Dan Daugherty interviews Josh Dorkin who founded BiggerPockets in his living room with $12 bucks. Josh tells his story of wanting to quit, having 3 nervous breakdowns, and eventually selling to a private equity company. Josh talks about what he did to get to a place of happiness and how big changes in his life became catalysts that helped him, his family, and the business grow.
Dan Daugherty - Welcome to this episode of The Big Exit. I'm your host, Dan Daugherty. And today I have a good friend, Josh Dorkin who is the founder and former CEO of BiggerPockets. Josh, thank you for coming on the show.
Josh Dorkin - Excited to be here, man.
Dan Daugherty - You know, I've got a lot of feedback from the listeners that said, Hey, big exits are great, but I noticed that a lot of the founders that you have interviewed have raised significant amounts of money, and I immediately thought of you because you've bootstrapped BiggerPockets from I remember your Washington Park house where we met to really a multimillion dollar organization. And I'm excited to have you on board to really tell the story of how you went from zero to an exit without ever raising a single dime of outside capital.
Josh Dorkin - Well, if you put it that way, it sounds pretty good. Yeah, Yeah, I I mean, you know, you want me to just take it from the beginning, or..
Dan Daugherty - Yeah, let's start from the very beginning. I remember you and I met In, must have been, what? When did you found BiggerPockets?
Josh Dorkin - Yeah. So it must have been 07, maybe that we connected and you and I were talking about, you know, you were thinking about buying different companies, and and we were just chatting about that. That didn't go well for me, but, uh, but yeah, no, it's been, um it's been a very, very long journey. Um, you know, like like any entrepreneurial story, lots of ups, lots of downs. And, um, inevitably, um, you know, really struggled through those those difficult times. But, you know, I think the key was just persevering through those in order to come out at the end. But, um, I I looked at the cycle as a multistage cycle. When I started BiggerPockets, it was I was teaching special Ed. I was teaching high school in Los Angeles.
The company, by the way, is the largest real estate investing media company and community out there. We're all about trying to help people build wealth, learn how to build wealth through real estate investing. And so back in 04 I was living in Los Angeles, I was teaching special ED at high school, I bought a bunch of property, as a result of my brother encouraging me to do so. And, uh, you know, I thought I was a smart guy, I went to college, you know, all these all these things and bought property thousands of miles away, which would would normally be a challenge. But I didn't really do my homework. And so what happened was little by little, I found myself running into some problems and I didn't quite know how to deal with those problems. There were books, but like, you know, the books were pretty general. They didn't really say, What do you do when your tenant is stealing electricity from the building next door? What do you do when somebody is ripping the copper piping out of your vacant unit? You can't find that. And all that was out there were there were communities forums, but they were all kind of tied to or in cahoots with, I call them the Gurus that get rich quick crowd. Um and you know, the the issue I had with with those which led me to founding BiggerPockets, was I You know, I didn't like the idea of getting caught up in this this funnel where, you know, it's like, hey, come to our free course and the free courses. Just an ad for a free boot camp. You know, some kind of boot camp, which is a nad for a course, which is an ad for, you know, training.