EP 638 – The Winning Number: The Dangers & Advantages Of Social Sleuthing With Stefanie LaHart

NCS 638 | The Winning Number

NCS 638 | The Winning Number


Everything stays on the Internet. In a world where everyone is on social media, there are so many unknown dangers that we need to be cautious of. Scott Carson sits down with social media marketing expert Stefanie LaHart from Boomtown Marketing to discuss the social sleuth happening. With her new book, The Winning Number, they talk about the dangers along with the advantages of using social media to stalk your borrowers, investors, and other contacts. Plus, they discuss the need to adjust your settings when sending cash via Venmo and other ways to protect your identity and actions.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Winning Number: The Dangers & Advantages Of Social Sleuthing With Stefanie LaHart

This is Stefanie LaHart, Founder of BoomTown Marketing and Author of the book, The Winning Number. Scott and I are going to talk about all of the things that are happening in social media, from the social sleuth thing that you can do on your own to what is the actual information that is out there about you. How do you control that? The good, the bad, the ugly of it. Shoud you be scared? Should you run a report before you meet someone? I always do. We’re going to get deep into that. We’re also going to talk about some of the media that’s out there about social media. Scott knows it’s something that I am always interested in and you should be too.

I am freaking jacked up, excited for our special guest and some things that we’re going to dive into. She has been a friend for a few years now. She was crawling underneath my chair, underneath the tripod at the event. I’ve called her the hardest working person in social media marketing. We’re honored to have her back. She’s got some great announcements that she’s working on that you are going to want to jump, support and be a part of. We are always honored to have the one, the only, always lovely, the bad-ass, Ms. Stefanie LaHart join us from LA.

I’m in LA in an undisclosed location enjoying the gorgeous weather as it is here every day. To clarify what you said about crawling under your chair. I was crawling under tripods at a conference because I was trying to give them full social media coverage, live. That is where you first saw me.

I say that because you would have to get the best shot.

I’m not saying once the conferences start again that I won’t be crawling under more chairs. It’s nice that we have that memory of what it was like to meet people in person.

You and I hang out in Orlando and LA. We run each other at conferences in San Diego. You’ve been on here before. You were on Note CAMP, the conference. You’ve done a couple of times before. You’re such up-to-date with what’s going on in the market. Let’s talk about you versus the market. You’ve got a great thing that you’re announcing. I want to say it may not be exclusive here, but it’s exclusive.

You’re the first one to get this story.

Ladies and gentlemen, you have an NCS exclusive for you. We need to hang on. Tell us the big news.

When you and I met a couple of years ago, I said, “Scott, I wrote a book. It’s for fiction book but based on a lot of social engineering.” You’re like, “I want to buy 50 copies. Where could I get it?” I was like, “It’s not published yet.” Scott, I’m finally getting off my butt to start moving on this. One of the things that was holding me back was the fact that I didn’t know what platform I wanted to put out there on because there’s a lot of options you have these days with self-publishing. I wanted to make sure that I was going to be able to get it to the right audience at the right time.

By the way, this has been a totally productive year. COVID 2020 has not been any slow period for me. I was approached by a company called Publishizer who set up Book Kickstarter Campaigns. What it allows you to do is to start talking about your book and pre-marketing it to your audience and getting interest which is in the guise of pre-sales or pre-orders. What they’ve done is they have partnered with a bunch of different publishers of all levels. Once you launch your Kickstarter campaign, your book starter, and then you get these pre-orders, what it does for these publishers is allow them to see that people are interested in your book.

This is how you get a book deal these days. You don’t have to rely on doing something like, “I’m going to launch it on Amazon,” which is great unless you have a very strong following as you’ve already done a book, it’s very hard to launch a first book on a platform like Amazon. What Publishizer is doing for me and for many authors is you launch your book Kickstarter. They want you to do a base of 500 pre-orders so a publisher can see, “You have a base. You have people that are interested in your book.” That is what I’m launching on the 15th for my book which is already done. It is called The Winning Number.

It is a book set in the world of social engineering, which is my expertise here. If you remember, the idea for the book came to me a couple of years ago when a story was related to me by a very close friend of something that had happened to someone she knew. It started with a phone call. The person had got a phone call saying you won Publishers Clearing House. It turned out to be a huge scam. It went on for months. Ultimately, it ends it with the scam being stopped but they did not find the guy.

I became obsessed with the idea of what would happen if this person got tracked down, how would you track him down, and what would happen. I thought being a social media strategist, I’m like, “I know how to find this person.” I started laying out a plan of how I would find this person and how I would track him down. The next thing, I was writing this book. Sixty-five thousand words later, I’m like, “This is a good story.”

In the note space, we often feel like Sherlock Holmes and having to track people down. That’s why this is relevant for you out there. I love what you’re doing with this. This isn’t just a book, you’re an expert. You got to brag on yourself a little bit about being Stefanie sleuth. You’ve also done some cool stuff that helped with the book too, correct?

Exactly. When I started getting interested in how I would do this, I started doing a lot more research on my own about social engineering about how it’s done, how people are scammed, why people scammed, and why do people fall for it. All the different scams that are out there and led me to do was I found out about a competition that happens in Vegas every year at DEF CON, which is the biggest hacker’s convention that’s been going on for many years. They have a whole social engineering village where they have a competition where they will have people compete live on stage where you call other companies.

I came a second-highest call score. They never heard of me before. They’re like, “Who is this person?” These are mostly people that are high into computer hacking. I roll in, being very bubbly, goofy and all this. They’re like, “Who is this girl?” I’m like, “Stefanie LaHart.” It was great. By the way, they will all be knowing about my book because I will be Twittering the hell out of that. I do the competition twice and learn so much more about social engineering that I was like, “I could write this book.” It ended up going on and it might be a trilogy at this point unless an editor scales me back. The first book is done. We’re in the process of editing it. The second book is halfway done. The third book has to take place at DEF CON.

What would you say in your book and what you’ve done? What’s one of the things that blew your mind how easy it was to get or how easy it was to find information on somebody? What’s one of the biggest surprises that you found as far as information or sleuthing that you were able to accomplish?

What social engineering comes down to is being able to connect the dots. We have to accept the fact that there is a lot of information about us out there. Everyone in general. Where the social engineering and skill comes in is being able to connect the dots of how this relates to something. You could say, “I could go to your LinkedIn profile and find out a ton of value.” What do you do with that information? If you were looking for it, what they call an attack vector, what could you do with it? One of the things I learned was how easy it was to start connecting those dots specifically because there are all kinds of different apps. Do you use Venmo?

Venmo has a privacy setting where you can turn it off so people cannot see that you are paying someone. I can’t believe how many people don’t turn that off, Scott. That gives so much information into somebody’s lifestyle, into the world, their connections, and things like that. If you start at a place like LinkedIn where you have a broad knowledge of who somebody is, I would start jumping and looking at things like Venmo even PayPal and figuring out who’s in their inner circle and how you can use that.

That surprised me that there are still apps that are allowing that information to be out there. There’s no reason that Venmo should have that open as a default. You think of something like Facebook that you’ve got your Facebook page to be open because you want to be able to connect with people but something like a payment app like Venmo, there’s no reason I should ever see Scott paid Stefanie $40 for XYZ. Why?

NCS 638 | The Winning Number

The Winning Number: What social engineering comes down to is being able to connect the dots.


There are things like that out there that you’re like, “People need to be a little bit more savvy and understanding.” Also, companies need to take more responsibility for stuff like that and be like, “We don’t need to put that. If we’re going to have that as a feature, it has to be something you turn on. It’s not Venmo. It’s default still.” That surprised me still that companies are doing that in this day and age with everything that’s going on with privacy.

If you think about that, we’ll track that publicly especially if anybody is doing anything shady online or paying people, otherwise, they don’t do or the time they sent it to who they have dinner with they split the bill. That’s a great thing to think about.

I’ll tell you a personal experience I had. I’ve had to sell something on Facebook Marketplace. I see this person listing something that looks random objects like hair scrunchy, $10. I’m like, “That’s weird.” I’m inquisitive. I click through and the next picture is a puppy then there’s another puppy. I realized, “They’re selling live animals on Facebook Marketplace” which, first of all, is against the law. Secondly, they had 75 listings and Facebook could not shut them down. My project, Scott has been reporting all of these listings. I’m like, “Facebook is not scanning this stuff. People are doing live animal sales which is puppy mills.” When you think of stuff like that, you can be like, “Facebook makes you use a lot of your personal information.” I know who this person is, where they live, who their contacts are, and I’m not jiving with them selling puppies. I could be somebody who would track them down and turn them over to the local authorities or even better, call up PETA.

Venmo leaves that on as a setting and doesn’t make you have to turn it on. It’s automated. That leads to a lot of things of thinking about on our end because we do social sleuthing on Facebook and Instagram for our bars. I didn’t know that if I could check out what they’re paying somebody else out there.

You could see what they’re spending their money on.

It should be going to pay their mortgage, not pay for a freaking bill.

We’ve talked about this before, Scott, about people’s responsibilities. You could see where that money is going. About figuring out who their inner circle is. If somebody you’re paying repeatedly for whatever, that somebody you know quite well then.

The information that they’re giving, is it their Facebook profile, emails, phone numbers? What’s the stuff that you’re seeing off of Venmo?

On Venmo, it simply shows you who paid who. It’ll be like Stefanie paid Scott, $40. Most of that is using emojis. If you type in for a gift, it’ll show a little gift emoji and things like that. There’s still a lot of data tracking in there. In my fiction book, the girl’s name is Ruby Soho, but let’s be honest, it was me living out my fantasy. I’m going to get a shirt made that says “I am Ruby Soho.” One of the things in the book that I dove into was like, “How would you track down this person?”

The first thing was my friend who had told me about the story had access to the credit card statements. This person had told her family member to open up credit cards and then they were using them. When the scam started getting busted open and they realized these credit cards. They had the credit card statements all sent to them because they weren’t even getting credit card statements. The guy had everything rerouted. I’m sitting there looking through this huge box of credit card statements and I’m like, “All this stuff is in Silver Lake. I know where this is.” The guy is repeatedly going to the same places. This is why this is important. If you’re going to the same restaurant and I’m seeing on a credit card statement and in one month you’ve been there five times, somebody in that restaurant knows you especially if you’re a good tipper, they definitely know you. If you’re bad tipper, they know you.

I’m revealing how I did the book. In the book, Ruby decides she’s going to go and track this guy down to one of his favorite restaurants. She goes in there and starts saying, “My friend recommended this restaurant to me.” You start throwing out information and see what people grab onto, “Who’s your friend?” You start describing them like, “I don’t know that person.” You say other things like, “I know the date and time he’s there because it’s on the credit card statement.” “He comes in here every Tuesday.”

You can figure it out from menu items. If he’s always spending about $33, you can figure out looking at the menu what this guy is buying? Is the menu price of $33 would only feed one person? Let’s say this, “My friend comes in here every Tuesday. He always eats by himself.” They start throwing out information to you, “That could be John so-and-so.” You start connecting the dots that way. The next thing you know, you’re like, “That’s the person.”

They might say something to you like, “Do you mean John with the blonde hair?” “That’s my friend.” What would you do next to see if this was the person because you have a little bit of physical description? Start stalking the places out. Wait to see on Tuesday who’s showing up. His scam was busted. You could tell with something like this, he was running multiple. He’s not going to change his favorite restaurant and be like, “They’re onto me.” People are lazy and stupid and you know that, Scott.

If they’re eating at that place regularly, they live nearby as well.

The other thing is he had multiple Uber and Lyft rides on there. By the amount, you can tell exactly what you said. He’s in the area. If your Lyft ride is only $12, you’re in a 10-mile radius. I’m getting closer to where your hub is. I know where you eat, live, and shop? Don’t end up the same bond, Scott. He was going through the same bonds all the time.

That’s the same thing. When your building it, people start recognizing you.

I became obsessed with the idea so I wrote down what would happen. If people always say, “Do you track him down?” I say, “No. I’m a social media strategist. I am not in law enforcement. I did not decide to make that my job. However, I was more than willing to turn over information I had to my friend and to the authorities to whatever they wanted to do.” You have to understand with something like that, when you’re getting involved with people of a criminal element, you got to decide how much you want to be in that world.

I decided I was not going to put myself in that situation because something was scamming too, especially money. You know this because you deal with people and money problems. People get ugly when money is involved. I was also very aware of my own security to make sure that I wasn’t putting myself in dangerous situations because I did go to a lot of these places that I then renamed for the book.

You don’t always have to do that. It’s one of the things that you want to have a degree of separation between you and clients or who’s reaching out. That’s a big thing especially this time of the year. I’m going to put this out here as a general warning. As you’re getting to the end of the year, there’s a lot more crimes that happen because we’re trying to break in. They don’t have money paying for expenses, paying for bills. People get stressed. They do stupid things when they get stressed.

It makes me think about an investor friend of mine who, a couple of years ago, went to collect the rent on a house that was defaulted and the guy had paid the rent but the guy invited him in and killed him and his wife. The renter did and then rolled them up in the carpets, he put it in their car and then drove the car off a cliff. That’s why I tell people, you need to have that third party. Don’t do it all because in some cases like that, they see you show up and taking photos of the guy in the restaurant or tracking that out. It’s the same thing. When we drive through and look at properties, we always want to do it incognito because they’re like, “Why is that person taking photos of my house?” These days, you don’t want to be getting shot at in a variety of things.

NCS 638 | The Winning Number

The Winning Number: People get ugly when money is involved.


Money is emotional. You are right especially in those circumstances. With the amount of data that’s out there, without even going to a physical location, it’s easy for people to connect the dots of what your habits are and what you do. As a social strategist and something you and I have talked about forever, social media is good and bad at the same time and understanding that your information is out there. Also being very savvy. When you are approached by stuff, by getting phone calls, letters, or even emails and taking a minute before you react to be like, “Is this real? Is this happening?” I have a good story. A couple of years ago, I got an email that was sent to my mom.

I control my parents’ emails. I get this email that her name was misspelled. It defaults to my email address because I’m going to catch-all. It looked like she had missed a car payment or something. I’m like, “Mom, you didn’t pay your car payment.” I sent it to her and she emails me back LOL. I call her up and I’m like, “Why aren’t you paying this? What is going on?” I’m thinking, “Maybe my parents are having money problems and they don’t want to tell me.” I’m getting emotionally charged and I’m getting upset.

We’re on the phone. She goes, “That’s not even our car company.” I saw how quickly I emotionally got pulled in because I was worried about my parents. Do you see how that works though? They sent it to me saying, “Your parents are this and that.” I’m mad at my parents or whatever it is. I’m like, “I’m going to pay this. I don’t want to deal with them.” I pay out $2,000 and then I talked to my mom. I said, “I took care of that for you.” She’s like, “What are you talking about?” That’s how they get you. It’s emotional.

It makes me think of something. We’ve had people you’ve seen around this time of year. Years ago, when a friend of ours who got scammed by those fake IRS calls that, “You need to go and wire us via Western Union $2,500 or we’re going to have an IRS agent show up to arrest you.” You also think about this even big names, Barbara Corcoran from the Shark Tank got scammed out of $400,000 on a closing. Big news. Somebody sent over to her assistant and Barbara’s constantly buying real estate and say, “Here’s the wiring instructions for this property at such-and-such.” It looked like the title company, lo and behold, her assistant does the wire to get it done, $400,000 gone.

I was not aware of that story. I’m going to have to look it up. That’s a great example. Even people that you think they wouldn’t get scammed and it can happen to anyone. That’s another great thing that I’m hoping that people are going to take away from my book. It was based on a true story but what happens in it is fiction. I want it to be almost a wake-up call and an education to people to how this is done, why people do it and how it can become something real in reality. You didn’t even think and you’re like, “I didn’t realize that.”

I’m hoping that they’ll enjoy it for the fiction aspect. There’s a lot of funny stuff and into a lot of drama, but I want them to also be like, “I need to be aware of this. This could happen to me.” Who doesn’t want to win a Publishers Clearing House? Who doesn’t want to get that check? I bought a lottery ticket for the Super Lotto. I want to win $28 million like everyone else. Publishers Clearing House called me, which by the way, they never call you. I would be like, “I got all this money.” It’s the emotion. It’s the surge.

I can attest to crap happening. I had an aunt who’s long been passed and not all there, but she gets a phone call, the same thing. You’ve won the Publishers Clearing House, $20 million, seriously. She goes out and starts looking at making offers on real estate because she’s like, “I won the Publishers Clearing House.” All sorts of trouble because she believed this and was all making quick decisions without realizing it wasn’t real. Nobody showed up with a balloon and a big check and she had to send some money out so she lost money because she wired out money to secure something. I don’t remember exactly what it was but not just that. It was all these houses she put in a contract and earnest money checks that she wrote that she didn’t have because he thought of this.

She was fired it all like, “Let’s go.”

It was an embarrassment for her and the family.

Money is intoxicating.

Let me ask you a question because half of our audience is women and it’s at 49% or 51%. Is that a little risky? I know you’re a little bit of a risk taker.

What is risky?

The little bit of tracking people down like this, are you ever afraid? You’ve done some other things too that are exciting. You’re a bit of a risk taker. You had an article come out about in risk and how you look at risk a little bit. I love how you outlined, how you evaluate things to take away the scare factor in a lot of times. A lot of people would hear something like this, get immediately scared, and run to their safe spot. You evaluate things a little bit. I want to talk about that, Stefanie.

Thank you for mentioning that. I love that article. It was out on a website called SHOUTOUT LA and they asked me, “How do I think about risk?” People when they hear the word risk normally can trigger a lot of emotional feelings of scared. What I said in the article is I think of them as educated guesses. If you can look at them, they’re driven by four pillars, which is information, emotion, value and potential. When you start filtering the situation through the four different pillars, you can make a better assessment of what the actual situation is. Getting all the information, checking your emotion.

If money is involved, you can be emotional. Checking what’s the value of doing this or not doing this. What’s your potential for your future? What could potentially happen that could be good and bad? When you look at stuff like that, for me anyway, and evaluate them with those four different ways, you can come to a much better decision, a much clearer decision and valuable to you about what you want to do. Remember, sometimes people hear the word risk and they think it’s like pulling a handle on a slot machine, no control over the situation, what’s going to be? That’s not how it is and it shouldn’t be how you run your business.

I do like to say that I’ve made some very clear risks in my life. Number one was moving across the country when I was only 21 years old because I knew I wanted to live out here in California. I’m like, “Let me figure out how this is going to done.” Even then, I made sure I had things in place. I wasn’t suddenly showing up in a new town with no plan. I had friend network. I had a family network. I had job leads. It’s not about like, “I need to make sure everything is set in stone.” At least having a path or a plan when you’re doing stuff that will put you in a much better situation. That’s when you could start leveraging what your risk of that actual situation is.

You can look at risk as something potentially detrimental or like 2020, which I’m going to put this out there and I’m going to stand behind it. 2020 for me has been one of the best years of my life. I’ve had so many opportunities. I’ve launched a new fitness business, which I’ll tell you about on different podcasts where I’ve built a fitness site for a person, who was a friend of mine, who is now my business partner. It’s called The Barboza Method. It’s totally new workout. We launched this whole business. We’ve been doing things like that because people were much more receptive to home workouts, which is something we had been wanting to do. If you look at stuff at all the time, it’s like, “How can I leverage with what’s going on the change to make it a better situation instead of getting closed fist, let me hold on.” It’s scared. I open hands of like, “Let this come into me.”

You’re right with everything going on in 2020 especially 2019. People have tried to hold on to the way business was being done beforehand. Let it go and evolve.

Let it go and then let stuff come into you.

It’s knowing the opportunities because people were like, “What’s the worst thing that could happen. What if the best thing can happen and realize that something is going to happen more so in the middle?” Middle to great versus worst to worse. Many people let their fears, “I can’t quit my job because I got a government job.” If you were furloughed for 90 days or 120 days, you’re not getting a paycheck with your great government job. “I’m working for the man or the woman, but I want to do something myself but I’m not going to take that first step because I’m scared. It’s being risky.” There’s a lot of things. There are a lot of people that have great jobs that are now not doing anything and good because they didn’t take those initial steps to step away or start something that could be risky. You build a network, you build some backup plans, you researched this stuff, and dive into what you’re trying to do it. it can remove the risk and the fear in a lot of ways.

NCS 638 | The Winning Number

The Winning Number: If you’ve ever sold Avon or Tupperware, you’re an entrepreneur. Own it and allow yourself to do other opportunities.


If you’re in the situation where you are furloughed or suddenly you find yourself not working for 60 days, use that time to start building something else. There’s no excuse at this point to not start some online business at least start selling something on eBay, but making those motions instead of sitting back and waiting people to hand you stuff all the time. We don’t live in that world anymore. Even if you have a job at an office and you’re like, “I go and do my job at my office and then I come home.” My younger sister is a great example of this. She looks at me and my entrepreneurial life. She’s like, “That’s too much work. I don’t want to do that.”

She is a secret entrepreneur. She is always hustling something. She’s selling bags. She got her real estate license and sold a property. She’s done all this stuff, but she’s always like, “I’m not on to do this.” The thing is, people don’t think of themselves that way. She doesn’t see herself as an entrepreneur although she’s always been doing entrepreneurial things along she’s still having her full-time job. I invite people who are reading to understand and start seeing themselves in a bigger light. You can name yourself whatever you want. Use the tags or titles, it doesn’t matter. If you’ve ever sold Avon or Tupperware, you’re an entrepreneur. Own it and allow yourself to do other opportunities. She went out and got a real estate license. She sold a condo in a month. We’re all like, “Where did that come from?” She’s the person to sit there and be like, “I’m not an entrepreneur.” I’m like, “That was entrepreneurial.”

When you’re talking about the side hustles, selling bags, I think of Gary Vaynerchuk visiting garage sales or estate sales and picking something up and then sell it online or doubling down and move it to somebody be the Facebook Marketplace or something like that. With what’s going on right now in the market, so many people being laid off of work. It reminds me of what happened years ago where people had a peak. Everything was going well so they bought all these toys and extra things. Now they got to sell those things to make the rent or make the mortgage payment. A lot of opportunities. You see an increase in estate sales or garage sales, you’ll never know what you will find that you pick up a discount and flip it for some reason. Don’t use Venmo without being on the privacy setting.

It’s the privacy settings when people don’t see what you’re paying people. It’s stupid. Scott, you and I talked a little bit about a certain video called The Social Dilemma.

I’m glad you brought that up. Let’s talk about that.

Here’s my feelings on The Social Dilemma. They gave you a lot of fear without any resolution, which I do not appreciate. I had a heated discussion with somebody who was acting like, “It had been revealed all this information’s out there.” I’m like, “This is not new. We all knew this was happening.” Years ago, when they first started putting police records online and you could search them, cat was already out of the bag. Don’t be surprised that your information is out there. What you need to do now is be more savvy.

When you sign up for a service, take the five seconds to look at the privacy settings and make sure you’re not putting that information out there. Things like Facebook because Facebook is never going away. Let’s stop pretending that’s going to happen. Take the time to set the setting. Your friend’s list is hidden or you’re not accepting people you don’t know. You don’t feel you need to put every single thing you do online. You don’t have to. That’s not what social media has to be about.

Back to the election in 2016 when the biggest name about polling data was Cambridge Analytics. I’m like, “What’s so wrong with Cambridge.” It was a great document. I’m like, “We, as marketers, are using that same type of information for custom audiences and custom lists.” It’s not anything surprising. I could buy an email list, upload it to Facebook and start marketing directly to a person. Depending on what I asked for Melissa data or these list building services, they could pull by employees, income, and how much you have in retirement. There’s a lot of scary information out there, but you also need to use it for good. For anything it’d be used for good, we all know can be used for bad too.

About the education process, understanding that all of your data is out there, it’s not a bad thing. I’m not against it. What we need to do is understand your data is out there and be more savvy about how you interact with social media. You mentioned the elections. Cambridge Analytics was a great example of that, where when you are viewing something, the algorithm will pick up on that and keep serving you more of that, which can reinforce an idea you had. What we need to do is step up and own our intelligence as humans and understand, “I’m getting this information served me and it’s not because the whole world thinks like I do. It’s because the algorithm is serving me what I’ve already searched for.”

Being intelligent enough to be like, “I keep seeing that over and over because the algorithm is giving that to me.” Being like, “There’s another different opinion in this world. I should also actively look for that.” You have to do the work too. I’m not saying go out there and do hours of research but understanding. When you’re on Facebook, if you’re seeing the same thing, it’s only because the algorithm has tripped that that’s what you want to see. It’s not because the entire world agrees with you.

I 100% agree with you on that. That’s the same thing. People got to realize that you’re searching for this, it’s going to serve you back up because of what you do.

Serve it right back up to you. The algorithm wants to keep you on there, but you can double down on your feelings all you want and say, “I’m going to type this. This is what I believe in all this.” You’re playing into the machine then. You’re a cog in the machine without being a free thinker like you should be. Owning your humanity, taking the step, and being more of a free thinker like, “Don’t agree with me.” There are like, “There are many different opinions. I don’t agree with everything. People that do and my family don’t agree with me but I also accept that they are allowed to have that experience because they have an entirely different experience that they have lived through.” You and I, Scott, are different lives.

You could say something like, “He’s an idiot. Why would he think that?” I haven’t lived your life and you haven’t lived mine but we have to understand and value that your experiences are as valuable and true as mine. I would say to people to step up more and understand what has happened with social media. The Social Dilemma movie fell short. I think both ways because they did a lot of scare. They said, “This is all scary. Everybody is going to target you. We should all live in a closet.” That’s not reality. You didn’t offer people any solutions. What that document should have said is this is data that’s out there. It is up to you to use your intelligence and use your ability to have free speech, free thought, and interact with other people instead of saying big, scary world.

We’ve seen this happen, not only do people have knee-jerk reactions and think the possible work, but you think about the fact. If you’re going to be using a free service, you didn’t pay for anything, you’re going to give some liberties, you’re going to be hit with advertising. Facebook didn’t become such a big business because they were giving everything away for free. They sold ads. They sell ads.

They didn’t start the model. Think about television from the beginning. Television has always been free because it’s run by ads and who were some of the big advertisers on TV in the early days? Cigarette company.

I saw a replay, it had Mike Wallace on an early black and white interview with somebody. He’s like, “So-and-so and the cigarette is parliament.”

Here’s the thing now. We’ve become more educated. We understand that smoking is not good for you. It will kill you. We’re allowed to make those mistakes but keep growing as a society. That’s what I’m hoping now through movies like The Social Dilemma and the Cambridge Analytica Documentary and whatever’s going on. We keep evolving and understanding. You know what that is.

It’s important to do that. Evolve, understand, take things with a grain of salt, and think about both sides of the equation or conversation. We’ve seen such a divide in the country because, “You voted for Trump, I’m going to unfriend you. You voted for Biden. I’m going to unfriend you.” I laugh. If you can’t come to a middle spot and realize everybody is entitled to their opinion and their thoughts, that’s fine. You may don’t need to be on a platform. You should deep platform and go from there and be the Unabomber. These days, with the way everything works social-wise, Instagram, TikTok, all this stuff, you got to expect that unless you don’t want to.

The more interesting conversation is to understand why did people pick a certain side? Why did they pick it or why didn’t they vote at all? I started my career as a rock and roll reporter. It was because I was fascinated about people’s origin stories. How did you get there from here? Why did you create that? Why do you say that? Why do you think that? We have such different experiences. It is fascinating to figure out how people got to that point in their lives and be like, “That’s interesting because that’s not something I experienced.”

That’s what makes this country unique though. We have to embrace that. It’s the difference in the ability to have a difference of opinion and different experiences. That’s what’s great versus being cookie-cutter, black and white, and like 1984.

NCS 638 | The Winning Number

The Winning Number: Don’t be surprised that your information is out there. What you need to do now is be more savvy.


I started dating someone who had such an opposite upbringing of what I have. I am fascinated by every story he tells me because he’s realm of experience is different from mine. I’m like, “That’s interesting.” Years ago, a friend who was a therapist was telling me a great trick that you can use especially around the holidays when you’re dealing with your family because it’s all emotional triggers going on, that you go into a family situation and you look at them as if you landed on an alien planet. They’re alien life forms. Everything that they say or do, you look at it through the eyes of a scientist of like, “That’s fascinating that you would think, do, say, or behave like that.” Looking at it as something outside of yourself and with that air of fascination. I tell you, Scott, I’ve done that at holidays and it does make it more fun and way less triggering.

It’s funny that you say that’s so fascinating because that was a trigger used by Tony Robbins in his Unleash The Power Within. His big virtual event that he did. He talked about the fact that we control our emotions. When you find something, instead of going off the handle, say, “I find that fascinating. Why are you doing this?”

I didn’t even know that. I’ve never been to one, but it’s true though. This therapist that told me that years ago, she’s like, “Look at everything going on an alien planet and be fascinated about the life forms.” It works. Picture your mom and dad being green with little antennas. You won’t revert to the five-year-olds that we all tend to. You’ll be like an adult mom.

I found this whole conversation fascinating. I’m so proud of you. You got the book out.

Scott, you did once tell me that when my book came out, you were going to buy 50 copies. I’m going to mark you down for that.

You can mark me down for 50 copies.

I knew you can give it away to everyone. I have a degree in Journalism. I’m a writer so the book is well-written. You’re not going to be like, “She writes like crap.” I do know how to write. I’m writing about something that I know about and I love, you know it’s going to be a good book. Picture the lead character is me. You’ll be like, “That’s her.”

When you told me that you had your book coming out, I was like, “We got to get you on because the lessons learned, whether it’s you or also known as.” Ruby, it’s going to be something that people can apply and make useful. It might be a fiction book. It’s based on a lot of reality as you’ve discussed. With everything going on in the world these days, it’s important to be able to chuckle but also be able to read something like that. That can give you a little bit of insight, not only on a personal level but on a business level with what we do in note investing. I asked a question here. I’m sure people think, if you’re dating somebody, did you stalk the guy first to find out some information online?

Absolutely. I told you years ago how I do this and what my dating strategy is with this. I’m on several dating apps and I never use my real name. I use an internet name for privacy reasons. My strategy is this and something I wanted to put together like a dating course for women, especially women of my age range because we’re older. We have assets. What you do is, as soon as you start chatting, you say to the guy, “I would rather chat by text.” You give them your number. It’s not your number.

You use a number like a Google voice number, a burner number, or something. When they text you and you get their cell phone number, you could run that through all of the systems and find out as much as you want about the person. It’s going back to the fact that the information is out there. It’s not doing anything illegal. The systems are there but having an information before you meet the person. I would never meet somebody that I did not run a report on. I’m totally honest with people. When I meet them, I tell them, “I ran a report on you.” I’m like, “Here’s my name? Run a report on me if you would like.”

That’s the 21st Century. You got to expect that everything is out there. You can’t hide anything. Expect to have a burner phone to protect yourself because there are enough crazies out there on both sides of the dating app.

Don’t give out your real number especially if you’re a girl going out there first. I’m not saying anything against guys but we’re physically smaller. I’m always amazed the guys that reveal information to me and give me their number. I was like, “You should have a burner number too because you made it way too easy on me.” Think about it. I’ve never run into a situation where a guy gave me a fake number and I’m like, “I know I’m cute but I have doubt.” I love talking to you.

I love talking to you as well. What’s the best way for those that are interested in getting the book and staying up to track with what’s going on with the book?

Thank you for asking because my name is out there and I do love the way it sounds. If they go to StefanieLahart.com, that is the hub for all the information about how to get to my book and also about my business. If you’re interested in social media strategy for your business, I have courses, I work with businesses one-on-one, and then of course everything about the book and how to get to the book. Kickstarter is all through that page. It’s okay if you miss my first name with a PH because I also own that URL. I learned that years ago to circumvent any miscommunication, you can find me both ways, but go to StefanieLahart.com, all the information you could ever need about me is on there. I invite you to connect with me and ask me questions because I spend a lot of time thinking about why people do what they do.

One of the beautiful things, you always provide a ton of value. You’ve given some great courses on previous episodes, on previous Note CAMP conferences. That’s why we love having you on as a repeat guest.

When is our next conference, Scott? Don’t we have anything coming up?

We don’t have anything coming up at the end of 2020. We don’t have Note CAMP until June or July of 2021. I have not set a final date for that. We do that once a year for you. I’ve got my three-day virtual workshop but that’s a nuts and bolts training for the most part and stuff like that. We’ve been excited with all the different things, Social Media Day, you’ve been a part of the International Podcast Day and stuff in the past. We got a lot of great stuff. I look forward to hopefully, by the time 2021 arrives here before too long, we’re able to put something on calendar, meet in person to hang out, and have a beer too.

If you were in LA, I would meet you because I got my COVID test and I’m all clear until I step out of this house and get exposed to everything.

Stefanie, thank you for coming on the show. I’m excited for the book launch. You can go to Stefanie LaHart. This lady has all heart when it comes to helping people achieve amazing success and uncovering a lot of interesting things. If you’re looking for ill social sleuthing or trying to track down a borrower, a property owner, or some other things out there in our crazy lives of 2020. Thank you for coming on this episode and sharing. We look forward to seeing your book hit bestseller status and skyrocket up the charts for you.

Thank you, Scott. I appreciate it. I love talking to you.

We will see you all later in the next episode. Go take some action. Go stalk somebody and we’ll see you all at the top.

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About Stefanie LaHart

NCS 638 | The Winning NumberSocial Media Strategist • Social Media Security Expert • Host, Tradigital Podcast • Speaker

I am a social media strategist with a focus on audience engagement and team building. I create the conversations that will motivate your audience to engage, act and support your business. I have helped hundreds of businesses launch their digital domains and create socially safe online conversations that convert to real-world customers. Specifically, I work with B2C and B2B clients to grow their social media audience & leverage it to increase sales.

In addition, I help my clients stay protected against social engineering through education about social media safety and security for business. I provide reviews of social media security risks and mitigation techniques for businesses. In addition, I speak on national stages on the topics of social media, digital marketing, and social safety.

I am a personal development enthusiast and enjoy reading, discussing and practicing ways to live a better life while uplifting humanity on a global scale. I believe the cup is always half full. Plus, I am an animal rights activist and volunteer for local dog rescues. # vegan When not in my office you can find me running and hiking in the great outdoors!

Feel free to contact me at marketing@boomtownmarketing.com to connect further.

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