October 3, 2017

JF1127: Josh Dorkin, Founder & CEO Of BiggerPockets Is Back For Part 2 Of Our Interview!

We’ve got some listener questions for Josh today. Get to know Josh as he dives into his morning routines, and explains the most underused aspect of BiggerPockets. He also tells us about how the BiggerPockets podcast came to be. Josh’s #1 piece of advice is to find your why, something he says that without it, you will struggle. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!

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Josh Dorkin Background:
– ‎CEO & Founder: BiggerPockets.com, Entrepreneur
– ‎BiggerPockets Publishing, LLC
– BiggerPockets boasts more than 825,000 members, produces the top-rated real estate podcast on iTunes, and last year raked in $7 million in revenue through advertising
– Bigger Pockets made the INC 500, came in at #400 in August 2017
– BiggerPockets added a publishing arm, which released Set For Life on April 23, 2017
– Based in Denver, Colorado
– Say hi to him at: BiggerPockets: The Real Estate Investing Social Network


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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any fluff. With us today, the founder of Bigger Pockets – how are you doing, Josh Dorkin?

Josh Dorkin: What’s going on, man? You’re a crazy man… I don’t know how you do it every day.

Joe Fairless: Prior to our conversation I asked some Best Ever listeners what questions they would have for you. You’re gonna like this, by the way… [unintelligible [00:01:33].02] asks “What feature of the Bigger Pockets platform does Josh think is most underutilized?”

Josh Dorkin: I don’t like this… [laughter] The most underutilized feature on the platform I would have to say is member notes. As Joe nods his head and up and down, wondering what the hell I’m talking about… [laughter] Here’s what member notes are – you can go to anybody’s profile and take a note on them. I can go to your profile, Joe, and make a note and say “Yeah, Joe and I on 28th August had a conversation about X, Y and Z.” Only I can see it, nobody else can see it on the platform. It’s almost like a mini CRM, right? The next time I come back and the next time I interact with you I can be like, “Hey, Joe… Remember we talked about X, Y and Z the last time we connected?”

I think partially that’s due to people not knowing what it is. We have not updated that in a very long time; we are working on some really nice and sexy redesigns of certain parts of the site, including user profiles and our onboarding, and as part of that, I think we’re gonna be creating a little more clarity in that tool. I think it’s extremely useful, I use it all the time. I talk to you about whatever I talk to you about, I put it on there, and the next time I come back and I’m ready to talk to you again, I know exactly what we chatted about.

Joe Fairless: I am on your profile right now, in the member notes section, writing in Jerry Springer.

Josh Dorkin: That’s great. [laughter] Way to torture me, man. That’s really nice of you, Joe.

Joe Fairless: So clearly, I don’t wanna know what you’re writing about me right now…

Josh Dorkin: “What a jerk!!”

Joe Fairless: [laughs] This is from Julie, and this implies something – if the implication is not accurate, then forget the question.

Josh Dorkin: Sure.

Joe Fairless: When you were considering starting Bigger Pockets, what was a number one fear holding you back from starting?

Josh Dorkin: There was no fear that held me back from starting, which is what you were getting to. I didn’t start Bigger Pockets to create a business. I started Bigger Pockets to help me stop screwing up in real estate. So my biggest fear was continuing to screw up in real estate.

There was nothing that was kind of “Alright, if I create this thing and nobody shows up, then nobody shows up. I’ll figure something else out, I’ll find my answers in some other way.”

Joe Fairless: Evan H. has a question about podcasting and how that has enhanced your business and opened up doors and connections that you wouldn’t have had otherwise?

Josh Dorkin: I think by having a big show that has a big audience, it gives you the ability – as you well know – to talk to and reach out to people who you may not have had the opportunity to do that with. So it builds your name, it builds your brand, and especially if you do a good job and stay true to who you are and what you’re doing, then ideally that continues.

Look, I’ve gotten to talk to authors that I may have not otherwise met; I’ve gotten to — I don’t know, just getting to talk to even you, when you came on the show… There’s not a show that we have where I don’t learn something. So for me as a person not affiliated with Bigger Pockets, it’s so powerful. And as the CEO of Bigger Pockets, obviously having those people and those stories inspire other people is also so powerful.

I don’t know, we did the podcast on — I’m gonna say a lark, which is not true, but it’s funny… I look back in the past couple of months and I came across a note that I had written to myself years before I even started the podcast, and one of the things I had written down was “Start a podcast.” And I never did it because there wasn’t much of an audience, the technology wasn’t as pervasive, and so I never did it. But when Brandon came on, we were like, “Hey, maybe this will catch on. Maybe people will like the medium for the dissemination of real estate information in a way that is not already being disseminated by other people… Let’s give it a shot”, and what we found is that people do in fact like what we do and how we do it. There are people who absolutely hate us, but there’s people who hate you too, and you’re a really nice guy, so you can’t worry about that. You just have to do the show that you believe is the right show, and that’s what we do.

Joe Fairless: Your podcast has influenced my life personally in many ways, both as a listener and then also a guest. One e-mail I received after being a guest on the Bigger Pockets podcast – and it was actually probably about two and a half months after being on the podcast – was an e-mail from a fund that has over one billion dollars worth of assets under management, saying that they would like to talk to us (myself and my business partner) about creating a fund of 100 million dollars investing in our projects. And last week I was actually in Dallas, touring with them our properties in DFW, and talking to them about creating a fund. It was because the woman who heads up the fund, her niece is a listener to the Bigger Pockets podcast, and since, the woman who I met with – she listens as well now… And it was all because of being on the show.

Josh Dorkin: That’s awesome, man. That’s great. Cool. When you start that fund, I’ll take my 1% and we’ll be good. [laughter]

Joe Fairless: The last question…

Josh Dorkin: Wow, no answer there, just “Moving on to the next question… [laughter] Yeah, I’m gonna ignore that as much as I humanly can.”

Joe Fairless: I’ll buy you a beer when I come to Denver this February.

Josh Dorkin: Woohoo!

Joe Fairless: This is from Taylor L., and he asks “What are your morning routines or daily practices that you do on a regular basis?”

Josh Dorkin: I go back and forth with a miracle morning – or non-miracle morning – routine; it depends how spent or burnt out I am. But I like getting up, I like stretching… I don’t ever get up and then go to my phone, or go to my internet or anything like that. I like to get up, I like to stretch. On the good mornings, I like to exercise. This is all before anyone else in the house is awake.

Then get up, get dressed, do my thing, take care of my kids, get them ready for school, driving to school, and then at that point I will look at work. I don’t do work before my kids are off to school; I’m there, I’m present… I’m not playing on my phone, stressing about e-mails, dealing with any of that stuff. The morning is for me, followed by family, and then I head to work, and then work begins. After work, when I get home – four, five, six o’clock, whenever it is, I’m present again; phone’s away, not working. I may jump on social media from time to time, because it’s a hobby, but I’m not doing work per se until my kids are asleep. Family time is family time, and then when the kids go to bed, I usually like to thaw for a little bit, and then maybe I’ll do some work, as needed.

It’s very different than had you asked that question four years ago, which would have been “I get up, I work, I take a shower, I work some more while my kids are getting fat (or whatever) and then I leave to work, and then I come home and I work, and then I work through dinner, and then after dinner I continue to work, and even though I’m with my family, I’m not there.” I came to the realization that I was doing that, and hated myself for it, and said “This is just not who I wanna be. I am a father first and foremost, and my family is the most important thing to me and my life, so I’m not gonna let anything, especially my company, get in between that.” So I think that’s it.

On those good mornings, when I’m fully miracle-morning-ing, I don’t actually do the full miracle morning, which refers to a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, for those of you who don’t know… But I’ll stretch, I’ll do some meditation, I’ll do some exercise, and I’ll do some reading. Those tend to be the four things that I do.

Joe Fairless: And parting words for the Best Ever listeners – what’s your best real estate investing advice ever?

Josh Dorkin: I would say figure out your why. Why is it that you’re getting into this for. If you don’t have a strong why, then you’re not ready to begin. If you’re already an investor and you’re thinking about scaling your business or growing your business, what’s the why? What’s driving you? What’s motivating you? Because if you don’t have it, do you know who’s not gonna have it? Your partner, your spouse, your family. So you’d better have a solid why that everybody can buy into, because otherwise there’s gonna be opposition at every step from those people who should be supporting you. I think that would probably be the first best piece of advice I would offer.

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing and either get in touch with you or learn more about your company and get involved?

Josh Dorkin: Just go to BiggerPockets.com, you can check it out. We’ve got the Bigger Pockets podcast, you can find it on iTunes, YouTube or wherever else. Podcasts are found! Go on the site, play around, look around… There’s just unbelievable amounts of information to help you out. Beyond that, for me personally, I don’t necessarily connect with people I don’t know off of Bigger Pockets. I would say follow me on Twitter, @JRDorkin. You should follow Bigger Pockets, @BiggerPockets… But until I really get to know somebody, I don’t tend to do the Facebook or LinkedIn or other connections. It would be impossible and unwieldy for me to do that. So give me a shout on Twitter…

Joe Fairless: I can tell you that you should definitely follow him on Twitter if you wanna continue to see the insect-eating that he regularly does at the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver. Thanks for being on the show, Josh. I hope you have a Best Ever day. I enjoyed it, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Josh Dorkin: Thanks, Joe. Take care.


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