LMSM 101 | Quiet Quitting


Quiet Quitting is a viral TikTok concept that is working its way into the mainstream. In a nutshell, “quiet quitting” is about rejecting the notion that work has to take over one’s life, and that employees should ever go above and beyond what their job descriptions entail. According to Metro, this can take many forms – including turning down projects based on interest, refusing to answer work messages outside of working hours, or simply feeling less invested in the role. In this episode, we look at this catchy term for an old problem – low employee engagement by watching several hot takes on TikTok and breaking them down from a fundamental perspective. Does this term have merit and if not, what is a disengaged employee to do instead?

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What Is “Quiet Quitting” And Who Does It Serve?

Why It Happens, How Managers Can Avoid It, And What Employees Should Do Instead

Quiet Quitting is a hot term on social media. It’s a very woke way of saying, “I’m disengaged. I’m going to quit going above and beyond.” There are arguments on either side of it. In this episode, Frank and I look at six viral TikTok videos of young folks talking about the concept of quiet quitting. We try to give our perspectives both from our careers as employees, managers, and owners. Frank, what can people expect to learn from this?

There’s an arc that happened since the pandemic. People didn’t want to quit and do anything. There was the Great Resignation. What we are getting into is an apathetic stance that’s called quiet quitting. Ian and I talk about how it is incredibly short-sighted. If you have desires long-term, you never know where relationships are going to take you. If you have desires long-term or of being anything other than an hourly employee, quiet quitting is bad for you. We think you should do 1 of 2 things, fully engage or quit. We talk about that in this episode.

Quiet Quitting is a hot term on social media. It’s a very woke way of saying, “I’m disengaged. I’m going to quit going above and beyond.” There are arguments on either side of it. In this episode, Frank and I look at six viral TikTok videos of young folks talking about the concept of quiet quitting. We try to give our perspectives both from our careers as employees, managers, and owners. Frank, what can people expect to learn from this?

There’s an arc that happened since the pandemic. People didn’t want to quit and do anything. There was the Great Resignation. What we are getting into is an apathetic stance that’s called quiet quitting. Ian and I talk about how it is incredibly short-sighted. If you have desires long-term, you never know where relationships are going to take you. If you have desires long-term or of being anything other than an hourly employee, quiet quitting is bad for you. We think you should do 1 of 2 things, fully engage or quit. We talk about that in this episode.


Ian, you magnificent bastard. We are at 101 episodes. What we thought would be a goof has turned into a tremendous waste of time.

It’s a worldwide phenomenon.

We are over 100. I thought it was time for a fresh new open. In my fresh new open, your mom is still not unscathed but there’s no cursing. We are getting a little better.

It’s downloaded in over 79 countries. We are an absolute global phenomenon. I never could have known that we would become this famous.

Who could have thought we would be this big in Angola? We haven’t quiet quit or quit.

That’s debatable. We are talking about a topic that Frank started right around Episode 16, which is quiet quitting. I showed Frank this tool. If you go into Google Trends and type in quiet quitting, Google will show you how that term ranks versus all of the things that are being searched. From 0 to 100, a 1 means no one is searching for the term at all. A hundred means you are the number one trending topic. If you type in quiet quitting, that term gets a 100 out of 100 on Google Trends. It has largely blown up on TikTok, which is where all amazing career things start. Don’t forget to follow Frank and me there. We have a pretty amazing 16,000 followers.

The term quiet quitting is a response to burnout where people feel like they only need to do the bare minimum. People have said, “We are done going above and beyond. We are done trying any extra harder. We are going to show up and do the job we are paid for.” It’s largely what Frank does every Wednesday morning when we record. He jumps on here. You all feel it. He goes through the motions where I put in all the heart and soul of this entire operation.

My disagreements are going to start early on this show. They are going to start right here. Ian is an old-school Silent Generation Manager that doesn’t listen to feedback and tunes everything out. As soon as I start to speak, he looks down at his phone and starts to drink. This quiet quitting thing is for a different generation than me. It’s the generation after us. We are Gen X. It’s the Millennials. It’s even the younger generation of twenty-something-year-olds, which we are now significantly not a part of.

When I read quiet quitting, what it means to me is it’s a passive-aggressive way to say, “I’m not going to engage in this.” There are a lot of things that have come out in the news. Ian and I would read someone by the name of Peggy Noonan from the Wall Street Journal. She’s an old-school opinionist. She’s conservative. She wrote for Ronald Reagan years ago. She talks about professionalism and America’s lack of professionalism.

Quiet quitting is just a passive-aggressive way to say, 'I'm not going to engage in this.' Click To Tweet

The pandemic, to me, is a great example of this. There are a lot of people who bitched, “This was so hard. I lost my twenties.” We are not at war. You had to wear a mask. It wasn’t that fucking bad. You still have Netflix. It’s not like you are in a boat landing in France getting shot at. Quiet quitting to me is an excuse, “I don’t want to engage fully. I want to protect my private life and my work-life balance.” That’s fine but it doesn’t need a passive-aggressive summary. When I read this, it makes my stomach turn.

I have thoughts on the generational thing but we will get back to that. Let’s get into the TikTok that went viral, the one that everyone is writing articles about.

“I learned about this term called quiet quitting, where you are not outright quitting your job but you are quitting the idea of going above and beyond. You are still performing your duties but no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work has to be your life. The reality is that it’s not. Your worth as a person is not defined by your labor.”

That guy has a very soothing voice. There’s a slow piano in the background. You can see why this video went viral. That was a sensational video by that guy.

How many views does that thing have?

There are 3.5 million. There are 500,000 likes and thousands of comments. There are a couple of things he says. There’s this whole, “Your life isn’t defined by your labor.” It’s like politics to me. People take this as 0 or 100. People can’t be in the middle of stuff like work-life balance. We don’t subscribe to hustle culture. When I hear that, I feel like that’s the words of a spoiled brat that has never been hungry a day in their life. Their parents have paid for everything.

Did their parents subscribe to hustle culture when they were making a better life for them or their grandparents? I tried to picture saying this to my great grandfather when he came over from Slovakia, didn’t know where he was getting his next meal, and didn’t speak English. I can imagine having a discussion with him, “What do you think about hustle culture?” He would have punched me in the mouth. It’s ridiculous.

Ian and I are realizing that we are becoming the two old guys from the Muppets. We are getting older. We are getting opinionated. We are digging in our heels. It’s Statler and Waldorf for those of you that are big Muppets fans. This is what I see in this video. I see someone in a mask who doesn’t show their face and is talking this thing through about this mantra or a set of life goals. They are pretty young. It looks to me like this person is in their high teens or low twenties.

I don’t know what to think of it. It’s what I think of TikTok as a whole. It’s a place to go fuck around. Who knows? If that person came into an interview with me, I wouldn’t hire him. What I want is people who want to give me 50 to 60 hours worth of work in 40 to 45 hours a week. I want people who are going to kick some ass and who want to achieve through a career.

There are people who have this figured out better than us and certainly better than me. They live lives that allow for a lot more leisure. I enjoy the hustle and the grind. If this is the voice of the next generation, then it’s not going to be related to what we had to put in. I listened to it. It makes me feel disconnected and old but as someone who hires people, this is not someone I want to hire. Those are the things that I immediately think about.

LMSM 101 | Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting: The term “quiet quitting” is basically a response to burnout. It’s where people feel like they only need to do the bare minimum. They are done going above and beyond.


Saying quiet quitting is a new way of saying disengaged. Forever was disengaged. Gallup is a large international company. They largely build their business around data. They get information, do questionnaires and surveys, and sell that data to companies so they can better manage workforces. They do this annually. They do a global engagement study. Their last one was in 2021.

It showed that 51% of global employees are disengaged at work, and 15% are actively disengaged. Quiet quitting, in general, is not new. This is another way of saying that people aren’t terribly thrilled to go to the office. They are just putting in their hours to get a paycheck. I have largely been engaged for most of my career but there have been times I have been disengaged. I have not been excited to go to the office. I have not been putting in the same effort because I didn’t like my boss or where I was going.

Someone explained this once to me. It’s engaged, disengaged, and actively disengaged. Fifty-one percent are disengaged. Fifteen percent are actively disengaged. The way I look at it is that an engaged employee acts a little bit like an owner of the company. If they were to walk by in the hall and see some chewing gum on the carpet, they would bend over with a Kleenex, pick it up, and throw it in the garbage because that’s what the owner would do.

If you walked and saw chewing gum on the carpet, you wouldn’t walk past it. You would pick it up. It’s your company. Your name is on the door. Someone who’s disengaged would walk right past the chewing gum, figuring, “That’s not my job to pick up gum.” They could care less about the place, “If someone else will come by and they will do it, that’s not my job.”

An actively disengaged person is trying to do harm to the company. If they see the gum, they look around to see if anyone is looking and then smash it into the carpet with their shoe. That’s the way I look at it because they hate everyone who runs this company. Not only are they disengaged but they can’t stand Frank Cava. They want to try to hurt Frank Cava. “This is the way I will do it.” They are working there and collecting pay but they are behind the scenes sabotaging the company.

If we are going to dig into this and pull it together, let’s talk about each one. The engaged person is going to rise up. That’s going to sustain over time. There is a quote. We often attach it to Warren Buffett but it’s Thomas Edison who says, “Opportunity is often missed because it’s dressed in overalls and it looks like work.” That’s the engaged person. They do the work and do the little things. That person has a place to stay and will continue to. We will get into the disengaged. The disengaged person is in a spot of being in danger. When I say that, it’s this. The disengaged person is someone who gives you enough to get by. We broke it here first in the show. What are we going into?


We are going into a recession. If you are disengaged and giving 50% to 51% of your effort or whatever the stat was on top, you are in that 51% cap. If you are disengaged, what’s going to happen is push is going to come to shove. As we get deeper into a recession, you must be either insanely talented or you need to be someone who gives hustle points. If you don’t, employers are doing something where they are building out what they call their life raft or their emergency team.

This is famous from Jack Welch in the ’80s and ’90s when he was at GE. They always knew who their bottom 10% was. They would fire. They did it as a matter. Some companies don’t do it as regularly as GE did but what they do instead is say, “When there are economic cycles that come and go. When we go into a recession, we need to cut.” The first people who get caught are those disengaged.

I was in California with someone who works at a major corporation, one of the biggest in the world. What they have done is they have gone through a hiring freeze already. The next thing this company will do is they will look at its real estate holdings and figure it out, “We have all this room for growth. We are going to rent some of this space out.”

Money isn't what bonds people, it's the way to get to it. Click To Tweet

The hiring freeze is first. The third thing they are going to do is they are going to go to the bottom 10% to 20% and start letting them go. They are not going to announce layoffs. They are going to let people go before they do massive layoffs. The disengaged is who gets fired first. This is a rule book that businesses face. It’s very easy to identify disengaged. Actively disengaged is a different thing. We will get into it. That’s what I think about disengaged.

You and I think in terms of professionals. We are used to working with college-educated folks. We are used to thinking about people that work with their brains but this next clip might make you think a little bit differently about this one. I’m showing Frank some of these clips for the first time as he sees them. Let’s play the next one. I’m interested in your take on this.

“I put three years in with the company. I started at $11.88 an hour in 2018. By June of 2021, after putting in multiple shifts of overtime, working holidays, volunteering for other people so they could have time off, doing whatever it took for my supervisors, kissing ass, cleaning up, staying over, and volunteering for things. Do you want to know what I ended up making when I quit after three years? $12.64. That was not missing a single raise and evaluation. That was even begging for merit raises that they decided they were going to get rid of because “they didn’t have the money” for it anymore.”

“You want to talk about quietly quitting. Tell Corporate America to start paying their employees what they are worth. Quit quietly. I’m not going to sit here and bust my ass because some CEO that’s got pockets deeper than the Nile needs a seventh vacation home in the Hamptons while I’m over here trying to make a car payment on a 2002 Honda Civic.”

“We are not even going there about the student loan situation quietly quitting. My ass has been working 2 jobs 7 days a week for the last decade. My student loans hadn’t even begun to get touched due to the fact that the interest was so high. We can’t afford to make payments on those. We can’t afford to make payments on the 2002 Honda Civic. You want us to continue to bust our ass.”

Can you imagine working at the Outback and screwing up that lady’s order? Can you put yourself back in your shoes? What would have happened with that lady if you had brought out some burnt barbecue ribs?

I’m a math guy. Let’s look at this. You took on a high-interest paying debt to go to college and get a job that pays $24,000 a year. Where did you go to work? In 2021 and 2022, $24,000 a year is 55% to 60% of what I made as a starting salary in 1998. I would think through decision-making with this. This is where the internet, to me, is fucked. Someone is railing and has hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of views. Someone is listening to that advice from someone who’s making $24,000 a year. Isn’t that below the poverty line? The minimum wage in most states is $15 an hour. I don’t understand it. It’s an interesting video. I hope that’s not the masses.

How many houses in the Hamptons do you have?


You do have pockets deeper than the Nile. Deeper than the Nile is fantastic. That whole rant was good. I thought that was good. It felt polished and practiced. I feel like she said these things before.

LMSM 101 | Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting: An engaged employee acts a little bit like an owner of the company. If they were to walk by in the hall and see gum on the carpet, they would clean it. Someone who’s disengaged wouldn’t do anything.


These aren’t new thoughts for her. Help me with this. Let’s co-create here a little bit. Who’s the CEO that went viral that she said he was eating a peanut butter sandwich every Thursday, and people we going to join him? Who is that?

That was the CEO of Indeed.

The CEO of Indeed went viral. He put out a company-wide email. The company-wide email was, “I’m the CEO of the company. I’m going to go every Thursday from this time to this time and sit in the lunch room.” He did it for a year. Over a year, there were less than fifteen people that joined him at lunch. What I found fascinating about this is that there were comments. I went and looked it up. One of the comments was, “We have nothing in common with this guy.”

They immediately went to money and pay. Where it comes back to is that you have nothing in common with this guy because you never completely bought in. At 24 or 25, you are not going to have a lot in common with a 60-year-old but you will probably be able to bond over cool stories. Ian and I interviewed the Founder of Choco Taco. We had a blast talking to him because it’s a fun story. He took a chance. There are things you can relate to.

Do we understand him or know him? Not incredibly well but those are the things that typically will bond somebody. It isn’t the money. The money comes later after years of sacrifice and toil unless you were built into it. Money isn’t what bonds people. It’s the way to get to it. The story of how the guy launched the Choco Taco is fascinating. He had an idea. That’s what captivates people. If you have nothing in common with someone like that or don’t even want to take a shot to sit down with them, to me, you’ve already quit. Why not get yourself in front of this person and see what comes out of it?

Whether you have something in common with someone or not is largely a mentality. You believe you don’t have anything in common with someone, and you believe you have a lot in common with somebody. I can remember being young and getting chances to meet executives who made a lot more money than me when I was broke but I would always think, “They were me once. They were 22 once and broke and probably driving a crappy car. They are farther ahead than I am.” I have a lot of thoughts on this if you are a company and you are paying pretty close to minimum wage.

It’s under minimum wage. It’s under $12 an hour. The average minimum wage nowadays is higher than that.

If you are paying minimum wage, you probably shouldn’t expect people to do any more than their job requirements. Let’s say that’s the only job you could get. Not everyone has the privilege that others have. This might be the best job you have in the area where you live. If you are a company and paying the lowest you possibly can, you shouldn’t be asking people to do more than what’s required of the job, “I’m going to pay as little as I can. I should expect the bare minimum because I’m paying the bare minimum.” On the other side, for this individual, I’m with you.

You went and got a college degree. You are working for minimum wage for three years. Don’t sit around and complain about that. If your skills are so great that you should be making more money, you seem to be angry that executives make more money than you. “Hotshot, get a job that pays better.” Sitting around and complaining about your pay and the way you are treated is such a victim mentality. Do something about it. I don’t empathize with that. It’s a blue-collar mentality.

I have a story on this. I worked an internship at an auto supplier in Detroit when I was in college. I was out on the floor all the time. I knew I wasn’t going to work there forever but I was ambitious because I wanted to get a good review at the end of my internship and be able to put it on the resume that I accomplished some things. One day, they were short workers for a weekend. We had a big order we had to do. I volunteered to go in and work on the line.

Stop wasting your time on nonsense. Prioritize what you want to do so that you'll be productive. Click To Tweet

I was on a stamping press. I had to make a little part. It’s one piece of a hinge that went into the back of a trunk. I was given a quota. It was several 400-some I had to stamp out in a day. By lunch, I hit my daily quota. I went at lunch to sit down with the other union guys and have lunch with them. They chewed me out and lost their minds, “What the hell are you doing? You are trying to make us look bad. Why are you going above and beyond?”

I was like, “Aren’t we working the weekend because we’ve got a whole bunch of parts that we need to shift for a big order we got with the customer?” They were like, “You are going to work here one day and put some record number up. Someone in management is going to tell us that’s the new quota. It never ends. They will always ask for more, and we will keep making the same money.” You are going to take a quota of, let’s say, 400 and do 800. They are going to say, “If this kid did it in one day, you need to do 800 from now on.” Another kid will come in and do 1,000.

It was almost like the crabs pulling the crab back into the pot that was trying to escape and find freedom. I started by thinking, “These guys are lazy,” but by the end of the conversation, I was like, “I don’t have to do their job the rest of my life. They are making crappy money working on an assembly line. If I’m making their life hell, then I will bag it for the second half.” I saw the side of this, “If you are not making a lot of money, you don’t want to kill yourself for not making a lot of money either.”

I get it. Everyone has got a different perspective but you do want to achieve, grow, and do more than the salt mines or the assembly line. This woman has a college degree. She’s making $11 and something an hour. I looked up the minimum wages in 2022. In about a third of the States, the number that she’s making is under minimum wage. If you go to places like Georgia, it’s $5 in change. Idaho is $7.25. There are states like Michigan where it’s almost $10. Massachusetts is $14.25. California is $15.

What I look at is this. Nobody says you must work there for three years. Did you go to Glassdoor? Did you look this company up? Where are you working? Do they promote people? If not, have some manifest destiny. Don’t piss and wail, “I have been here three years. They don’t give me a raise.” I bet there were clues that told you that you were at the wrong company way before year three. What if you’re in the wrong geographic location? Move. The average cost to rent a van, move, and uproot your life is under $4,000, which is a significant amount of money when you are making $24,000 but could you make that back if you move somewhere you can go from $24,000 to $60,000?

Getting to $50,000 to $60,000 in this economy is not incredibly hard if you pick up and look. There are so many wonderful things about the internet. What I dislike about it the most is if you are a victim, you can find that audience and someone that’s like, “That person is right. I’m digging in deeper.” I’m not qualified to have that conversation. There are a lot of problems with that but that’s what I see here.

She described a company that is not well run. It’s probably not profitable. It’s not growing. It’s desperate. If you work for a company that doesn’t promote from within, it’s not run particularly well, it doesn’t have an advantage in the market, it’s not growing, and it doesn’t treat people, then why would you put in any more time than is asked of you for the basic wage? I get that but also, why the hell are you still there? Why stay for three years? What is in your control that you couldn’t have done? It’s such a fixed mindset. It’s completely frustrating. Let’s look at a different point of view on this next one.

“Am I the only one who thinks that the term quiet quitting doesn’t make any sense? I’m Shani. I am a full-time software developer. On the side, I run a full-scale veggie farm. I usually only post about farming content but I feel inclined to share my perspective on the idea of quiet quitting. I’m confused about this term. Who came up with it? If quiet quitting means not going above and beyond and doing what you are paid to do, isn’t that called working and doing your job properly with a healthy boundary? Can we call it what it is? It’s called working, doing your job.”

“I have been in tech for three years. I’ve always had positive reviews. To be honest, in the beginning, there have been times when I have gone above and beyond. I’ve let work-related problems live rent-free in my brain but I don’t do that anymore because it’s so not worth it. Sometimes people ask me how I managed to have a full-time job and run a farm.”

“A big part of it is that I got better at setting boundaries. I no longer let those work issues affect my personal life. When it’s time to shut off, it’s time to shut off. The idea of quiet quitting doesn’t resonate with me because that sounds like a coping mechanism. It sounds very disengaging. I’m still showing up to my work, putting a fair amount of effort to do my job right, and saying no to things that don’t bring value.”

LMSM 101 | Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting: Sitting around and complaining about your pay and the way you’re treated is thinking with a victim mentality. Go out and get a better job. Do something about it.


Something about this individual is unique in that she’s an employee. The tech space is entrepreneurial in general. She’s an employee but she’s also an entrepreneur. She has a farm. She sells. Her content is normally about farming. She sells her wares. She’s a startup owner. When I look at her piece of this, I love this. It’s not working. Let’s define work for what it is. It’s an exchange of effort to produce something tangible for compensation. Whether you work as an employee or you start your business, you are trying to get compensation for your hours put in.

When I think about why someone would go above and beyond as an employee, they go above and beyond not to kiss ass. They go above and beyond because they believe that all that extra effort will be compensated more highly in the long-term. They will get a future promotion, a new title that will make them more valuable in the market, or a bonus. They might get equity in the company.

All of that above and beyond is not free charity work. People do it because they know long-term they will be more valuable. All the extra hours you and I put in our early twenties that we weren’t paid for resulted in promotions to positions that pay 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10X what we were making at the time. This individual has this mindset. Partly, that might be how she’s wired but also because she does some entrepreneurial work.

Think about a founder. Everything a founder does is above and beyond the employees’ definition. What I mean by that is that when you are a founder, there is no revenue on day one. Everything is a concept. It’s Frank running around, looking at houses, getting paid nothing, and having only expenses. It’s me building a video program with no customers, hoping one day I’m going to be able to sell it. It’s David inventing a device and hiring engineers to work on something with no clue whether people are going to want it but why are we doing that?

Why does a founder put above and beyond work in the beginning? It’s because we believe there will be pay in the future. It’s the same thing an employee does. You are not going above and beyond to make someone else rich. You are doing it to make yourself rich because, in the future, all of that extra work to build your brand and show that you are a person that cares about the company is going to be rewarded. If you chose the wrong company that doesn’t reward people for doing that, that’s on you but let’s not make it seem like charity. It’s just work.

I’m going to ask you a question. I want to say something else about this. What I hear from the woman who spoke is that I’m encouraged by her. What she’s saying is great. I buy into it. I like her perspective. She’s someone on a TikTok video I can connect with. If she were interviewing with my company, I would love to have a deep conversation, see if there was a job for her, and dive into her skillset. To me, she’s a cultural fit. She’s got good and healthy boundaries. Her farm is also something that we used to call a hobby.

Hobbies are great. People having hobbies and doing things that are outside of the office are awesome. She has a productive hobby, which in an interview, she is going to crush. What do you do for your hobby? “I tend to garden, get up early, make sure it’s watered, get home for work, run there, and tend it. I have to care for it.” A garden is fickle. If you’ve ever had a garden, it’s hard work. I’ve never had one nearly that big. That is an awesome set of stories. Let me ask you a question on balance. The lady that’s $11.88 an hour or this woman, who’s smarter based on what you’ve heard?

All day long, give me the second person. She’s like, “That’s on me to manage my balance, not blame some company.” I love that.

Let’s go through the two. $11.88 an hour, “I showed up every day. I’m a bulldozer. I smashed into a wall. Three years later, I’ve got $0.40 in raises.”

That’s three years of minimum wage with a college degree.

Young folks don't understand how important their network is to their net worth the farther they go in life. Click To Tweet

That’s one approach. The other approach was this. The second one, she said, “I prioritize what I do. I want to make sure I’m productive inside of my workday.” She has discretionary thought and a higher level of problem-solving. She stopped and looked at it.

She doesn’t waste time on nonsense.

People misconstrue or screw up, “I’m at work. I’m working. I’m here. I’m clocked in. I’m doing my job.” That’s not the case. You can waste a ton of time on what you are thinking about, what’s on your computer screen, and what’s on your ears. There are 1,000 ways to waste time at the office. What this woman is talking about is, “How do I do my job the best? How do I thin slice my day to add value to my company?” This woman, to me, probably gets 50, 60 or 70 hours worth of work done in a normal week.

She has a healthy balance of something that fuels her outside of the office. That’s awesome. There’s a woman who works for us and also paints. That’s cool as hell. I asked her about painting all the time. She’s like, “It’s my therapy. I get to do that.” These are wonderful qualities but the biggest difference is where you point yourself and what you are going to hold yourself accountable to. This woman is holding herself to a much higher plane and holding herself responsible, in my opinion.

It’s interesting. In the first several that we listened to, in the comment section, everyone is in love with them. With this last person, the comment sections are like, “That’s dangerous what you are putting out.” Everyone wants to argue with her because they don’t like seeing someone achieving more than they are. That’s all it comes down to. Let’s go to the next one.

“Quiet quitting does not benefit you at all. I’m seeing all these people thinking that quiet quitting benefits them and not the company. That’s not true because when you become apathetic, not only do you hate your job more but you create a reputation among your colleagues and the people that you work with.”

“A lot of people aren’t going to like to hear this but if you have career goals to do more than what you are doing now, whatever that might be, I don’t care if you’re a VP or if you are entry-level and what you’re doing. If you are someone with goals that want to do things that you think are cool but don’t have the experience or the qualifications to do, what’s going to get you there is going to be the network you build at your current jobs.”

“If your job and the people are so bad that you can’t find a network there, and if every single person there thought that you sucked, didn’t care about your work, and are not a great person to work with, and that doesn’t matter to you at all, then you need to find a new job immediately. It’s because you are wasting your time and making it less likely that you are going to get to where you want to go.”

“If that’s not the case, and there are a few people there that maybe, down the road in five years, they go to another company and get a little higher up could help you to get where you want to be, then quiet quitting is wasting your time at this company and shooting yourself in the foot. Please don’t do that. If you feel like you have no other choice, get a new job.”

I love everything about this. What she is talking about is the damage you can do to your brand by putting in the minimum amount of work and quiet quitting. What young folks don’t understand when they think about this quitting premise is how important your network is to your net worth the farther you go in life. I’m going to give an example here.

LMSM 101 | Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting: People go above and beyond not just to kiss ass. They go above and beyond because they believe that all that extra effort will be compensated more highly in the long term.


I was completely disengaged, defeated, and done with NVR but up until the day I went in and gave my notice, I was flying to multiple cities and giving presentations. I was in Pittsburgh the day before I told my boss I was quitting. I got up in front of 30 people and gave a big rah-rah speech to fire everyone up. I wasn’t going to take money from my job and not give everything because that was my brand.

I didn’t want anyone to think, “Ian mailed it in those last two years. He wasn’t fighting for us.” That was part of the reason I wanted to get out of there. I was afraid that I would start working for a paycheck and not giving a crap, and everyone would see it in my face. In the four years since I’ve left there, the people I do business with now are people I’ve worked with in the past that I had a strong brand with.

It’s you, David, and McCauley. It’s all the people I’ve brought in on our real estate deals to invest or to invest in Keep. They wouldn’t have done that if I would have quiet quit when things got tough. They remember me from my work when I was there. When I showed up, they got 100%. They know that about working for me.

The last two videos have been refreshing to me. I want to point something out. They are way less popular. Social media allows people an opportunity to be an asshole, attack, and be the quiet guy behind a keyboard that quietly has all this email muscle but what I see with these two videos is that this is the workforce that I would be drawn to. These are the people long-term who you want to build a team with.

What Ian said is this. This is old school but we used to call it Eagle Pride. What Eagle Pride was in football was pride. I didn’t know what pride meant when I was in ninth grade but pride is having self-respect and, as a collective, having self-respect together and building something. These last two people have a lot of pride. They have pride in what they do, what they show up in, and the brand. It matters to them.

They care what other people think about them professionally. They care about their brand because they can ruin it.

They are reliable. Charlie Munger has an awesome thing about the five things you can do not to be successful. One is to do drugs. One is not to show up when you say you are going to. It boils down to being reliable and having some self-respect. What these two people have is some self-respect. Their mindset is bigger. If you have a garden and you tend to it, that’s fine but at work, I can rely on you between 9:00 to 5:00. At 5:01, you have to go.

It’s no different from a mom. I have people who work for me that are moms. They have to pick up their kids. I have it on my calendar several times a week. Hard stop at this point, I know that this is the moment. She’s not a bad employee because she has a kid. She’s a mom. She’s prioritizing. I should come behind her children. I do but she gets her stuff done between then and then. It’s in my calendar weeks in advance. It’s not a surprise. They are priorities.

Your number one priority should not be work. If anybody says it is, they are equally dysfunctional as this person that’s banging their head in a wall for $11.88 an hour but if you can talk about how you can do things inside of a schedule, coexist with children, and be a great employee, those are all the things. I’m a dad and a husband but also a business owner. This person looks quite young but she’s got her head right. She’s in the right spot. I don’t know if that comes from how she was raised or if she was born with it but there are a lot of real positives in this. The internet is not rewarding it.

What’s funny is that the last two are considered hot takes. They are considered counterculture, whereas the normal take is, “Quiet quitting is cool.” Who’s it cool for? Does it serve you? Does it serve your career to do shit like that? Who’s bragging about that? Whose career is doing anything? No one.

It's okay to have your own thoughts, but when you put them out there into the universe, it's very hard to take them back. Click To Tweet

What this reminds me of is high school. This is high school on steroids. When I was in high school, there were people that were making bad decisions and doing bad things but they were cool and popular. They were, in some instances, very attractive but they were doing drugs or not taking things seriously. They were rewarded for it. What happened long-term is that those people have not had the same level of career success. Career success is not the only measure but it is a measure in a capitalist society.

I got back from an awesome week away. The things I worry about are less financial because of decisions I made a couple of decades ago. I’m not saying this is better or worse but if you do want to achieve in a different way, you have to say no to some of those allures that were attractive in your teens and low twenties. You have to grind, build a brand, and have pride and people who rely on you.

Here’s a cool story. I hired a new person in property management. While I was away, they interviewed a young woman. She’s 25 years old. I was like, “We have hired her. She starts in two weeks. How did you meet her?” She’s 25. This will be the fourth time she has followed me to a different job. It was within different departments before. It’s not all jumping jobs. I’m like, “That’s a cool story.”

You talk about it in sports with coaching trees. There are coaching trees in business. You call people who can do the job and who are reliable. If you have been reading this since the beginning, I had seventeen people on staff when I started this a few years ago. Most of the people that we have recruited and who worked for us are referrals from other people because I can rely on this person. This person does a great job. I want to put my name behind it. Those are the last two videos we watched. The hot takes are what get you ahead and out of $11.88 an hour.

I’m going to add one more to that. My first boss was at General Electric. It’s a guy that I love and that I’m still in touch with. I haven’t worked for him in several years, and he just called me. We caught up. It was fantastic talking to him. He was asking me if I knew anyone who could fill the Chief Commercial Officer position. It’s a job that pays $500,000 a year. He asked me, “Here’s the person I’m looking for.”

He was digging around but in this conversation, he started asking me, “What’s going on with your manager program? We’ve got some new managers. What would that cost? Can I get you in to meet our CEO and talk to him, so a lead opens up? What’s going on with Keep?” He starts asking me questions about investing, “How do I invest in it?”

I can help him a little bit. He can help me a little bit. Few things happen but the important thing here is that I worked for him for three years. During those three years, there was at least a year and a half of it where I didn’t like the direction of GE. I didn’t like the way they were treating salespeople. I felt underpaid. I’ve talked about this before. I was young. I felt like I was being taken advantage of because I was young, not by him but by the company.

He never felt it.

Not 1 bit in those 3 years did I ever make Bob Connors feel like I was quiet quitting. I never missed a quota, mailed it in, worked from home for a week, and screwed around. I kept prospecting the whole time. All he ever knew about me was that when he was paying me, he got everything from me. Not only was I not happy with that, and I wasn’t putting it in. I was still going above and beyond because that was my brand. If I was going to do something, I was going to do it to the extent. Years later, I’m still getting paid and opportunities for never having cashed it in one second.

This is critical. Anytime I’ve ever put a job, and it has only been a couple of times, it has always been a surprise. The people who quit too are like, “Why is he leaving? That doesn’t make a lot of sense.” When you quit, people are like, “Ian is nuts. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard because he hadn’t checked out.” It was money that was keeping other people there.

LMSM 101 | Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting: Have some self-respect for yourself. Your number one priority should not be work. If you can talk about how you can do things inside of a schedule, you’ll find pride in your work.


Ian never made it feel like it was about money, even though, in a lot of instances, it was. He was chasing things. There were bonuses and big numbers but it never felt that way. You thought he was completely and bought in. This is the beauty. You don’t have to be an open book. You don’t have to run to TikTok, Twitter or Facebook and piss and wail about your discomfort. What you do is retreat back.

When I was thinking about leaving NVR, I had conversations with people quietly but nobody knew I was unhappy. I was unhappy for a while but not my brand, the pride, and what I wanted to show up with. What people thought of me as a worker mattered. It has a long set of tentacles. People who did a great job for me 5, 10, 15 or 20 years ago, I will go out of my way for. If that person was a shithead and was unreliable, it doesn’t have to be multiple times. It could just be once where they let me down. I remember that stuff decades later.

What Ian is talking about is that it’s an old boy network but it starts with people who are usually young and hungry. They have integrity and pride and buy into what it is that they are doing. They get other people around them to buy in. That’s how the old boy network starts. It’s because you put everything into it, and people know you can be relied on. That’s why years later, Ian is getting questions and potential sales from someone he hasn’t worked with them in a very long time because they know this is your body of work.

I was together with all my hiking buddies. I have a friend who’s a fraternity brother of some of the people I was hiking with. This guy who we are talking about lives in Florida. He became one of my best friends. He’s in construction. He was a fuck-up for a very long time. It so happened that we got a phone call from him. We were talking to him. Our friend who was on the hike said to him, “You told me one day you were going to completely radically change. I didn’t think there was any way humanly possible that was going to happen,” and it did.

This guy has gotten insanely successful. He built a big business. He went from a screw-up to someone who was 100% dialed in and locked in. That is so rare. It is so hard to change that mentality. If you set this mentality, it starts to define you in your twenties. It’s hard to reverse course. Most people are like, “I don’t think this guy is going to be able to do it.”

You will find those first two videos. Those two people are going to have an insanely hard time reversing course because there’s momentum around it. Hiring managers that are smart and HR departments that are sophisticated, look at videos like this, “We are not going to hire this person because look at this video that’s got millions of hits.” This thing follows you. What I’m getting at is that it’s okay to have those thoughts but when you verbalize them and put them out there in the universe, it’s hard to take them back. It’s hard to change course.

The last thing on this if you are an employee and you feel disengaged is that the folks who are doing this are pandering to likes, comments, and all that. They think that they are an antihero by spewing this shit out there. They feel badasses by going out there and talking about CEOs, their Hampton houses, and pockets as deep as the Nile.

I put them right up there with Walter White. Tony Soprano is the antihero.

To me, if you are that disengaged, and you feel you are very good at your job, not appreciated, and the work you put in is not going to be beneficial to you or pay, quit bragging about how you are quiet quitting. You are a loser. Quit. If you are such a badass, and if your skills are so much above your compensation, why are you still there? Use your skills to find a better opportunity and a better job.

Don’t quiet quit. Why don’t you quit? Your whole premise is that you are this unpaid superstar for what your managers are asking you to do. Superstar, if you are that good, you should have no trouble finding someone willing to pay you much more. If that’s the case, then why are you online bitching about quiet quitting? Why are you staying there and continuing to make less? The truth is you don’t have the guts to do something.

If you're that disengaged and feel like your skills are so much above your compensation, quit bragging about how you're quiet quitting and just quit. Click To Tweet

You are making yourself a victim and using social media to create a situation where you are a martyr. You don’t have the self-confidence to quit and do something else. You are going to quiet quit. It’s such a passive-aggressive way. It’s not the cause. The cause is probably something you are doing. It’s the effect. You are bitching about the effect.

The smart ones are the ones that quit and say, “Screw this place. These managers are idiots. I’m out of here. I’m going to go to a place that respects and appreciates me.” We shouldn’t demean the problem either. There are a lot of companies treating people like shit because their managers aren’t trained well, they put the wrong people into management or they don’t have a competitive advantage, so their company is shrinking or getting its ass kicked by a competitor. That makes everyone feel unappreciated in the company.

To me, it’s the role of managers to retain good people because a company with a morale problem and poor retention leads to worse results and profits. In a company with bad morale, those employees are going to treat customers like shit. Customers feel bad morale. It’s on the company to keep people from quiet quitting and quitting. In a poorly run company, if you’ve got a bunch of people quiet quitting, and you are not doing anything about it, you’ve got bad managers.

You should be firing the quiet quitters and seeing that they are not putting the time in. Pay an appropriate wage for appropriate talent. If someone is an above-market producer, pay them above market. If they are an average producer, pay them the market. If they are a below-average producer, replace them. Give people autonomy so that they don’t feel like they have to be compliant. These people that do enough might have micromanagers deal with your micromanagers. Teach your managers how to not meddle in everything that people are doing.

It’s old-school stuff. Encourage, give feedback, be a good coach, and have fun. Have your managers have fun with people. Don’t treat them like resources. Treat them like people. Have fun together. Build a team environment. Do the things that a company should do to energize people. It is on a company to keep people from quitting but the quiet quitting is the piece both Frank and I think is ludicrous. If you are that good, get out of there. If your people are quiet quitting, you should replace those people with people that want to be engaged and do everything you can to engage your team and retain them.

Let’s get to this last clip.

“Here’s my take on quiet quitting as a workplace well-being coach. I want to preface this and say I don’t love the term quiet quitting because you are not quitting anything. You are simply meeting the expectations and requirements of your job description, if you even have one. What this is referring to are people that start doing less, AKA the bare minimum, because they are either tired, exhausted, and burned out, or here’s my take on it.”

“How many people show up to work very enthusiastically? They are engaged at first. They want to give feedback on processes and feel heard in meetings. When this is never acknowledged by management, they are constantly being told what they are doing wrong instead of what they are doing right. They are never able to see the outcome of all the work that they have put in on something. Requirements for these outcomes keep getting pushed. People don’t want to do it anymore. Being valued, creativity, autonomy, and innovation are the top values of employees.”

Ian did a great job of setting that clip up. He talked about the same thing. This is what I hear. Number one, I love her. I would hire her in a second. I love everything I heard. She talks about the person who goes from engaged to disengaged. She even tongue-in-cheek said, “If you have KPIs.” If you don’t have KPIs, you work at a bad company. It’s poorly run. What I want to get to immediately is the disengaged. What she talks about in this clip is that you are not quiet quitting. You are doing less, making yourself going from probably mediocre to less than that, and getting to a point of disengagement.

There was a post that came out in a group that I’m a part of. Someone got robbed. The guy got stolen from. He was asking questions, “Should I go after this person? Should I sue this person? What should I do?” My immediate thought is that you are the manager and the owner. You missed it for almost a year. That’s a bad company. It’s bad leadership. You are going to now sue someone for doing something. If you mind the shop properly, this wouldn’t have happened. That’s part of it.

What she talks about in the video that is critical is the disengaged. If you have disengaged employees, they need to go. You are doing a disservice to keeping people on staff if you keep disengaged. You can keep engaged, and the people who are overachievers but disengaged immediately to me is the person who has to go. If you don’t do that swiftly and quickly, what happens? You erode your entire culture. That’s it.

I’m a Hiring Manager. I am a business owner. Every dollar that comes through the door has got my name signed on it or it’s mine are the things that you have to look at. The actively disengaged must go. Sliding towards disengage could be corrected. The engaged is who we want to employ. We can get into a different episode about how you take someone who’s on the teetering edge of disengaged. You put them on a performance plan. What do you do with them? That’s a different episode. You want people who are engaged. If they are slipping towards disengaged or actively disengaged, they’ve got to go.

In wrapping up, I hope you have been encouraged to put a little more effort into this show. Get yourself engaged. If you are not willing to, I would suggest you go out and find a better cohost because of all of this bitching about me as a cohost. If you are so great, maybe you should get on Joe Rogan’s show, be his coach, and see if he will put up with you coasting along.

To all of our longtime readers, thank you for staying engaged with us. If you would like to do us a favor and if you enjoyed this episode, please give us a five-star review wherever you consume this show and write some nice comments down. Thank you for following us and staying engaged. Frankie, peace in the Middle East.

See you, Ian.


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