My guest today is a real estate investor, one-time real estate agent, podcaster, web designer, and internet entrepreneur.
He is the founder and CEO of the online real estate networking platform, BiggerPockets. The platform now has over 330,000 members.
My guest is also the CEO of BiggerPockets’ publishing division, and has co-written and published two Amazon bestsellers.
He is the co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast — the most highly rated and reviewed real estate podcast on iTunes — which offers both educational content and interviews.
Now, Let’s hack…
In this 35-minute episode Joshua Dorkin and I discuss:
- Never giving up in spite of daily setbacks
- Why some businesses should be built for selfish reasons
- The value of building a business that helps people
- Why not being good at business shouldn’t stop you from doing it
Listen to Hack the Entrepreneur below ...
The Show Notes
- Joshua on LinkedIn
- Bigger Pockets Website
- Bigger Pockets Books
- Joshua on Twitter
- Jon on Twitter
- Show Sponsor: Freshbooks — Grab Your Free 30-Day Trial
How to Scratch Your Own Itch and Build a Successful Business
Jonny Nastor: Hack the Entrepreneur is part of Rainmaker.FM, the digital business podcast network. Find more great shows and education at Rainmaker.FM.
Voiceover: Welcome to Hack the Entrepreneur, the show which reveals the fears, habits, and inner battles behind big name entrepreneurs and those on their way to joining them. Now, here is your host, Jon Nastor.
Jonny Nastor: Welcome back to another episode of Hack the Entrepreneur. I’m so glad you decided to join me today. I’m your host, Jon Nastor, but you can call me Jonny.
My guest today is a real estate investor, one-time real estate agent, podcaster, web designer, and Internet entrepreneur. He built, as well as being the Founder and CEO of, the online real estate networking platform BiggerPockets. The platform now has over 330,000 members.
My guest is also the CEO of BiggerPockets publishing division and has co-written and published two Amazon bestsellers. He’s the co-host of the Bigger Pockets podcast, which is the most highly rated and reviewed real estate podcast on iTunes. The podcast offers both educational content and interviews.
Now, let’s hack Josh Dorkin.
I want to thank today’s sponsor, FreshBooks, for making my life easier. What is the one thing that I am no good at? I am horrible at staying on top of my bookkeeping and accounting for my business.
Now, rather than losing the receipts and handing my accountant this giant messy box of papers, FreshBooks has this amazing app for my iPhone and lets me instantly just take pictures of receipts and sort them by touching a couple of buttons.
FreshBooks is designed for small business owners like you and me. FreshBooks integrates directly with three things that I use every single day in my business: PayPal, Stripe, and MailChimp. To start your 30-day free trial today, go to FreshBooks.com/Hack, and don’t forget to enter ‘Hack the Entrepreneur’ in the ‘How did you hear about us?’ section.
Welcome back to another episode of Hack the Entrepreneur. Today, we have another very, very special guest. Josh, welcome to the show.
Joshua Dorkin: Thanks for having me, Jon.
Jonny Nastor: Absolutely. My pleasure. All right, Josh, we’re going to jump straight into this. Josh, as an entrepreneur, can you tell me what is the one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your successes so far?
Never Giving Up in Spite of Daily Setbacks
Joshua Dorkin: I don’t give up. I think, as an entrepreneur, you’re always going to be battling some kind of fire. There’s always a fire to put out. There’s always something going on, and it’s easy to give up at some point, especially for solopreneurs and small businesses. It could get really stressful. Being able to have the mental fortitude to fight through the hard times is really one of the keys to being successful.
If you talk to any entrepreneur, they’ll tell you that it’s not all flowers. There’s always going to be that downtime. The people who crumble — and a lot of people do crumble — are out of the game. If you can fight through it, survive, persevere, then obviously you’re going to be around.
Jonny Nastor: Excellent. There’s always a fine line between the fortitude to carry on and the self-awareness or realization when what you are pushing into is not working for a reason.
Joshua Dorkin: Sure.
Jonny Nastor: Do you have a way of deciphering between those two?
Joshua Dorkin: Oh, man. It’s going to be different for everybody. For us, in our business, we launch products on our platform whether we think that they’re going to be successful or users tell us that they’re going to be successful — and sometimes they’re not. An example, we have built this chat tool into our platform. Our users were ecstatic. They were like, “Oh my god. We’re dying for this thing. We want it so bad.”
We’re like, “It will add value. The users will love it. It will keep them around a little bit longer.” We were excited to build it. It didn’t cost us an insignificant amount of time and money. We put it together, and we realized that, lo and behold, nobody cared. All those voices shouting out, “Yes I want this!”? They didn’t use it.
That happens a lot, especially in tech and Internet companies. It’s really easy for people to tell you what they want. Sometimes you’re right. Sometimes you’re wrong. Sometimes your gut is wrong. Sometimes they’re going to give you the wrong information. At some point, you have to make a decision. It’s really hard to decide, but at the end of the day, you got to go one way or another.
A prime example would be this product I think we’ve heard of it. It’s called Google+, which just got separated from YouTube yesterday. They thought that was the right decision. They thought that was the Facebook killer. They were going for it. It didn’t work, and that’s fine. Google is going to be around tomorrow to fight another day with another product against another competitor and build another market.
For us, the same thing applies. The chat didn’t work out. Nobody really used it, so we decided to kill it off. It is what it is. For me, I’m saying it in this passé way because I’ve done it before. The first time I had to kill a product, I perseverated. This was days and maybe even weeks of just stress and like, “What do we do? We spent all this money to build this thing, and to kill it now would just be at absolute travesty.”
Over time, you learn there are things that you have to do. You have to chuck up the losses, get your head back on straight, move forward, and try and get the wins. You’re not going to win them all.
Jonny Nastor: Totally. Google, for everything to be said about Google+ — and I don’t know the ins and outs of it, obviously — but they pushed that for years. That wasn’t like, “Here, try it for a month or two.” They kept just pushing it. Everybody has a Gmail account. They instantly had users, but the adoption I guess.
It’s an interesting one because Google, typically, they’re notorious for coming out with new littler products and just dropping them. Just drop them, “Nope, nope, nope,” and that’s how they figure stuff out. Google+ was a big one.
Joshua Dorkin: They put a lot of energy into that one, and I think they very begrudgingly shut it down.
Jonny Nastor: I think so, too.
Joshua Dorkin: Or separated from YouTube.
Jonny Nastor: Exactly. That’s the first step.
Joshua Dorkin: It’s not going to be around for long.
Jonny Nastor: Exactly. So, Josh, there seems to be a time in every entrepreneur’s life when they realize one of two things. Either they want to make something big — they have this calling to make a difference in the world — or, as mostly seems to be the case of my guests, they finally simply cannot work for someone else anymore. Could you tell me which side of the fence you fall, on and when you discovered this about yourself?
Why Some Businesses Should Be Built for Selfish Reasons
Joshua Dorkin: From the beginning, I was always the entrepreneurial type. My family were all entrepreneurs. I worked for myself out of college. I was trying to find my place in the world just experimenting with different ideas and different things. I was in the entertainment business. I was a prop trader. I got a real estate license and was a Realtor — tried all sorts of stuff. Ultimately, ended up falling into a job. I fell into teaching. I got a sub teaching credential to do it just to make a couple of bucks on the side, got a gig, and that one-day gig turned into four years of teaching full time.
While doing that, I launched this business, BiggerPockets. At first, I didn’t build it with the intent of having the second thing you talked about, which is this passion to change the world, so to speak. It was really out of necessity. I was having a semi-failing rental business thousands of miles away, and I needed help. This business was designed out of complete selfishness to help me become more successful and stop losing money.
Nights and weekends, I was plotting away on it. Ultimately, I started to see other people getting value from it and realized, “Wait a second, there’s more here. This is not just something that is this selfish endeavor. I’m actually helping people, and if I continue to work at it, I’m going to help change people’s lives. I’m going to help them be more successful.”
We talked earlier about the stick-to-it-ness. I’ve been at this almost 11 years, and I’ve had many times where I’ve looked at it and said, “Wow, this is not going where I hoped it would go. This is really too hard, and I’m not making enough money. I’m working 80 to 100 hours a week. I got to stop.”
The thing that kept me going, personally, was the fact that I knew I was helping these people. I was getting emails and calls from people whose lives we were changing for the better. That’s really one of the big things that helped me through the really hardest times, the lows — and there were lots of them.
Jonny Nastor: Wow. So BiggerPockets, it helps people with real estate, forums, and such?
Joshua Dorkin: Yes.
Jonny Nastor: You had a selfish problem where you had an issue with real estate with a rental business?
Joshua Dorkin: Yes.
Jonny Nastor: How’d you start? How’d you make that connection to others doing that? What business were you creating yourself to selfishly help yourself, but then also helped others?
The Value of Building a Business That Helps People
Joshua Dorkin: I feel like I’m in this weird matrix of non-understanding your question — no, I totally understand your question. That was a hard question. I wanted to build a rental business on the side. I had a background in building websites.
When I looked at the landscape of the information space for real estate investor information 10.5 years ago, what I noted was there was not a lot of information that spoke to me. The information that existed was all the get-rich-quick real estate guru guys. They owned the landscape. They didn’t own every website, but every website, they were affiliate marketing and working together. So everybody was in bed together.
I feel like I want to shower when I deal with that side of things, the guru side. I said, “There’s nothing around here that I feel I believe in, I can trust, and I feel comfortable with.” I just built a forum. I knew enough about the Internet, and I had been around a while. I built a forum with the goal to help me help me up.
Over time, it started making a little of money. I had some ads on it and things like that. I realized that maybe there was something there. Now, granted, I’ve been told by lots of people in the early years, “You’re crazy. What are you doing? You should shut this down,” and I probably should have at the time. I probably should have, but we came to a few tipping points that really started to energize the business and grew it.
Today, we’ve got this business. We’ve got a social network that we built. We’ve got a forum. We’ve got dozens of writers who write for us every week, so we’ve got this pretty sizeable blog. We’ve got the top podcast in real estate. We’ve got a publishing company with three of the top 15 real estate books on Amazon.
We took this idea of helping Josh be successful with his real estate business and transformed it to, “Let’s build this vertically integrated company that has content, community, and tools to help people who are just like Josh was and help them become more successful.” That’s what we do. We do it in, what I believe, to be a pure way.
It’s not about the upsell. It’s not about getting people into these thousand-dollar boot camps and $50,000 trainings. It’s about, “Hey, anybody and everybody should be able to invest in real estate.” We wanted to democratize the information space, and I think we’ve done that. We’ve opened the books. There’s no secrets. There’s no such thing as a secret in real estate investing anymore. I think that’s the beauty of what we’ve done.
Jonny Nastor: Wow, that’s impressive.
Joshua Dorkin: Thank you.
Jonny Nastor: Short answer, you started literally from a forum to get answers for your questions.
Joshua Dorkin: Correct.
Jonny Nastor: That’s awesome. Then, at some point in there, you decided to change it into just helping you to integrate the company that is now a publishing company, a publishing house, a blog, a podcast. Wow, that’s impressive, a good transformation. Most people don’t go from solo entrepreneur to that. They get stuck in the day-to-day.
Why Not Being Good at Business Shouldn’t Stop You from Doing It
Joshua Dorkin: I got stuck in the day-to-day. I was stuck in it for eight years.
Jonny Nastor: Oh, wow.
Joshua Dorkin: I was stuck in it for eight years. I was teaching special ed high school in Los Angeles. I was doing this nights and weekends for two years. Then I quit. Then I spent the next couple of years just building this. I wasn’t even building a business. I was just focused on like, “Hey, community. Let’s build this community and make it strong. I’m making money on the side, not quite enough to survive, but wife is working and making a lot of money, or enough money to keep us going.”
All of a sudden, years past, and my lifestyle business, which was this cool concept of like, “I’ve got my own business. I can work whenever I want, wherever I want” — and it was true — but I was now working 80 to 100 hours a week. It didn’t matter where the hell I lived. I was so glued to my job. That was my life. We had kids. I started to look inwardly and say, “Wow, this is crazy. I need to get out of this.”
I didn’t understand the working ‘in’ versus ‘on’ your business concept until I hired a consultant and said, “What’s going on here? What am I doing wrong? I’m busting my chops doing everything I’m supposed to be doing, yet I’m still working like a madman.” One of the things that he said, one of the many things, was, “This is not a lifestyle business anymore. You need to transform or die.” And that’s what I did.
I started to bring on the people I needed to bring on to lighten the load for me and to actually help scale the business and started to hire. That was almost a little over 2.5 years ago. Today, we went from me and a developer, which is all we had, we’re up to 19 people now.
Jonny Nastor: Wow, nice. So you hired a business coach?
Joshua Dorkin: I hired a consultant to look at the business. This was a short-term engagement to look at the business, help break down the business, look at me, help break me down, look at the website, and help break down the website. I talked earlier about killing products like it was nothing. He’s the reason that I killed products the first time. We looked at the website, and we killed probably three to four pretty major products that, at the time, I had spent a large percentage of money into these things.
It was much harder to kill off than it was this chat thing that I did, even though I probably relatively spent the same amount of money. We’re actually more successful. Obviously, it’s easier to let something like that go. He didn’t tell me what to do, but he helped me find what I needed to do.
Jonny Nastor: Gave you clarity, the outside perspective. It’s hard when we’re in it, like right inside of it.
Joshua Dorkin: Absolutely.
Jonny Nastor: Have you since then used any other consultants or coaches?
Joshua Dorkin: I have not. I would like to. I’ve looked for mentors. I’ve looked for advisors. I’ve had a hard time finding them, which makes me sad to be honest. I think it’d be great. I’ve got other entrepreneurs that I know that I turn to for advice, and we help each other with things.
I think it’s nice to have — whether it’s a board of advisors, of people who have been in there, or just a consultant or somebody you can turn to. Internally, we do it. We all throw these things around. It is nice to have that outsider. I don’t have anyone now, but if you know somebody … you know what I’m saying?
Jonny Nastor: I was actually being selfish.
Joshua Dorkin: Call me!
Jonny Nastor: No, I was being selfish and seeing if you knew anyone. It’s an interesting thing. Lots of my guests do have coaches, have had them all throughout, and regard them very highly. Then there’s others who are just very much against it and have tried it maybe, but just don’t like the way it went. We don’t like being told what to do sometimes. We’re kind of stubborn in our ways.
Joshua Dorkin: You mean entrepreneurs? Yeah, something like that.
Jonny Nastor: Earlier on, Josh, you told me your one thing is that you don’t give up. You have that fortitude to just carry on. Now every blog post, every expert is talking 80, 20. Do 20 percent. Get 80 percent of the results. Do what you’re good at. Delegate all of the rest. Could you please, Josh, tell me something specifically that you are not good at in your business?
Joshua Dorkin: Everything. What am I good at?
Jonny Nastor: You’re a great podcaster.
Joshua Dorkin: Seriously, you want to know what I’m not good at.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah.
Letting Go, Wearing the CEO Hat, and Loving Every Minute of It
Joshua Dorkin: That’s a good question. I’ve gotten pretty good at delegating. I was not good at that. I was, in fact, terrible at that. I had to do everything. I had to have my finger on everything, and that’s scary. I will tell you that’s exceptionally scary.
Now, it’s funny. I walk around to the folks in the office, and I’m like, “Hey, what are you working on?” They’re like, “Blah, blah.” I’m like, “Oh yeah? What have you guys just done?” They’re like, “Yeah, we just launched this.” I’m like, “Oh! That was a great idea.” But they couldn’t do that without the direction. We meet up regularly, and we talk about it. I don’t need to be micromanaging everything that everybody is doing. As long as everybody knows their mission, we can all move forward independently.
You know what I suck at? I don’t suck it, but I hate it, is hiring. I think I’m pretty good at hiring. I’m so anal retentive and methodical about it that it just takes forever to do. We need to hire a bunch of people right now, and I dread it. I hate going through the process. It’s a pain in the neck. I know I’m not alone as an entrepreneur, but maybe I’m not good at it. My results are good, but I think it’s a pain in the neck. I hate it.
What else am I not good at? I used to love writing content, loved writing content. I used to love doing the design side of things. I like big picture now. I really love doing the big picture. I like less the real nitty-gritty stuff, which is fascinating. As I’ve grown as a CEO, I like more of the bigger-picture, CEO stuff than I do the nitty-gritty. When I have to do the nitty-gritty, sometimes I just want to pull my hair out.
Jonny Nastor: “Can I go back to being a CEO now, please?”
Joshua Dorkin: Yeah! “Just leave me alone!”
Jonny Nastor: I wondered actually about the design because, on your bio, it says ‘web designer.’ I think it’s ‘entrepreneur, web designer,’ and a few other things in there. I was like, “Wow, is he still like, ‘Don’t touch the design. This is me.'”
Joshua Dorkin: I still have considerable input in what we do, but I’m not doing markups anymore. I’m not doing any of that. My team does a pretty good job. I tell them what I want, and they do it. Then we decide on, is it good, is it right, is it what we’re looking for? And we go from there. I’m not actually doing the work anymore.
Jonny Nastor: Fair enough. The first thing you said was you’re not good at delegation. Do you have a manager in place now for this?
Joshua Dorkin: Oh, no, I wasn’t good at delegation. I am good at it now.
Jonny Nastor: Oh, so you weren’t like, “Okay, I got to put somebody in place to delegate tasks out and manage these people.” You do that. You just learned how.
Joshua Dorkin: I had to. Remember, it was me by myself. I had a developer working for me, so it was me and a developer.
Jonny Nastor: That was your first hire, was the developer?
Joshua Dorkin: That was my first hire. I’ve had developers for many, many, many years because I outgrew my usefulness in terms of programming. I was a hack, to be kind to myself, in the beginning in terms of building coding.
I’ve always had a single developer around, but then it came to all this other front-end stuff — the business, the community, the writing, all this other stuff that we do, building products and tools, specking stuff, and so on and so forth — I was doing it all. I was doing ad sales. You’re an entrepreneur. Frankly, I was fairly solopreneur, so I had to do it all. It got crazy, so I hired my first guy.
The first thing I gave him was content. “You take over content. You got this. You’re amazing. I trust you. Handle it.” Then I realized how good he was, and I said, “Okay, well, cool. I also need some help with community, so take over this part of community.” Brandon, who works for me, he’s my co-host in the podcast. We’ve kind of built for him this entrepreneurial role within the platform. He comes in, helps systematize certain parts. I hand to him. He develops further and hands it off to other folks. We keep going and have this cycle. That’s the only thing he does, but we’ve built this unspoken process.
Next, we’re, “We’ve got content. We got community. Now, we’re getting tools and working on the tools and improving them, so you take ownership of this tool.” “Cool.” “Now what do we need to do? How do we growth hack, and how do we do this?”
A lot of what we do is just this collaborative learning, and then we figure out, “Hey, my hands are so tied up. I’ve got six jobs. I like these five. Let me get rid of this one. Let’s hire somebody to take care of that one.” We bring them in, and then they get two jobs and three jobs. Then the same thing. It keeps the cycle going where everybody is getting more and more responsibility. We’re growing. Then, as they get their hands full, we try to pan it off to the next layer or person, level — whatever you want to call it.
Jonny Nastor: Nice. So everybody has multiple roles, except for a developer probably is a developer and designer. But you have these entrepreneurial, like you said, roles, which is really interesting. That’s a great way to run a business that is still growing, probably quite rapidly. You need that.
Joshua Dorkin: It’s pretty exciting. It keeps people motivated, gets them pumped up, and gives them opportunities that they may not have at another position.
Jonny Nastor: Exactly. All right. Josh, this has been a lot of fun. I want to wrap up on something I am toying with calling the ‘entrepreneurial gap.’ As entrepreneurs, we are always pushing and looking forward — one month, three months, six months, a year, three years, five years, 10 years down the line. We set goals. “When we get there in six months, when our business does that, we’ll be successful when we get there.”
Before we even get to those, usually, we set five or 10 loftier ones into the future. It’s always forward, forward, forward. Obviously, we have to keep pushing forward, but oftentimes, I find, we fail to stop, look at where we’ve come from, look at what we’ve accomplished, just analyze it, and see how we feel.
I would love right now, Josh, if you could stop, turn around, and look at where you’ve come from, what you’ve done, what you’ve accomplished, and just tell me how you feel about it.
Being Happily Unsatisified with an Eye Forever on the Future
Joshua Dorkin: Is this where I cry?
Jonny Nastor: I’m hoping.
Joshua Dorkin: I’m excited. It’s been a lot of fun. You can’t see this, but Jon is about to spit the water out of his mouth as we have this conversation. I do, do this enough. I do the introspective thing. I think it’s really important.
When I said, “I’m going to build this into something cool,” in the very beginning, I looked up and I saw a few websites. They were huge. They were amazing, and I was like, “Wow, what if I can accomplish what they’re accomplishing?” A couple of years later I did. Then, all of a sudden, what is the next thing and the next thing? I think the trouble with entrepreneurship is it’s an addiction. It’s like a disease. I’m not quite going to say we’re a bunch of coke heads because I know I’m not.
Jonny Nastor: Most of us aren’t, I don’t think.
Joshua Dorkin: You can liken it to that. You get a little taste, and you’re like, “I got to have more. I got to have more. I got to have more.” I was excited when I had my first user on the site. I was excited when I had my 10th. I was excited when I had my 100th, my 1,000th, 10,000th, 100,000th, and so on and so forth. At the same time, I was like, “Oh, well, we just did this. Let’s 10X that sucker! What’s next? What’s next? What’s next?” Has that allowed us to grow? Absolutely.
I couldn’t be happier with where we are. I’m ecstatic. I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that this little hobby that I was running on the side while I was teaching special ed on nights and weekends — I’m building this thing just for fun — who in the world would have imagined that I could have done this?
I think that says a lot about the world we live in, having those abilities through the Internet. I think it speaks about our country, the land of opportunity. Anybody can really make it if you work hard. I’m really happy with where I am. In five years, 10 years, would I like to be somewhere further down the road, whatever that means? Yeah, of course.
Would I like this thing, my baby so to speak, would I like it to become something even more incredible than it is today? Yeah, without a doubt. I’m never going to be satisfied, but I can stop and look at where we are and say, “Yeah. This is pretty cool.”
We’re affecting millions of lives. We’re helping people find financial success, helping people quit jobs, build wealth for their families, and find time to spend with their kids. That’s a pretty cool job. I love it. I’m happy. I don’t know if I answered your question, but if you don’t stop me, I’m going to keep going.
Jonny Nastor: No, you totally, totally, totally answered it beautifully. That was great. I love that it’s grown to something big, but it all started with, “I just wanted to build something cool on the Internet.” That’s how you started. That’s so awesome.
Joshua Dorkin: Absolutely.
Jonny Nastor: Earlier you said how when you did want to just do that and you said that to people, people thought you were crazy and told you shouldn’t. You didn’t listen, and now look at what you’ve done. That’s awesome.
Joshua Dorkin: I remember a friend of mine would call me — I don’t remember if I was texting then — and bust my chops. He’s like, “Hey, Josh, I just saw a penny on the street. I was walking around. Let me mail it to you.” That was mean.
Jonny Nastor: Thanks for that.
Joshua Dorkin: Entrepreneurship, everybody hears about these companies that get all this money. Most entrepreneurs, we struggle. It’s really hard. I think that should be honored, that struggle. I think to be able to go through that, come out successful on the other end, and build something is to be commended. I’m not talking about me but just in general. There are so many entrepreneurs who go unrecognized.
I would love it if the industry — and whatever that means, tech and non-tech as well — would recognize those people who are doing great things in their own respective spaces without the recognition. There are a lot of them, and it’s hard to get there. There are so many small businesses in this country. We should applaud them because they drive the economy in our little country, and yours as well. I forgot that you’re up there, up north.
Jonny Nastor: In that other little country above you guys.
Joshua Dorkin: It’s little, right? It’s tiny.
Jonny Nastor: It’s small. All right, Josh, this has been a lot of fun. We’ve talked about your business in passing. Could you tell the listeners specifically where to find out more about you and about your business?
Joshua Dorkin: Perfect, sure. The best place to connect with me is on Twitter. I’m all over the web. I usually don’t connect with people in other social platforms unless I actually know them, but Twitter is the best place. You can find me at Twitter @jrdorkin, and the business is BiggerPockets, BiggerPockets.com. Check out the Bigger Pockets podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, everywhere else. We’ve got a bunch of books on Amazon. Check out BiggerPockets there as well.
While I’m talking, make sure to jump on iTunes and leave some ratings and reviews for Jon here because that is what helps podcast grow. Subscribe to his show. Help him build this thing out even more. He didn’t ask me to do that, but there you go.
Jonny Nastor: I appreciate it, Josh.
Joshua Dorkin: Yeah, sure, man.
Jonny Nastor: I’ll link to you on Twitter. I’ll link to your podcast and to BiggerPockets.com in the show notes, so they’re easy for listeners out there to find. Once again, Josh, thank you so much for your time. I really do appreciate it. Please just keep doing what you’re doing with BiggerPockets because it’s really awesome and inspiring to watch.
Joshua Dorkin: Thanks, Jon. Thanks for having me.
Jonny Nastor: Josh, thank you so much. I’ve said this before, but I usually judge the quality of the conversation that I just got to be part of by the number of times that I break out laughing. Going back listening to this one, I did that a lot. For some reason, that engages me on a certain level when laughter comes out of me. I have to be paying attention. I have to be really involved and really drawn into the conversation — which is a good, good thing.
Josh is a smart, smart man that said a lot of smart things. He’s built a really, really amazing business based around something he wanted to see existing. So I go back to the conversation. There was something near the beginning that he said that was really, really, really good, but it wasn’t that one thing.
Listening back to it, I had to go to almost the very end. He pretty much just said it. It was something that’s very, very crucial. It was that one thing that we need to go back to. Did you get it? Did you hear it? Let’s do it. Let’s find the hack.
Joshua Dorkin: When I said, “I’m going to build this into something cool,” in the very beginning, I looked up and I saw a few websites. They were huge. They were amazing, and I was like, “Wow, what if I can accomplish what they’re accomplishing?” A couple of years later I did.
Jonny Nastor: And that’s the hack.
Yes, yes, yes. A couple of years ago, Josh was like many of us. We have this passion, or this drive, or a market or a place we want to work on something that matters, work on something that really, truly has an effect on others.
Oftentimes, as is the case nowadays — and was the case back when Josh started, too — we look at that space or that market, and we’ll see other people that have huge, amazing businesses or sites within that space. The gap sometimes seems so far from where we are — stopped, not quite started, not sure what to do next — to where that person is. It almost seems like it’s an insurmountable amount of distance, but it’s not.
It is if you expect overnight success, if you expect to just do something quickly, and have it just pay off instantly. It doesn’t work like that. I’ve worked with this before, this whole ‘live in days,’ which is the last question where this answer came from, and then ‘work in months.’
It’s very, very important that you realize, to build something big, to build something huge like BiggerPockets like Josh did, it took years. It took years of putting his head down, but he had that end goal where he wanted to be. He just started taking the steps and doing the work every day — every day, every week, every month, every year — to get there. Now, he’s there. He’s at the top of the space.
These aren’t insurmountable distances. They look as though it is sometimes when we look at where we are and where we want to be. I had this when I started a podcast last year with Hack the Entrepreneur. There’s Pat Flynn, and there’s John Lee Dumas and Entrepreneur on Fire. This is the space that I was entering, and they had what seemed like an insurmountable gap between where I was and where they were.
Where I wanted to be was there, but I started. Now, one year, almost to this day, into it, and I’m so much closer than I ever was to that distance already. It’s amazing. It’s shocking that it can work. It’s been a lot of work. Constantly, day after day after day doing it, but the distance isn’t insurmountable.
Josh, you said a lot of other really smart things, and you are a brilliant entrepreneur. I really needed to bring that home. I just love that, how you have this thought process and how you wanted to be there, and then a couple of years later, there you are. It was very, very well said. I thank you so much for that, Josh, and I thank you just for joining me.
That’s it. It’s been a lot of fun. As always, I thank you so much. If you would like — I would love it if you would — I would love a rating and review on iTunes. I got 13 last week, and it blew my mind. I get goose bumps reading them. I love it. I really, really, truly do. Only one person left me their Twitter handle, @TheirName, so I could go and thank them. I would love it if you did.
HacktheEntrepreneur.com/iTunes will take you straight there. You don’t even have to be on an iPhone. You just have to have iTunes or an account, or something — but go there. Do it. I would love it. It will take you five minutes, and it would mean so much to me. HacktheEntrepreneur.com/iTunes will take you right there, or just go to iTunes and type in ‘Hack the Entrepreneur.’ I’m sure you know how to find it. You’re listening to the show.
All right. Thank you so much. I truly do appreciate you taking the time. I know you have a lot of options out there to listen to, and I do appreciate you just stopping by. It’s been a lot of fun, and until next time, please, keep hacking the entrepreneur.