719. Boredom Drove Him to Test His Limits
“Basically, all of this hacking the system to avoid what I thought were dumb, arbitrary, unnecessarily difficult classes that are graded on a curve and designed to make you fail so that you quit…? Well, my law school valued the fact that I didn’t bother with any of that. And that changes the way that I look at everything now.”
Jordan Harbinger has always had an affinity for Social Influence, Interpersonal Dynamics and Social Engineering, helping private companies test the security of their communications systems and working with law enforcement agencies before he was even old enough to drive. He has spent several years abroad in Europe and the developing world and speaks several languages. He has traveled through war zones and has been kidnapped—twice. And he’ll tell you the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of) just about any situation.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Jordan was an only child and pretty much bored all the time. As he says, “What happens when you get bored is you get in trouble.” His version of that was he figured out how to tap phone calls and clone cell phones. This was just the beginning of the technical skills he would build.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Jordan did everything possible to avoid following a normal educational path, including not liking how any of the college majors offered were taught. His academic advisor said, “Well, you can make your own concentration, but nobody does it. It’s a huge pain.” And Jordan responded, “It is not going to be any bigger pain than taking Calculus V.” He picked Business, German, Advanced German Business, Spanish Medical, Russian, Economics, Political Science, Theater classes…and skipped all the pre-requisites. Then he applied to law school where he didn’t think he would have a chance. But it turned out they are always looking for some mavericks. “They wanted and valued the fact that I didn’t [do what everyone else did]. That changed the way I looked at everything. If a rigorous academic institution that prides itself on the amount of hoops you’ve got to jump through is down with this, then the working world is my oyster. I’m not going to do anything by the book.”
The Most Powerful Lesson Learned?
Jordan knew he wasn’t going to be able to outwork everyone else forever. He knew he wasn’t going to make himself smarter than all the Wall Street kids he worked with, so he decided to learn about networking and relationship development. “I had already thought the people that are really ahead know everyone. So I worked on body language, nonverbal communication, and that’s what I teach on my podcast, the Jordan Harbinger Show—Advanced Human Dynamics.”
Steps to Success from Jordan Harbinger
1. There is something to be said for a side hustle. Start slow, build it slowly, keep your current job, and then you do not have to put pressure on yourself.
2. Explore what it is that really switches you on, but do not think you have to make a career out of it. Sometimes when you turn a hobby into a job, you are likely to ruin the one thing you love to do.
Connecting With Jordan Harbinger
Free Podcast: https://www.jordanharbinger.com/podcast/
Free Course: Advanced Human Dynamics, Level One — Videos about how he reaches out to people and maintains his network, creates relationships and keeps those going for years. To help you create connections with people that will help you achieve what you want to achieve.
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