000…oh, man, was it 2005 or 2006? It was right before then.
Nathan: Oh, geez. Okay, so the moment that you met him, it opened a lot of, I guess, doors for you in the sense of what’s possible with relationships [00:08:00] and connecting with people, and just getting really, really good with your social intelligence and social skills.
Jordan: Yeah, it did. And it was interesting for me because he didn’t mean to do that. He meant to just kind of check off this tick mark box on his list of crap that he had to do, show up to the office, go take his dumb mentee out for coffee that he never sees the end. And he wasn’t like a callous, careless person or anything, he was really cool, everyone liked him, but I could tell he just viewed being in the office as essentially a complete waste of time. And he definitely viewed answering my questions and spending time with me a complete waste of time, because it didn’t further his goal of bringing in new business.
And had he been, sort of, less short-sighted, he probably could have trained me to be a massive rainmaker for the firm under his particular guidance. However, I would have hated it because I like what I’m doing now. So, he really did open the door because I didn’t see what I call the secret third path. I saw outwork everyone, be smarter than everyone, be more talented than everyone or something like that, when it came to working at this law firm. I didn’t see what actually was the highest level, which was networking relationships, business generation. So, not only did I see a secret third path, but that third path is actually more powerful than all of the other ones.
Nathan: Yeah, wow. Interesting. So, you meet Dave, what happened next?
Jordan: So what happened next was essentially I started work…I said, “Look, I’m gonna dedicate my entire life year here not to figuring out how to check better for commas and documents, not to figuring out how to get by on less sleep, but I’m gonna work on these people skills.” So, when everybody else was in the office busting their butt on stuff, I would do that and then I would go, “All right, I’m gonna go out for a few hours and be social.”
And as the months and years went by in the legal arena, I was only there for a short time, but I realized, “Wow, other people social skills are going way downhill. I’m [00:10:00] basically doing the same amount of work as them, but instead of reading legal books in my spare time which did nothing to further their career really, they just gave them some fodder to talk about it at happy hour. I was out making friends, and connections and dah, dah, ah. And it wasn’t necessarily legal connections, you know, I would go out with a bunch of other guys during a happy hour, and they’d go, “Man, you know, you never pay for drinks around here. That’s so cool.”
And I’d be like, “Yeah, I know everybody,” and I’d introduce them to everybody, and that became my reputation. And I realized not only is this is a skill that most people don’t have, it’s not actually that hard to develop if you work really hard at it, and you’re diligent about it. And I started to do that every single day. I went out with my business partner, AJ, every single night for like years. I mean six nights a week, we were out for years, and it was really rewarding.
Of course, because going out is fun, but also because we were doing deliberate practice, we were working on certain skills the whole time, it wasn’t just like this random, “Let’s go out and get drunk every night.”
And so we learned deliberate practice, we learned to find the secret third path, we learned to master these particular skills, and the further along we went, we noticed that…I mean, you probably know a lot of people who are married and have a kid, and they’re like, “Oh, man, we never go out anymore,” or they don’t make new friends anymore. And you probably know people who are divorced who have, like, no life. They spend all their time with their partner, and they get divorced and suddenly the like, “What am I going to do now?”
And you see this with your friends who break up after a long relationship and they call you and you’re like, “Tim, I haven’t heard from you in, like, four years.” “Yeah, me and Sarah, you know we broke up,” and you’re like, “Oh, that’s what’s going on,” right? And then they suddenly want to go out and hit the town, and you’re like, “Look, I’ve got a life.”
So we started to work on these skills here at AOC, and really focus on it because it was a massive competitive advantage that most people could never catch us. You know, especially the people that were just focused on competing in the same arena that everybody else was. I’m not saying building skills that work isn’t important, but if you’re a graphic designer or an attorney, and you’re working on getting better at those particular skills and only those particular [00:12:00] skills, you’re only as good as how well you stack up to the guy next to you.
Are you really the best one of those? Probably not, so you have to stack competencies together. You have to be a top 25% graphic designer, and a top 25% networker, and a top 25% organizer, and a top 25% leader. Now, you’ve got a top 5% performer, right? Whereas, are you really gonna be a top 5% graphic designer? You might be, but it might take you like 10 years. Are you gonna be a top 10% leader? Maybe but it might take you a decade, you know, right?
So, if you stack them together, you could get there in three or four years, because you’re only trying to get to the top quarter, is it quire tile? Maybe, of all of those things, which is much easier because it’s an exponent, the graph. It goes up and it slopes steeper as you reach towards the right-hand side.
So getting to the top half of a class, for example, not hard, you basically have to show up. Getting to the top 10% of a class, really tough, because you got out study and out work all the smart kids. Does that make sense?
Nathan: Mm-hmm, 100%. So, met Dave, realized the important of networking, relationships, social skills, started going out with your business partner and just meeting people, and working on this stuff. So, did this come naturally to you or you spent a lot of time yourself skilling up on your own social skills?
Jordan: Oh, no, it wasn’t natural to me at all. I mean, I was shy, I grew up an only child, I like still do and still do. And so I was the kid who watched TV all day as a kid because my parents weren’t home, and I didn’t live near a lot of other kids. And then I was also, kind of, like, into the internet at age 13, which wasn’t good for social skills, and then I got a bunch of video games.
So, I was, kind of, like, a complete outcast. And then of course, that didn’t make me cool, [00:14:00] because nobody had a computer at that age. So either, like, the nerds liked me but the other kids didn’t. And I didn’t really pursue athletics that much until high school. And so I grew up, kind of, this, like, weird, shy kid, who was a, kind of, a couch potato.
And so high school, I kind of came out of that shell, and then college, I, kind of, got beat back into that shell and just tried out work everyone again, and then law school, I finally discovered what I didn’t know which was, “Wait, these are worthwhile pursuit, these social skills, and there’s a system to this stuff.” And that opened up all kinds of doors.
So, no, it did not come naturally at all. In fact, if I take a Myers-Briggs right now, I’m still technically an introvert.
Nathan: Interesting. So, why did you decide to start a podcast? Like, how did you decide to turn this into a business?
Jordan: Right, so what happened was, after Dave that I had our conversation about this, we started talking about these concepts and I started telling AJ. Like, “Look, there’s this networking stuff.” And he was like, “Oh, cool. How about all this body language and eye contact?” And we started studying the psychology of it. And we read all the books, and we started meeting up with as many authors and, you know, coaches/gurus, whatever you want to call it in this niche as we could.
And we started to apply things, break things, we started to work on our dating skills because that stuff was cool. I mean, you’re 24 at the time, 25 whatever, and so you’re thinking like, “This stuff’s really interesting,” 26, 27 years old, you’re focused on a lot of that stuff. And we started to talk about it, and we would be people-watching in a bar, and women would overhear our conversation, and they would come sit with us, and we’d be talking with them. And then, of course, we’re the two guys sitting with eight girls who are having a girls’ night, but we’re kind of in the mix, and we would do that over and over and over again.
And eventually the staff and the other regulars at the bar would say things, like, “Okay. What’s going on here? You guys are here every time I’m here. You’re always with a gaggle of ladies that you seem to know everybody. You never wait in line. You don’t pay overcharges [00:16:00]. You don’t buy drinks or anything, everything’s just coming to you, what? Do your parents own the real estate that this place is in?” And we just thought, “No, it goes like this. Here’s this body language lesson, and dah, dah…”
And we’d be sort of teaching these guys informally and the women would be sitting there doing the same thing or listening along, and we had guys go, “Look, I’ll give you 400 bucks if I could spend the afternoon with you guys tomorrow, just tell me everything that you know, because I’m getting divorced,” or, “because I wanna learn this,” or, “because I’m a shy kid too or whatever.”
And so we thought like, “Oh, you know, we should record this stuff,” because we end up having the same conversation four nights a week, five nights a week, maybe even six. And so we started burning CDs and I would carry them around. I’d be like, “Listen to this,” because people kept saying, “Write a book, you should write a book,” and I thought, “I’m studying for the New York bar exam, the attorney entrance, sort of, qualification exam, I’m not going to write a book, give me a break.” AJ was a cancer biologist, he’s like, “I’m certainly not writing a book. I’m cloning mice over here.”
So we were not in the position to do that. We were recording our conversations, burning them on CDs and then eventually…and that became cumbersome and stupid actually, and at that point in time there was no way to put up an mp3 sound file on the internet and have other people download it. It was really hard to do. And then AJ found this thing called podcasting which was brand new at the time. And remember, the iPhone isn’t even out yet at this point, right? It’s a year away maybe more, and we’re doing a show and we’re recording it and putting it up on iTunes, and that was the only way to get it.
And it was really nice to be able to say, “Go to this crappy WordPress,” or whatever it was at the time, BlogSpot, I think, website, you’ll find a link, and it’ll be hosted on this GoDaddy server, and you can get the sound file, and we were talking about body language, and eye contact, and vocal tonality, how you sit, stand, walk, talk, all of that stuff, and it was awesome. It got super popular.
I remember checking, one day we had 24 downloads, and we thought this is great, because that was just the day that we had started handing out business cards at the bar with people that were asking us. And then I remember a few days or a few weeks [00:18:00] later, we had like 800 downloads in a day, and I thought, “Wait a second. We didn’t talk to 800 people last week, what’s happening?” And we realized, people are spreading this to their friends, people are finding this in iTunes. So, we had this crazy, sort of, wave of viral appeal early on, but the viral appeal back then was like 2,400 downloads a month, it was nothing like you see now.
Nathan: Interesting. And like you turn this this idea into a really, really successful business, which I find really fascinating. So, can we talk also just around the podcasting stuff as well? Because I know a lot of people wanna start a podcast, or they wanna use it as a channel to grow their existing business. And it is quite a strong content play, but it seems to be a very, very noisy world. So, let’s first, I guess, talk about the whole podcasting pace just so our audience can wrap, if they’re not familiar with your work, I would… just so I want you to, kind of, wrap their head around you know, the impact that you have my in the past 10 years. Do you know roughly how many people have heard your voice?
Jordan: Sixty to 80 million.
Nathan: Wow, that’s insane, okay.
Jordan: Yeah, I mean it’s hard to say because that’s unique. So, that that actually wasn’t the correct answer to that question, because that’s not how many people have heard my voice. That’s how many unique downloads of the show we have probably had over the last 10 years. So, it’s kind of hard to say. I mean, that could easily “just be” and I put that in air quotes, that could just be a few million people.
Nathan: Gotha, now…
Jordan: Does that make sense? Like, it’s everybody visiting your website once and then never coming back. People coming back, hopefully a lot.
Nathan: You know, I’m sure it’s a lot more than that, because you have one of the top shows on iTunes. [00:20:00] So, talk to me around, you started this podcast, was getting some traction, because I heard, you know, 10 years ago podcasts were a thing, then they, kind of, died off, and now they’ve come back in a big way. In the coming back in a big way, I’ve been lucky enough to kind of jump in on that train with “Foundr,” and really utilize it, and we gets some good traction in our podcast.
So, I’m really curious, you know, what did that look like for you? You started, it was gaining some good traction, and then it is correct? It, kind of, died off, people stopped listening to podcast or what happened?
Jordan: Yeah, that’s an interesting point because actually one of the things that I thought, that I find most interesting when people ask me this is, is they all pretty much have the exact same question, “Isn’t this just something that isn’t popular anymore or whatever?” And the truth is, is that podcasting has been growing steadily since 2006 or whenever it actually started. It never had a year of negative growth as far as I know.
And I could be wrong on that because I’m taking the stats from people basically at their word, but Libs’ and one of the bigger hosts has said the same thing. There’s never a year where it’s gotten less popular, it’s only gotten more popular. The only difference is, nobody in the media gave a crap about it for, like, this five-year stretch.
It was like 2006, 2007, downloadable radio shows, OMG, and then nothing, and then you find the media basically not getting any love, and I didn’t care. I mean, I was just doing my thing over here. And then suddenly people are like, “Oh, podcasting is back,” and everybody who has data is like, “Yeah, I know. It’s not back, you just didn’t listen to it before, and since you’re a self-centered journalist, who writes for some random blog, you decided that since you didn’t know about it and you’re so in the know, that nobody else did either, not true.”
There were, and I’m not telling you that you’re a random…I’m saying that the media covering this [00:22:00] just to be clear. I’m not telling you that you don’t know what you’re talking about, but these journalists weren’t covering it because they didn’t give a crap, and then a bunch of other shows came out you know, NPR and then people started paying attention, there was like “Freakonomics” in there, and all these NPR shows got ported over there, and people went, “Oh, cool.”
And had this underground hipster thing happening, and then you’ve got “Serial,” and now you see a bunch of people jumping into the mix, and people go, “Podcasting is back,” and it’s like, no, it’s just trendy to cover it now, but it is never gone. It was never ever gone, and it won’t be gone in a few years when people stop writing about it again. It’ll still be there. It’s just that those lows in coverage probably won’t be as long because the reason, I think. people stopped covering it is they went, “Oh, nobody cares about this.”
And then Spotify came out, and people are like, “Oh, I want to stream audio from my devices. Oh, there’s other things on there that have been there for 10 years, let’s start writing about these.” So it’s just because of the smartphone, the fact that now everyone has a smartphone. Two thousand and six, there was no such thing, unless you had a Nokia or something like that, right, from Europe. And the iPhone came out in 2007, but it didn’t have apps. It didn’t stream data very well, most people had like you know, 500 megabytes of data per month or whatever the original data plans were.
Now, though, everyone’s streaming stuff, podcasts is an app that’s built into the phone. Android’s still hasn’t come around to it. Google Play just got podcast this year, most people don’t even know that. So, there’s still so much room for growth, and you’re gonna…mark my words, in three, four years there’s going to be a bunch of, sort of, late to the party folks writing about this in mainstream news like, “Hey, there’s these downloadable radio shows on your phone, and we have one for the ‘New York Times’ now or whatever.”
And people are gonna go, “Have you heard a podcast?” And you’re going to go, “Yeah, for like the last four years.” And it’s still something like 13% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month. [00:24:00] And I know that America is not the center of the world, but I think we do adopt tech a little quicker than a lot of countries do.
I’m living in Silicon Valley most of the people that I talk to know what podcasts are, but I still talk to plenty of people who go, “No, what’s that?” And I’m like, are they joking or not? And they’re not a lot of time. And five years ago, I’d say, “Do you know what a podcast is when people ask me what I do, and 60%, 70%, “No, What is that?” So, we still have several more years to go before everybody knows what that is.
You know, YouTube took a while to get taken up as well, but now you can tell your grandma how to, “Oh, look it up on YouTube and she’ll be like , “I think I can do that.” But tell your grandma how to look up a podcast, forget about it. We still haven’t solved those challenges yet.
Nathan: So, what kept you going, man?
Jordan: It was a hobby and not a business, and that was bad for a few reasons because we didn’t grow nearly as well as we could. For example, we weren’t even collecting emails, we didn’t have a newsletter, nothing for eight plus years, because we’re just like, “Screw that. We’re just doing show, we’re getting business, it’s all good.” And that was also the advantage because now most people quit after I think six episodes is the statistics of their show because they go, “Oh, yeah. I know that most people don’t make money podcasting but I’m so interesting. I’m gonna do a show and it’s going to be different.” Or, “I’m going to market it hard.” Or, “I have a unique strategy.” And the truth is, no, you don’t.
So you’re just going to end up quitting before you hit the tipping point, because the tipping point could be in six years. Nobody wants to spend the amount of time these days to build a good skill set of interviewing, to be able to present well. They don’t wanna hire a production staff to do it right. There’s a lot of things people don’t really wanna do, and that’s why you see successful podcast now are run by people who have tons of media experience.
They’ve already got another career that they’re basing this on, so, they’ve got three bestselling books and now they doing a podcast about stuff like that, or they’re journalist and now they’re doing a podcast, or they’re comedian or they’re doing a podcast, very few people who wanna become “thought leaders” start shows and make it. [00:26:00] It’s almost nobody. And the ones that do generally if you examine them closely enough, it’s like, “Oh, well they’re also an internet marketer.”
So, they do the podcast for credibility on top of that. Very rarely do you see people go, “I’m going to start a podcast and that’s gonna be my new thing,” and then make it. I just don’t even know anybody.
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So why should people start a podcast for any founders there? Should they consider it, should they not?
Jordan: I don’t think people should. I know I’m considered sort of a weird naysayer in this case, but I don’t think most people need podcasts. It’s something that you can’t outsource. Like, if I decide I don’t wanna podcast anymore I can’t hire someone to do my show for me. It’s very, very hard, it would be impossible. It won’t be the same. It takes a lot of work to do it right. For example a lot of people just go, “All right, we’re going to do 20-minute shows, and I’m going to ask people the exact same questions.”
No, no, no. On “The Art of Charm,” I read the book of the person that’s coming on. I watch their “TED talk.” I watch other talks that they have, or Google or whatever, I read articles that they’ve written. I ask their friends about them. I read Wikipedia and I put that all into a Google doc, and then a few days later I read all of those notes that I took from their whole book, [00:28:00] which probably took me three days to read, and I put those in specific format. I ask other questions.
I run it by a focus group of people that listen to the show that have signed up for that task. They ask their notes, and then I conduct the interview, and that’s why it’s, and, I mean, sorry to sound a little bit like I’m patting myself on the back here which I know is a faux pas especially in Australia, but I think the interviews are better because of that, because of that amount of prep work.
But you can totally tell when somebody’s, like, “I’m just gonna have them fill out this form and then I’m gonna start a show.” You can tell you think you’re getting away with it when you’re doing that as a host and I did that for like six years, but people can tell. There is a night and day difference between the shows that I am adequately prepared for and the ones that I am not.
And so, a lot of people think they’re like, “Oh, podcast is part of my content marketing strategy.” No, this is something you have to do even if no one’s gonna listen to it. And that is what most people are not willing to do, which is why they quit before episode 10, and last but not least, discoverability with shows in iTunes is freaking terrible.
YouTube says, “Oh, you might like this, you might like that,” it’s easy to share, there’s share buttons, podcasting has none of that. People have to already know how to listen to shows, they have to have certain apps installed on their devices to do it, they’ve got to go in click “SUBSCRIBE,” they’ve got to set aside time to listen. This is not a two-minute plays on any web browser type of thing, it’s just not.
And so I think it’s a terrible idea for most people to start podcasting unless they are really into talking to specific people having in-depth long format conversations, because otherwise you’re just going to try to hack the process and it’s not going to work.
Nathan: Yeah, interesting. I’ve got a challenge for you then. Probably this time next year, I probably won’t be doing the podcast anymore me, personally. I wanna get someone else to do it.
Jordan: I think that’s fine. I think that’s fine and here’s why. What you’re asking is, and what you’re doing with your show is not based on your personality, right? Your personality and you know I love you [00:30:00] so it doesn’t matter what I say here, hopefully, but your personality is not an integral part of the show, it really isn’t, right? Like, you’re asking really good questions. You could formulate the questions or find somebody else to do that.
“The Art of Charm” is based around this sort of weird dance that I do with my guests, and I’m building a lot of rapport with them, and I’ve got a certain way of communicating to my audience that I’ve built over the last 10 years, you don’t have to uproot all of that, and try to go, “Oh yeah. Jamie is gonna be the host now. Bye.” You can find somebody who’s really good performer and a really good interviewer, like, a journalism student, and they could come in and collaborate with you, and then they can host the show.
That’s what I would do. It’s too late for me to do that, and the reason that I think other people shouldn’t do that is if they’re building their business as a podcast, why start off not being able to do the core competency of your business?
This podcast for “Foundr” is not the core of your business. It is a piece of the business. So, you’re doing it like content marketing, but you have to hire a superstar to do it, so it’ll be challenging, but it’s not because it’s based off of your own brand. The reason, I think, most people shouldn’t do it, is they wanna be a thought leader they’re not trying to start a company that has a podcast element, they’re trying to make it, like, their show where they get recognized for it, and a lot of its just ego.
Like we have people who write in their Twitter profile, like, father, husband, thought leader, and those people if they pitch me, I just delete their email, because I’m, like, that…all you said is nothing and also I have a brand that’s based on me because I need to have a job other than father and husband. And I just find that stuff so ridiculous.
And so there’s tons of shows that are named after the person or it’s called like “The Grind Show” or whatever, and it’s all the same questions. They’re just asking about my favorite Sass tool. And so you have good questions that are more important, and it’s also not based on your personality. And so, there’s, kind of, to show archetypes, which you’ve avoided which is one, the thought leadership, where it’s all about them and their brand, and then you’ve got this other, [00:32:00] sort of, bottle or silo, which is, you’re just creating content that anybody can do that makes you a commodity, where like, “What’s your favorite book? What’s your favorite hairstyle?”
Or whatever it is, those shows and those hosts are commodities. You found a, sort of, happy medium where you’re able to create content for your brand that’s actually useful and unique enough to be interesting. Otherwise nobody would listen.
Nathan: Well, thank you man. Well, look I’m sure people really wanna know this stuff around networking and relationships. So, talk to me like, how can you utilize networking to grow your business?
Jordan: Yeah, this is a funny, sort of, question because going back to when Dave hired me, I’d never even thought about creating relationships. I thought relationships happened at a certain point in your career or business, and that turns out to be totally not true for most people.
What we have found especially running our programs and training at “The Art of Charm,” is that people go, people often find us because they go, “Yeah, I’ve been working for 15 years in software engineering and I realize I’m never going to get promoted beyond this engineering stuff into a management level because I don’t have the skills for that,” even though they might be the bomb coder at Amazon, they’re just not good at the people stuff, and it’s a ceiling that they don’t necessarily see.
And so it’s not only integral to building your business and moving up in any business, it’s pretty much the most important thing, because people do business with people that they know, like and trust. And they mostly do business with people that they trust not just people that they like, but they will always prefer somebody that they like if they trust more than one party. And so you have to check all those boxes off, and you also have to dig the well before you’re thirsty, and have the relationships in place before you need them.
So if you wanna job, you can’t just reach out to a bunch of random people and say, “Here’s my resume.” It doesn’t work that way. You have a much better chance of getting a job to your network. In fact, statistics show that 80%, well, more than 80% of jobs and careers are found through a network not through uploading [00:34:00] your stupid resume to monster.com or whatever website you’ve got down under for that type of thing. It’s about finding people in your network, and just look at who you would be willing to help.
Are you more willing to help somebody you’ve known for a few months, few years, people who’ve helped you with other things, friends of yours, or somebody who cold emails you their resume, and it’s like, “I need a job, here’s how qualified I am.” I mean it’s a no-brainer. And yet when we look at the frequency with which people try to do that, it’s alarming, which shows me that people don’t see this until it’s too late.
And whenever I give keynote talks and things, like, that to groups, I always ask, “How many people,” especially the entrepreneurs, I always ask, “how many people think, all right, I know networking is important, but I basically, I’m going to start as soon as I launch my website or as soon as my prototype is done.” And tons of hands go up, and the reason is because not only do we not realize that we need those relationships in place before they become important, we need to dig out well before we’re thirsty, but we’re also using it as an excuse.
Like, well, my website’s not done. What’s the purpose of me going to this mixer event? I don’t have anywhere to show people. I don’t have anything to show people. I don’t have a prototype. I don’t have anywhere to send them. My domain’s not up yet. It doesn’t matter. This is about creating friendships, and then creating relationships with people, and you don’t even know if they’re ever going to help you with anything. So, when we teach networking at AOC, at “Art of Charm,” it’s all about helping other people get what they want and not keeping score.
So I would just help other people that I didn’t even know if I was ever gonna get anything in return ever, and didn’t matter. It was all about helping them. And often, the help was simply, at one point, there’s a tipping point in everyone’s network, this inflection point where what you’re doing to help people is no longer, you’re no longer creating websites for people or doing the graphic design or whatever, your primary vector is just introducing other people in your network to one another, and that’s awesome because that’s scalable, right?
If I wanna help 10 people a day, and I’m not saying that’s a goal or anything, that’s a lot but if I wanted [00:36:00] to help 10 people a day is it easier for me to make 10 email introductions or is it easier for me to create 10 websites, if I’m a web designer? I mean, one of those going to be significantly easier than the other and cost me a lot less in terms of time, effort, etc. And yet the reciprocity that you find is almost just as good having made an introduction versus having done something for somebody, designing their business card, for example, right?
So you wanna get it to the point where it’s scalable, and the only way to do that is by having a large and diverse network. It’s very hard to make it such that your primary value is introducing people to one another when you only know 10 people, because the fit won’t be there. But when you know 1,000 people or 100 people, you can then plug people in really, really easily because it starts to happen, kind of, automatically. Does that all makes sense?
Nathan: Yeah, 100%. So, do you use a tool like Contactually?
Jordan: Yeah, I use tools like Contactually sometimes. I also have a couple of little hacks and tricks that are, kind of, strange, kind of, interesting. I keep up with people a lot, of course, on Facebook and things like that. My show is a great platform for this. I also try to help people wherever I can, at conferences and events, and stuff like that. And I throw a little side gig.
So, for example, if we go to a conference, I might plan a dinner or something like that, like, an unconference with a few people, and I tell them to bring friends of theirs, one person that maybe I don’t know yet or don’t know well yet. And so I’ll create relationships that way, but I also just look at my Facebook newsfeed, and if somebody posts something that’s interesting, instead of clicking like or writing a comment, I might text them or send them an email.
Like, I got a buddy who got married and he had like 1,600 likes on his wedding photo, and I sent him a text and he replied in two seconds, there’s no way he replied to 1,000 comments on Facebook. So, you know, and so it’s unidirectional. So I just use my Facebook newsfeed to basically curate. “Hey, here’s what your friends are doing.” I might click “Like” [00:38:00] to teach the algorithm that that’s what I wanna see, but I’ll send a text or an email after that.
So I don’t necessarily rely super heavily on CRMs like Contactually, I do use those things, but it’s not my primary mode of keeping up with people. The other thing is, since I’m actively connecting people to other people in my network, I, sort of, naturally keep up with people who have high value skill sets. So if you are like, “Jordan, man, I need to Show Art, I need a graphic designer, ” it’s a great excuse for me to reach out to graphic designers in my network and say, “Hey, a friend of mine runs a great business, needs some new show art for iTunes, was wondering if you could help? By the way, how the hell are you? I haven’t talked to you in ages.”
So I sort of double dip on the utility there, and I don’t need a tool that says, “You have to talked to Nathan Shan in six months. Send a really contrived letter asking how he’s doing that you will never read, so that you’re still touch Tech plate, I just don’t do that. I just don’t ever do that.
Nathan: Yeah., I know, that’s fair enough. It is kind of cool though, right?
Jordan: It is cool to do that, and I totally… I recommend doing that over not doing anything. That’s damn sure. And you and I talked about this during the episode that we have on The Art of Charm with the networking tools, is using those things, and definitely using them. It takes a lot of habits that you’ve got to form to remember to constantly be in touch with people and introduce people, and you have to dedicate time to it.
Now for me it’s second nature, but I will say that if you’re one of those people who makes friends and then never talks to them again, yeah, go ahead and get contractually, or go ahead and throw them in you know, close IO, or Salesforce, whatever you got access to, because it’s certainly better than never reaching out. And if you’re really, really new to this, don’t sign up for anything, just go look at your Facebook newsfeed, see what your friends are up to, hide the people or unfriend the ones you just never care about, and you never wanna see again, and start texting people who have real life events happening.
Nathan: Yeah, actually talking about networking, before like you know, before you were you know, the host of The [00:40:00] Art of Charm and you’d go to events, if someone’s going to a business event, what are like your top three tips to get to know someone or make the most of the event?
Jordan: Sure. So one thing that I think is an awesome idea is figure out who else is going that you wanna meet, and try to get a warm introduction through somebody else who might be going to that same event. So if I know that you’re going to the same event that I’m going to, I might say, “Hey, can you introduce me to such and such? Do you know that guy?” And you might be like, “Yeah, because we both live in whatever, Melbourne or something like that, or in Sydney or whatever city you’re in.” And you might know that person or you may have gone to that event the last three years and know some other people there. So I might ask you for an introduction via email beforehand, and then I can go, “Great, let’s meet up for a beer during the conference.”
Another thing that I like to do instead of just, “Let’s meet up for a beer,” vaguely, nebulously during this conference is I like to set up side events. There was a better term for this, I’m just drawing a blank on it. But basically I do… John Corcoran, a good friend of mine who I think you probably also know, he’s really good at this. He’ll do something like, “Hey, I’m setting up a dinner the night before everything kicks off, right before the VIP party, and we’re gonna do it at the sushi restaurant, its walking distance from the hotel. Let’s meet in the lobby at 6:00 bring one person. You can need to bring Jen, who’s my fiancé, or you can bring another dude that you know is going and you know, we’ll just let me know, and there’s going to be 14 of us and capping it at that.”
And we’ll all go, and we’ll meet up in a private room or something like that, and we’ll all have dinner, and there’s kind of like these ice breakers like tell us the time you got arrested, and if nobody has that, they’ve got a story about time they got into trouble the worst or something. And you meet people through this, and it’s really interesting because you find out he’s like straight-edge people have gotten like busted for public nudity or something, you know, you’re like, “What? That was in college obviously but your life like this is an amazing way to get to know some of these crazy corporate people are entrepreneurs.
And so you set that up and it sets you up as a connector, and you’re the hub of that. [00:42:00] So everybody at that event of course knows who you are because you’re sort of facilitating it. And then you can lean on those people for introductions all the time at the event. So I set up things like that. In over dinner though, instead of dinner I should say, I prefer other activities. So I love these escape rooms, these escape game things.
Nathan: Oh, also cool.
Jordan: Yeah, I love those. Me and Jenny, my fiancé we love those, and we’ll set up something like and it’s oftentimes it’s like, oh, we need a group of eight or ten, and there’s only two of us. So we’ll pick six more people and we’ll say are you up for this little adventure, and we’ll carpool out there, and it’s a great way to get to know people because it’s kind of frustrating and you’ve gotta thinking, you’ve gotta work together, so it’s this weird team building exercise that we’re doing with total strangers, and then you maybe go to dinner afterwards, and everyone’s…you’ve got something to talk about, it’s really fun, you’re joking around, it’s a good time, and that’s really interesting, and then you go into this conference knowing a bunch of people that you didn’t know before.
Instead of going to a conference and then waiting till someone’s done with their talk, walking up and waiting in line with 30 other people who wanna say hi to them, and then being like, “Hi, my name’s Jordan, you won’t remember me in five minutes, but I just want to say I love your work, bye,” and then emailing them and getting crickets in response because they met 100 people, and they don’t know who you are anymore. So that’s better, it’s all about depth of relationships over you know, quality over quantity. And the way to do that is to do something, facilitate something like that to get people to remember the interaction that they had with you. And it doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it just requires a little bit of legwork beforehand.
Nathan: Yeah, I know, that’s a great one, that’s really smart. Interesting, so we have to work towards wrapping up, but you’ve build a quite an outstanding business just off of the back of your show as what you’re leading with. It’s you know, a multimillion dollar company, correct?
Jordan: Correct, yeah.
Nathan: Yeah. So I guess just finishing off you know, from running you know, a business, [00:44:00] what are you know, top-three takeaways I guess, and then, yeah, if you could finish with that, and then also the best place people can find you, that’d be awesome man.
Jordan: Sure. I would say, look, don’t get overwhelmed by, oh no, I gotta go out and learn social skills and meet people and do all this stuff. Pick a couple of events that are going to, reach out to people that you know might be going if you don’t know anybody that’s going , find out who the speakers are, get contact info from them using like email hunter or the other tools that you’ve recommended in other episodes of your show, or you can listen to the interview that you and I did on The Art of Charm Podcast, where we talk about a lot of our tools, and reach out to other people who are going the speakers whatever, connect with them based on their personal interests is a great way to get in touch with somebody and get a response, and then make sure that you grow up and you make that personal connection, and try to do something like a side dinner or an escape room, or mini golf is another one of my sort of secrets that I like to do.
And if you do that, you’ll be able to make connections, and it starts to get a lot easier because now I find myself accidentally meeting dozens of people every time because you meet these people and then they ask you to speak and then you’re on stage and you’ve got status and you’re going with the other speakers etc. and you start to see that some of the same people at the same conferences, and you really do end up with just tons and tons of people in your network that then you can scale and introduce to each other, and that’s a very powerful position to be in.
Nathan: Awesome. And where’s the best place people can find you?
Jordan: Sure. So you’re listening to your podcast right now. So I would say, look, just go as well to The Art of Charm Podcast, you can go to theartofcharm.com, you can search for The Art Of Charm or AOC, is what comes up on the logo in wherever you’re listening to this and you’ll find us .
Nathan: Awesome. Well look, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us Jordan, awesome conversation dude.
Jordan: Likewise man, thanks so much.
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