7th of December 2015

Helping Joe, Episode 42


In this episode of Helping Joe, Tucker and Nils help Joe get less dumb and talk about job interviews he did last week. But before they can go into their critiques and advice on how to interview better, they first wipe out his ideas about sales (which jobs involve sales) and his larger black & white views (provincial ideas) that are wrong.


You can click here (right click, then click save as) to download the episode directly.



This episode was sponsored by Criquet Shirts, a high quality clothing company that designs simple, comfortable, old-school polo shirts made from 100% organic cotton. They hooked Joe up with their polo shirts which are now the best shirts he owns. Go to and use the promo code MATE to get 20% off your order.


This episode was also sponsored by Thrive Market, is a membership-based online shopping club that is making healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. For less than $5 a month, Thrive Market members can buy the best-selling healthy foods and products, always 25-50% off.

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Joe’s Thoughts and Takeaways From This Episode:

Hey this is a running commentary of random thoughts, notes, and takeaways I had during or after this episode. – Joe

@Beginning – My interviews were awkward

I had a feeling these interviews were awkward, but I had no idea they were unlistenable to. Tits!

Nils said he had to disconnect emotionally to be able to get through it.

Tucker said it was like his ears were being raped or like watching a married couple arguing in public. wtbs

@3:00 – Recognizing my wins

I tried to discredit these interviews, saying they were just phone interviews, but they actually gave me a lot of credit, more than I thought they would for doing these, which was nice.

“That’s the hardest thing, 0 to 1. Going from something bad to something good is much easier than going from 0 to 1.” – Tucker

I went from 0 to 10 interviews in 2 weeks.

Tucker points out how doing interviews are emotionally like going to a bar because you are setting yourself up for judgment, rejection, and disappointment.

He’s totally right. Even with companies I wasn’t that excited about working for, I was still nervous talking to them. It felt like I was on a date with an attractive woman and I hadn’t been on a date with anyone in a long time.

“There is not an honest human on Earth who will tell you that putting themselves up for judgment by other people isn’t a little bit scary… That’s a biological fact of our existence.” – Tucker

“You did it. Don’t discount that. You have a major problem for giving yourself credit for what you deserve. You do deserve to give yourself credit for doing this. It was difficult and it took courage.”
– Tucker


“Our point here is that you need to celebrate the fact that you did something that was hard. It was one of those small wins. It was a big deal and you did it. Acknowledge it and use the momentum from that victory for the next steps.”
– Nils

@8:30 – I didn’t go to the 3 in-person interviews that I scheduled

There was only 1 were I thought it was a legit opportunity and I didn’t go. I know I should have and I needed to go even just for the practice and I didn’t do it. They try to figure out why I did this here.

“It was fear. You were afraid.” – Nils

Tucker points out that you can always find an excuse not to do something.

There’s a great quote from The Office about this that I had forgotten until he brought this up where Jan said,

“There are always a million reasons not to do something,”

when Pam was scared about changing her career. It’s most def not original to the show, but that’s where I first heard it and it stuck.

“Is that going to be effective for you?” No

@13:30 – Nils wants to strangle me

Understandable. Not going to legit interviews is kinda ridiculous and in direct opposition to getting a job.

My strategy was just shotgunning resumes on job sites (which was like the #1 takeaway of what NOT to do and why this doesn’t work in Charlie’s Recession Proof Graduate book and I knew this, I’ve read it like 3x and I still did it anyways just to get interviews) and it’s gotten me interviews but half the companies are scams. I need to change this strategy.

@16:00 – Having a business > Raising money

My logic for looking at companies who recently raised money was that if a company just raised millions of $, they are going to be hiring people, maybe they can hire me.

“If you see that they raised money, cross it off the list.” – Nils

“It means they don’t have a business yet and aren’t producing revenue.” – Tucker

Yea this makes a lot of sense. I was just wrong. I think I was still looking at startups with money because it’s cool or exciting or fun to work at a startup.

@17:00 – Every position at Whole Foods is a sales position

I had a very limited view of sales I guess. I just never thought of people working behind the counter or at the cash register at Whole Foods were in sales.

Tucker and Nils break down the logic here and the errors in my thinking pretty easily and it’s funny.

“Sales is only one manifestation of [the original] overarching goals, not the only one.” – Tucker

The goals and criteria they are talking about we came up with in Episode 31

“It’s not cool.” – Me

I was at least self-aware enough to recognize why I was resistant to the idea of seeing a cashier or anyone working at Whole Foods as a sales position that I should take.

“Whole Foods’s employees mission is to make sure that you, the customer, get what you want, if not more it, as quickly and efficiently as possible… If you’re on the floor, potentially interacting with customers, you are in sales.” – Nils

During the day, everyone on the floor at Walmart has a tag that says “sales associate,” same as Whole Foods, HEB, Target, etc.” – Tucker

@25:30 – Whole Foods is a tribe

Tucker talks about his friend who runs the bbq place at Whole Foods. He could open his own place somewhere but he loves Whole Foods so much that he’s willing to make 25-50% less money. That’s pretty cool and is somewhere I would like to work.

@27:30 – Getting paid on commissions is actually shittier

Not shittier, but different, probably more positive.

I never really thought about the value of not getting paid commission. I just thought if you get paid like that it incentivizes you to sell more and the company does better and then you get paid more, everybody wins. But not really, the customer doesn’t win if they had a bad experience with a pushy sales guy and leave, or if they get home and regret what they bought.

Tucker uses a great example with Book In A Box and BMW. They don’t pay their sales people a commission.

“When you are talking to [rich people], trying to push something on them repels them, feels low status. They don’t want to talk to people selling them. They want to talk to people who will help them achieve their goals.” – Tucker

And not everybody should work with BIAB.

“When you work commission, you have to close a sale or you don’t eat. There are a lot of ways to manipulate sales to close. That can work.” – Tucker

“Commission sales become an every man for himself scenario and tribe is out the window.” – Nils

Tucker was right here about my work history. I’ve never really been that motivated by money. I don’t know if I’d like commission sales. I’ve never done it before probably because I don’t care.

@32:00 – My black and white view of the world

“You have a very black and white view of how the world works… You have these very rigid ideas of what things are and they fuck you. The world is shades of grey.”
– Nils

“Your view of sales it convince someone to buy something, someone comes in, needs an item, and you convinece them to buy your version of that item. That is A WAY to do sales, but it is one of 20 types of sales.” – Tucker

Yea I just have no idea of all the types of sales out there that I could work in and be really happy with.

I think I got fixated on looking at sales jobs because I don’t know all “routes” they are talking about. And I haven’t really done the work to seek them out either. I wish we talked more about this, other good routes they think I should do, where I should be looking.

Volunteering at the booth at The Hideout is sales.

“People come wanting to eat healthy and don’t know what decision to make and [Whole Foods employees] guide them to the right thing. That’s why everyone there loves there job even though they get paid less. They spend all day helping people.”
– Tucker

@39:30 – Helping Joe Get Less Dumb and provincial ideas

“You have a lot of fucking ideas in your head that are total nonsense. That’s why we get you to say them so we can destroy them and then replace them with good ideas. Then you make better decisions based on better ideas.” – Tucker

“One of the things you should do is over the next few months is try to unwind the source of all this bad information. We run into at every turn. Your instincts or accumulated information is almost always total nonsense. What is the source? Maybe then you can deprogram it. Where is that coming from?” – Nils

No idea. Like he said, I will have to spend a lot of time thinking about this. I just don’t know. Maybe I need therapy to work all this nonsense out or to dig deep enough back to find the source or the mental model for how this bad information go there and how I have all these bad ideas.

“I don’t know is not an acceptable answer.” – Nils

“The irony of all of your information is all of your information is that all of it is limiting. Nothing is about opening up opportunities or expanding your view. It’s all limiting. You have this singular definition. You don’t see the rainbow. You see one color.” – Nils

He’s right. Maybe I’m so lost in my own head or lost in life and don’t know where I’m going or what to do or how to be successful with women or in a job that I grab onto ideas I think are right and just hold onto them to have so I have some stable ground or understanding of what’s right or what’s correct in these areas.

The irony of all ironies: I had a vast landscape of lists and information, but my thinking and worldview are so limited. This is sad. I spent all this time reading or saving stuff to read and compiling all these resources, and I have nothing to show for it. I’m still blatantly stupid. Maybe this was one of the reasons they were so upset about all the lists in the last episode.

Maybe these ideas came from growing up in small town Ohio. I’m not sure how but that’s possible.

“Maybe part of it is to categorize things so you can wrap your head around them when you’re not certain of what to make of anything. That’s very limiting.” – Nils

“The problem with you is that [the bad idea] calcifies as the truth, as opposed to holding it in your head as ‘Here’s what I think about sales right now,’ and constantly questioning and updating it with new information. You just say, ‘This is sales or this is not sales.’”

Maybe I hear something from someone successful or read something online and take it to be true without thinking for myself because I don’t have confidence in myself or my own ideas.

Maybe this is a symptom of being young, in my 20s, and stupid.

@46:00 – Working at Dell

And there’s another one with corporate companies. I feel like I can’t apply or work at Dell, this big corporate enterprise, because I don’t have a degree. And so I didn’t even look at them. I don’t know if this is true or not, I never tested this assumption, probably because testing it would have required action and the possibility of getting rejected or judged for not having a degree, not being good enough to work here.

I also hate big corporations like Dell for some reason. Again, another stupid idea or provincial idea as they call it:

Big corporation = bad, uncool, shitty, soul-less, life-sucking work.

I’ve never worked at a corporation so how would I know?! I mean I do have 2 friends that work at Dell and they are both miserable there, but that could be their personal problem, it could be the work they are doing, and not necessarily the company.

Tucker gives a great example of an entrepreneurial / startup role at Dell which sounds like fun but I just had no idea.

“If you’re looking for a tribe, you need to find a company that isn’t cool but cares about things you care about or works in a field that you care about or people doing things you care about.” – Tucker

Whole Foods was a great example of this:
-You care about nutrition and being healthy.
-You want a regular group of people to work around.
-You spend all day helping people.

“You spend all day helping real people who need information or knowledge that you will have and you can give to them and they are better off.” – Tucker

Yea that sounds like a good way to sell things, especially the part about learning and having this information. I just have to find something that I want to learn about and maybe go there to find a job.

“Whole Foods is just one example.” – Tucker

Yea but in my head, I’m already like, “I have to go apply and work at Whole Foods now! That’s what I should do,” instead of thinking for myself and doing the research to find other examples like this, other companies and opportunities. I just get fixated on what they tell me might be good and I stick to that. It’s limiting.

@50:00 – Why I shoot down their ideas or have excuses

“He is going to twist and turn as much as he needs to find to sit in his room and make $24,00 a year if it means not being uncomfortable.” – Nils

“He would rather be poor than mildly emotionally uncomfortable for a small amount of time.” – Tucker

“Tucker just threw out 3 ideas that satisfy all your criteria and you found a way to parry it. You will find a way to make an excuse. It’s because of that discomfort and uncertainty.” – Nils

Yea this was the exact same thing I did with going on in-person interviews and having excuses. “There’s always a millions reason not to do something.”

“The path is getting a fucking job and developing skills & abilities to climb up the latter.” – Tucker

“20-30% of the corporate structure of Whole Foods are 80K and above.” – Tucker

“The path is intracompany as well as intercompany. You can springboard laterally and vertically.” – Nils

Tucker says I’m already doing this with improv but I don’t see it. Improv is a hobby.

“A tribe where you spend your time contributing to it and growing it and getting something back.” – Tucker

@58:00 – Status and jobs, lawyer example

“There’s a reason why everyone who is a lawyer quits or tries to or wishes they could because it’s a terrible job. No one at Whole Foods feels that way. No, they don’t get paid a lot, but they get a lot of satisfaction.” – Tucker

“[Lawyers] have that dead look in their eyes.” – Nils

“Any job that confers automatic status and money on you comes with your soul as the price. If you have to earn it, [it’s different].” – Tucker

My version of wanting status: startups

“You want to be able to want into a room, tell people what you do, and not look at the floor.” – Nils

Yep. Yes. 100%.

“You think you have to look at the floor. I don’t know anyone at Whole Foods who works there and is ashamed of it.” – Tucker

“We celebrate entrepreneurs and it is a good thing, but the other side of that coin is often deep insecurity and a need to prove something. It’s a lot of my motivation for success. If you can let that bullshit go. You can have a “small” job but one that makes you happy as hell AND you can also grow that into a bigger job. You can have both, but not at the start.” – Tucker

“No one gets 120K for a job that they love that’s high status. That job doesn’t exist.”
– Tucker

@1:02:00 – Nils’s thought experiment

This was pretty interesting example because I have already gone through this and it sucked and I fucking left.

@1:05:00 – You are not spending time thinking about it

“That’s the hard part for us. It feels like you’re doing this as a stocking horse for the people listening to the show. I don’t even feel like you’re invested in your own growth, at least professionally. You’re not putting any thought into this.” – Nils

I think at times that’s been true, but I also just have no idea what I’m doing and not that much confidence in myself, or knowledge about what’s out there or what job I can get so I stick to their plan and what they say.

“The only ‘right’ course is action.” – Nils

@1:07:00 – The lists really were a coping mechanism.

Once they made me aware of why I was doing this, I noticed how it was totally an emotional coping.

“What you’re coping with is not acting (non-action).” – Nils

Haha yea it was.

“We can’t do all the thinking for you. You have to think about this, value yourself, and value what you want.” – Nils

1:09:00 – How your job affects mating opportunities

I had this baseless insecurity in my head that women would be turned off or not into me or think less of me if I took a job that some people might think was low-status, like working at whole foods or wherever.
“Your mating opportunities are determined by a whole slew of traits and circumstances. I know garbage men who are happily married with kids… It’s total bullshit.” – Nils

“If you are in shape, intelligent, engaging, funny, extroverted, good with kids, all of those things contribute to your attractiveness. It’s not 1 thing, it’s 10 things.” – Nils

“Getting the cool job is not going to solve all your problems.” – Nils

Yea I think that’s why I had so much anxiety earlier, and still do, about finding a cool job because it’s going to bring a whole new set of hopefully better problems. I know it won’t solve my problems and I still have a lot of work to do, like performing well and doing well in that new job.

“You’ve got to love yourself enough to think about what you need, what you want, and where you can get it… What do you really need and want to be happy? … The minute you start thinking about it, you retreat.” – Nils

In episode 31, you agreed [to all this criteria], a lot of that we laid on you and you agreed, so who knows how you actually feel about them, maybe you have some criteria that are different than those, which are valid, but YOU HAVE TO FIGURE THEM OUT and tell us. Spend the time really thinking about it.

@1:13:00 – Next episode = interviews

@1:17:00 – Talking about startup jobs

I like the idea of working for a startup, an innovative cool company, building some cool shit that’s meaningful and helps people, but that’s not me or how I want to live my life with that much risk and a hope that you make a nut and cash out if it blows up.

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