The Big Exit
The Big Exit

Episode 7 · 1 year ago

Josh Dorkin Bootstrapped BiggerPockets to a Big Exit

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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. 

Beginning Transcript

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.

Welcome to the Big Exit where we discuss startup acquisitions with the founders who lived it. Here's your host, Dan Dougherty But it gave me the time to really think about life. And in that time I realized that I wasn't as happy as I wanted to be running the business, that I went to my wife. Year eight of the company and I was in tears, and I realized that I was unhappy. So the operating manual was, "How do I go from unhappy to happy" and I had spent so long not taking vacations, not taking days off. I worked eight years without a single day off, which is incredibly stupid. I mean, nights, weekends, you name it seven days a week. Um, I realized that, like, that's not healthy. I didn't do a lot of that. You know, I didn't want to share my feelings necessarily in those early years because I thought it was a sign of weakness. Today, I think it's a sign of necessity and strength. You know, if you're not spending significant time everyday learning, you're not gonna grow, you're not gonna get better. You're not gonna be competitive with other people across your area of expertise. Um, and the platform itself, your business, whatever it is, is not gonna be able Thio blossom, You know, from a sheer depression man in the year before my exit in the year and a half before my exit, I had I had never had this before, but I had three, like, full on panic attacks. E thought I was having a heart attack. Life's too short, man like, don't don't do keep doing things that make you miserable, you know, don't keep doing things that keep you super stressed out If if If that's the case, figure out what you need to do to change. Welcome to this episode of the big exit. I'm your host, Dan Daugherty. And today I have a good friends Josh dork in who is the founder and former CEO of Bigger Pockets. Josh, thank you for coming on the show. Excited to be here, man. 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 amount of money, and I immediately immediately thought of you because you've bootstrapped bigger pockets from I remember your your Washington Park house where we met two 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. 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 Yeah, let's start from the very beginning. I remember you and I met It. Must have been you. What? When did you When did you found bigger pockets? Was 2009 44? Yeah. So it must have been 07 Maybe that that 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 dio 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 bigger pockets, 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, um 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 at high school, I bought a bunch of property, a za result of my brother encouraging me to do so. And, uh, you know, I thought I was a smart guy, was 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. um, 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 him the Gurus that get rich quick crowd. Um and you know, the the issue I had with with those which led me to founding bigger pockets, 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. And you know, by the time you're done and you look up, you've just spent 50 $75,000 to train with Cem, you know, self anointed guru. And you know you've got nothing to show for it A lot, you know, high failure rates and things like that s o. I thought there had to be a better way. And so I, you know, on the side, nights and weekends while teaching for the first two years, just started building this platform. I taught myself how to code a number of years before back in college and just started to run with it. And after about two years, I quit. My quit my job teaching, and I went full time. I was already working 40 hours a week, at least on bigger pockets in those first two years. Uh, but but then I just went, you know, balls to the wall, so to speak. And, you know, it was doing 88 100 hours trying to trying to build this thing out. So first phase, I call it like that hobby phase. Second phase, you know, was when I took it seriously, quit my job, really spent all my time on it. And in that stage, I moved to Colorado. I'm working ridiculous hours in my basement. I ended up meeting you, of course, uh, and and just kept kept going and going for six more years until I was ready to throw in the towel. There have been ups. There have been downs, but I got to this point where I just run myself ragged. Um, really, You know, stupidly worked way, way, way, way too hard. But I just got caught up in the details. I got caught up in every little detail, and instead of working on the business, I was working in the business exclusively. Came to be...

...ready to quit And, like, told my wife, Hey, I'm ready to sell the business. I was in tears. I was just miserable, um, or just shut it down. I was making money, but I was still ready, you know, that. Desperate to just get out. So I hired a consultant and he came in and we looked over the business. And, you know, my my, uh my goal was to figure out how how do I get myself? How do I change things? You know, how do I make it? So I could either scale this get to an exit or just, you know, sell it and quit and be done and find something else. And so we spent weeks going through the business, realized that we had, you know, created a product that was a little overly bloated. There was, You know, we we built too much, too many futures. It wasn't simple enough. And, um, we ah, you know, we realized that I was doing everything which I was I was doing the job of, you know, 17 different people and that had to stop to. So, you know, the decision was Do I raise money? Uh, do I hire how doe I hire? What do I do? And the company was profitable. I was making money. I mean, I I literally started this company with the, you know, like, 12 bucks a month. It cost me to host and whatever. 45 bucks it cost to register the domain name back then. And that was it. I I hadn't invested another penny in, Um, but, you know, we were living off the business, and it was very scary to go and take on debt because I'm very conservative financially, fiscally, and I didn't want I just didn't want to do that. So we made the decision that we would start and hire one person who could lighten the load for May. And, uh, in order to do that, we were gonna have to penny pinch at home because my wife was not working. We had kids at that point. And you know that we were we were living pretty tight on what we were making where we were. As you know, Denver is not inexpensive. So, um, hired a hired a guy named Brandon Turner. Um, he, uh, some of you listening may know him. He's still the co host of the Bigger Pockets podcast. But he came in and was instrumental, um, to advancing the business so that higher I really believe the business went from Hobby Thio kind of this, uh, you know, call it mom and pop, you know, sole operator business. And then it became a company, and and very quickly I had to learn how toe deal with employees, how to how to scale, um, and spent the next number of years doing that with Brandon as kind of my co pilot. We launched amazing products like the podcast, which today still one of the top 10 business shows in the world. I think it's one of the top 100 podcast in the world. Give or take, Um, we launched the publishing business. I mean, you know, the company grew and grew. He will allow me to think about the business from a holistic standpoint, strategic, and over time we grew. We scaled. We hired dozens of people and come 2007 I went through this very difficult personal time. One of my kids had a medical trauma that led Thio some really scary stuff. Paralysis in in a nine year old, um, and I had Thio had to step away, had to step away from the company in order to take care of my family. And between Brandon and Scott...

Trench, who was my second in command at the business at the time, and my management team, you know, I cast those guys and gals Thio to run the business, and I had to focus on my family, and I had a lot of time, and in that time I realized that mhm, you know, after 14 years of building this company, man, I love I love, love, love, bigger pockets. But I was kind of burnt out. I was kind of tired. I was kind of ready for the next thing. Um, you know, I felt like something needed to change for me personally. And, um And so, as as we were going through this this, uh, situation with my daughter, Little by little, she was getting better. Uh, she she went through something called conversion disorder, which, basically the brain kind of shuts the body down. And, um, I'm very much oversimplifying it, but fast forward to where we are today, and she's fully physically functional, like I mean, you wouldn't know the difference between her and any other kid. Horrifying Skerry. I don't wish it on anyone to go through what we all went through, but it gave me the time to really think about life. And in that time, I realized that I wasn't as happy as I wanted to be running the business. Um, so we went way hired investment bank. I mean, cutting a long story short. I'm sure you're gonna have a ton of questions and sorry for ranting, but we hired the bank, went through a process, and, you know, 68 months later, um, I had an exit to a private equity company. Um, Still own a significant piece of the business. I'm on the board and, you know, continue to love bigger pockets. And I love how it's impacting people's lives. And, um, let's dive in. And Well, first off, I'm so happy that your daughter is healthy. Now, that is a Z. You know, I have two little ones of my own, and that is that changes everything. Um, and I'm glad that you prioritize that over anything else. You are also obviously bigger pockets continues to grow. Still the top everything. The community of podcast. I still get a lot of my great information from the community and the network. It sounds like I said, Okay, what am I gonna do next? And you are in Hawaii now, right? How long have you been in Hawaii with the family? Eso. You know, we we've always wanted to come to Hawaii. Always wanted toe kind of be here. Be I used to call bicoastal would be like New York and Callie. We always wanted to be, you know, in Hawaii in Colorado. But Covert hit and we got sick in March, and it was, you know, it was tough on, but I was very, very, very sick. um it was a very unpleasant experience. Very scary again. You know, I was fairly uncertain. I would get through it. I got through it. Thank goodness. Um, And again, it was another one of those moments for us. We were like, you know, what are we doing? There's a lot of, you know, Colorado just, you know, still a lot of chaos, you know, there's just Yeah. I mean, it's everywhere, right? The political upheaval, the cove, it chaos. Um, we just wanted to find a place where we could dio where we we could just normalize our lives where my kids could, you know, get up and not be all stressed out where, um, you know, we we knew that the government was doing a lot Thio mitigate the situation. And, um so we said, Hey, why not? Let's...

...just do it. We came to Hawaii. We've been here since July. Um, it's fabulous. You know, we were not residents yet. You know, we're doing our trial balloon now, so to speak, but it's it's fantastic. And look, we get to go and, you know, go out on the beach and not be near people. And you know the kids come to go out and do physical stuff. I mean, we were able to do that in Colorado, but, you know, you're on a trail your, you know, running across people without mass. You know, it's just the, you know, the whole debate. We're not going to get into it. But either way it Ah, you know, it presented an opportunity for us toe to find some kind of to find some peace and, uh, to find a place where everybody just could feel good because man 2020 nobody feels good anymore. Man, we don't feel good anymore, and and everybody's at each other's throats and stressed and tense and and it Z, it's not healthy for any of us, It really is not. And, you know, we're in a position where we have an opportunity to do something like this, like, do it. Let's do it, you know, you know, you can work remote. You can do everything remote these days. Ah, lot of people can at least, um and, uh yeah, so we're here, and I'm you know, I'm trying to figure out what's next. You know, looking, looking at ideas. And, you know, I've been been investing, you know, since my exit and different things looking for for, um, you know, startups Thio get involved with looking for boards to become a part of looking to advise. I've been advising some small companies kind of off the books. Um, but, you know, looking Thio make that a little more official. And but yeah, that's that's what I've been up Thio. But yeah, what else you got? Where else can we dive into this? You know, as you as you were talking, Um, all of the significant life changing moments that occur not just in your life, but and just in our own individual lives tends to be even if it's really, really bad or really, really good. It tends to be a catalyst for something even bigger and not all the time. But even from listening to you, it sounds like different things that happened within your life. Um, almost had a purpose or a reason that got you to where you are today. And I i right across the blawg and they talked about they called it serendipitous mindset where you leave your mind open and as you see these different things that happened to you serendipitously, whether it's the people that you have met five years ago, just like how you and I met many, many years back, um, some people don't see that. It's almost like when you when you get a new car and then you start seeing other similar car, same color never saw before. Um, have you had additional clarity from just taking a step back? And I mean, even when Brandon was was hired, it sounds like you were able to take a step back. Look at a much bigger strategic view. And from a business perspective that accelerated growth from a life experience, it sounds like you're doing the same thing. You're you're operationalize ing, um, your life and that has allowed you to kind of be more open. Is that true? Is that a good statement to say Absolutely, Absolutely. Yeah. You know, I think another way of saying is, you know, putting yourself in a position to dot, dot, dot and and so I think for a very long time I ran my life, you know, moment to moment. And, you know, through conversations with folks like Brandon, you know, lots...

...of I've got some good friends who think really deeply, um to reading. Ah, lot reading a lot listening, Thio, um you know, thought leaders in various spaces, You know, my transformation, Really, I think began from the moment of, uh that, uh, that I went to my wife year eight of the company and I was in tears, and I realized that I was unhappy. So the operating manual was how do I go from unhappy, Too happy. And and that was it became not just like a question, but it became a significant force within my life, whether it's about, you know, journaling about it, contemplating it, talking about it out loud and making decisions around it. And and so, for example, one of the core values that bigger pockets is family above all else. For me, I realized that if I'm going to run this company, I've got these kids that I love and my wife and and I had spent so long not taking vacations, not taking days off, I worked eight years without a single day off, which is incredibly stupid. I mean, nights, weekends, you name it seven days a week. I realized that, like, that's not healthy. You know it's healthy to be balance. It's healthy Thio to spend time down with downtime Its's on DSO, you know, try to create operating manuals around that. You know, eventually that became like my Wednesdays, you know, in the you call it year and a half leading Thio the exit My Wednesdays. I didn't go in tow. Work Wednesday was about thinking, networking and not doing that was all I was allowed to do on Wednesday. I didn't take calls. I didn't. You know, if there's emergencies, you deal with it. But like that was that was what that day was about. And and so, ah, thinking about the things you go through. Look, we all go through good stuff, and we all go through bad stuff, and I've I've given two examples of bad things I've been through. I've been through a lot, you know, some pretty bad things on top of that, Um, and I think the way you live your life and your happiness is gonna be determined by your outlook on that. And for me, the outlook is I'm not gonna let these things dominate me. They're not going to define me. I'm gonna allow them. Thio, like you say Thio become some kind of catalyst and and so within the business itself, you know? Hey, I mean, you used to work at Google. You know, as a media company, Google would change. Your Google changes their algorithms all the time as a as an example, right? Yeah, we'll be doing great getting, you know, x million views for month on, you know, through through search. And all of a sudden, Google will make an algorithm change, and that will drop 20% or 30%. And so you can freak out and flip out. Or you could say, All right, you know what? They made this tweak. What could we do? Better? How do we do this better than everybody else? You know, we can't ignore s CEO. We can't ignore these things. How do we make a change? Change the way we operate the business so that we so that Google's algorithm changes become less of a significant impact on who we are and what we dio and so that ultimately led Thio diversification of the business that, you know, we started producing video. We created podcast recreated books. You know, we wanted to be where the listeners on viewers were versus thinking, Hey, they're going to come to us. Um, so, you know, being willing and open Thio Thio change and being dynamic, I think it is one of the...

...most important things. Um and you know, So I've I take those moments when they come to me and and I try and take bold steps when they come Yeah, there's, um there's no shortage of chaos in It's the start up world. Um, and those that cannot adapt to change will inevitably fail and close shop. This happens so often, where and you mentioned it Is that the S e o algorithm? Is it? It's almost like your manic because one day you just closed a really large client. You're all celebrating. And then the next day, all of your servers crash Andi and you have that almost daily and you have to have that type of growth mindset. Um um, serendipitous mindset. But you also need to understand who you are. And really, quite frankly, I did not do a good job of understanding, Um, when I'm depressed or who to call? Um, if I if I'm depressed, I kind of just glazed over it and just put my head down in the work. So I didn't feel depressed anymore, and that ended up. It's probably like your eight years of grind that is not healthy at all. Did you feel? I mean, I'm sure you have lots of times where you just wanted to quit or or pushed through. But did you Were you ever really depressed at all? Absolutely. I mean I mean, you know, would somebody have diagnosed me with clinical depression? I doubt it. It's unlikely, but yeah, I mean, there were they were down periods, dark periods. I mean, you know, super super stressful periods. Yeah. I mean, the very first early years, you know, I had very little support outside of my wife, You know, that this was not like something that everybody's like. Oh, this is gonna be the greatest thing since sliced bread, you know? I mean, I went up against tremendous opposition, you know, I was in an industry where there were entrenched interests that wanted me destroyed from from the get go. And my idea, you know, was one where you know, VCs and angels Thought it didn't have a chance. And And I had just swarms of competitors coming out of the woodwork trying to take me down. And and so there was threat everywhere, right? There's threat everywhere, and and so, yeah, that's that becomes stressful in particularly, I think the most stressful part was I was by myself to your point. I didn't have a co founder. I didn't have any partners. Um, and, uh, most people I didn't know really any anyone who I had very few friends. You, Scott Yates. Um, some other guys who, you know, we're creating companies locally that I knew that I could talk Thio, But, you know, I didn't do a lot of that. You know, I didn't want to share my feelings necessarily in those early years because I thought it was a sign of weakness. Today, I think it's a sign of necessity and strength, um, to be self aware enough to know, Um but I think from a mindset perspective, you really I think if you have a learning a mindset, a mindset where hey, I always wanna learn. I always want to get better. Um, whether it's in business, you know, I wanna be a better CEO. I wanna learn how to become a CEO. So I went read lots of books on it. You know,...

I wanna learn how to be happy. So I read about happiness, right? I wanna I listened to experts on it. Um, uh, you know, part of my job, and and one of the things that that I pressed upon my staff was, You know, if you're not spending significant time everyday learning, you're not going to grow, you're not gonna get better. You're not gonna be competitive with other people across your area of expertise. Um, and the platform itself, your business, whatever it is is not gonna be able to blossom. And and so I think that mindset is exceptionally important. Um, but, you know, from a sheer depression man, in the year before my exit in the year and a half before my exit, I had I had never had this before, but I had three, like, full on panic attacks. E I thought I was having a heart attack. Um, horrifyingly scary where I was in in the office and I broke down and just Yeah, I was in tears. You know, I couldn't breathe You know, I didn't know if I needed to take a ambulance, the hospital, Um, in all three cases, my wife was able to kind of talk me down and call me and, um, you know, But it was like, you know, stress, right stress. And I think we humans just internalize so maney things and create somebody threats. And there's got to be there's got to be a better way. And and so what? I tell what I tell my friends and just people that, you know, if I ever I'm speaking, um is, you know, you got to take care of your first yourself first life life is short. You know, You don't know what can happen tomorrow. Uh, cove it, you know, your kid gets sick. I mean, whatever it is and life's too short, man like, don't don't do keep doing things that make you miserable, you know, don't keep doing things that keep you super stressed out. If if that's the case, figure out what you need to do to change. And the big challenge I think most people have is that's so big and continuous. Like, what do I dio? I don't know. And and my my quick advice on that is this. And this is what this is absolutely worked for me over and again may not work for you, but it's definitely work for me. I make a list of everything that's stressing me out. All the stressors, um, from from big to small, and then I start to knock him off. Um, and it's interesting, you know, as you and a stressor might be. I come in every day and I look at emails for three or four hours, and I'm stuck in email. Well, then you need to figure out a system how to stop being responsive to your email and be proactive because you're not running your business. Your email is running you right, Um, so you know, whether it's that or hey, I'm stressed about money. Well, you know, you gotta then go on, break down your budget and you've got to figure out why you're stressed about money. Where you spending all your money. You know, what are you doing and deal with that situation? But it's so easy for for us toe try and ignore things and hope they go away. But the problem is none of this goes away problems don't go away. You've got to deal with them. And so once you start tackling them, um, it's amazing how your load gets lighter and lighter and lighter. Right. So there you go, right? No, very few people do exactly what you just said, Andi, and that's actually something that I do as well. I break it out and that goes into thio do list. Um, and anything that's stressing me out, you have sort of you have to dissect it and then figure out what the root causes on that opens up everything else. Because then you figure out ways again. I use the term operationalize It is because then it allows you to leverage different tools. Maybe you have to delegate mawr. Maybe you want to respond within an hour of every single email that comes in,...

...whatever it might be, I've used that technique and that has helped me dramatically. Yeah, Yeah, I think I think for me the book, The one thing by Gary Keller and J. Papa's On was one of the most impactful and just, you know, helping me kind of break things down. Um, it's fantastic. I recommend it to everyone. Um, but yeah, Just finding different ways. Thio Thio. Uh huh. Thio tweet the way you're doing things, right? If you if What? You're doing it personally with your family and and I've I've also done that. So I've got a book journal where I've literally broken my life down into segments physical fitness, health. I separate them physical fitness and health, business and work. Wife and love, uh, my kids on. Do you know, some people may put faith in there, whatever it is. And then I go through and I'm like, All right, where my crappy and each one of these things where my good in each of these things, where one of the things that I need to do to be better within all these personal domains. Um, and then I start knocking him out. Hey, I got to get you know, I've been eating like crap, you know, £20 overweight. Cool. Well, what do you need to do to change that? You need to change your diet. You need to do some exercise. But you know, if anybody who tries to grasp these things, they're so big and scary. Well, then break it down into little steps. And so that's what I do in my book. And I literally will break all these mega tasks into little micro steps. You know, with the health, for example, instead of like, hey, I need to lose weight. It's instead of drinking soda and orange juice and, you know, coffees and energy drinks. I just going to drink water because water is healthy. You water cleanses you water does this. You know that's not that big a step cool, you know? And you move from from drinks toe water. You you start losing weight. I need to move more cool. You know what? I'm gonna get a fitness watch, and I'm gonna walk 10,000 steps a day. You know, that's it's, surprisingly, a significant boost to your health, right? And not difficult. And for me in that period, you know what I realized? I wanted to be healthier for examples, And by the way, I didn't have to lose weight. As you know, I'm like a scrawny dude, so I want the opposite. Um, but I wanted to be healthier. So what I started doing, I was I was spending hours and hours on the phone every day constantly. That's part of my job. Right? But instead of sitting in my office talking on the phone, every phone call that I had was a walking call. I put on my headset and I'd walk around the neighborhood. Um, I easily got my 10,000 steps. I easily felt better. Um, you know, I got a standing desk instead of a sitting desk, you know? Then I started to add one on one meetings. You know, when I had one on one meetings instead of doing get a restaurant or coffee or or sitting down in the office, they would be walking meetings. Um, you know, these little things allowed me to continue to work, do my job and stay healthy at the exact same time. Cool. Not a magic formula. Um, but I've broken kind of everything in my life, down in these terms, and it's made it. So I'm a hell of a lot happier. You know, I'm not without stress and headaches, but, you know, I now have a formula. And how do I get rid of that? Oh, I love that. Uh, one final question is this going to be is just the the prelude to a book Man s Oh, I've I've started and stopped the book probably 50 times. I don't know, maybe maybe if I get some encouragement from my friends, I'll do...

...it. But you know, there's so many books out there, there's there's There's so much I don't know. You know, I I certainly have my own unique and distinct perspective like anyone else. And I suppose if I had enough people saying, Yeah, Josh, you should do it for sure I might I might jump at it, but I'm not currently on it. But I've definitely drafted an outline. And, you know, I've you know, when I get back into it, you know, occasionally, Um, I give it a kick start. But, you know, I've written a book before with Brandon, um, on real estate eso I know how to do it. I just I don't know. I'm tor eso. So give me Give me the motivation and I'll get out there and dio e just might well, offline. Let's let's catch up. Because maybe there's something we could do together. Um, but this was awesome. Josh, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for the stories and the insights and the tips. I really enjoyed the conversation. No, thanks, man. I appreciate it. And hopefully, you know, hopefully somebody listening. Take something away from it. I, you know, entrepreneurship is, uh it's challenging. It's really it's really, really tough. But just know that there's there's guys out there like me and Dan and, you know, countless other people who have tried it, who've been through it. And, um, you know, I think there's there's a lot of people who are willing to be helpful. Um, you know, seek out advisors in your field, Um, and, you know, work towards it. And I guess, you know, if you don't mind, I thrown me throwing this in there. You know, if you raise money or if you bootstrap, you know, it's fighting for exit is, I think, one way to run a business. I think the other way to run a business is, you know, fighting to create an amazing business. And I think far too many people get caught up in that Well, you know, I'm gonna build a business to get to an exit. Um, and what happens inevitably, And I think you and I've seen this countless times. You know, you raise the money and now you have bosses and those bosses or telling you how to run the business. And now you don't get to run the business the way that you actually thought you were going to run the business. Because you have bosses and you're not working for yourself anymore. And so you know, it's a serious decision to raise money or not to raise money, and I it could be significantly helpful. But I want to press upon anybody who's who's thinking about it. T Just recognize that it's not something to take lightly. You know, Not only are you raising money from people who now you, um you know, you don't wanna lose anyone's money, but also, just in terms of mindset, um, you know that there's the freedom that you think you're gonna have may not necessarily be there and and from a bootstrap perspective, Yeah, bootstrapping, you have a lot less support than you do when you raise money. Uh, but, you know, getting to exit, getting close to the finish line, so to speak, is an absolutely incredible feeling. And I wish it upon. You know, all the entrepreneurs out there. Um, just just work. Keep working, be dynamic pivot And you know Ah, lot of luck out there. Well said, Thank you so much, Josh. I want toe. Have you on again? Absolutely. You let me know We'll do it whenever. All right. Thanks, Josh. By.

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