BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast 125: The Key to Business Success with Bestselling Author of The E-Myth Michael Gerber

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What if you could sit down with one of the best-selling business authors of all time and pick their brain? Lucky for you, that’s exactly what you get to do today here on the BiggerPockets Podcast where we interview Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited. The E-Myth has been one of the most-frequently mentioned books from past guests on this Podcast, so we just had to sit down with Michael to talk about what makes some investors successful and other’s struggle continuously! Hint: It’s all about the system.  Stay tuned!

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This Show Sponsored By

We just waRealtySharesnted to give a shout out to our podcast sponsor on today’s show: RealtyShares. RealtyShares is a crowdfunding platform that allows you to invest in professionally managed properties without leaving your living room!

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In This Episode We Cover:

BiggerPockets-Podcast-Cover 300 300

  • Who Michael Gerber is
  • How he got to where he is now
  • Lessons that he learned early in life
  • What exactly the “E-Myth” is
  • The primary reason why businesses fail
  • Working on your business vs. working in your business
  • “Turnkey-ing” a business
  • How to invent and implement a system
  • One tip for a storage unit operator
  • The four personalities in every business
  • How to get a mentor
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “Every small business is a school.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Don’t get into something unless you’re changing the world.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Passion is insufficient; persistence and dedication are absolutely critical.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Michael

Real strategies that work for real people seeking to build wealth through real estate investments. Co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene, this podcast provides actionable advice from investo...
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    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Chandler/Lima, Arizona/OH
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great interview! Great smack-down! Gerber sure did hand it to you guys. BP podcast, as per Gerber’s assessment, is personal service – Josh and Brandon working IN the business. The system is not built around you, it’s built on top of you, and without you it falls apart – personal service. This is my assessment of his comments… It is the best of what it represents, but it’s personal service… The question for you two is – how do you remove yourself as the foundation upon which the system resides without the system collapsing. Interesting…thoughts?
    Chad Carson Investor from Clemson, SC
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Yes, BUT … a podcast is a pretty well leveraged business system. If you’re going to work in the business at all, that’d be the last one to abandon. I’d say outsource every other thing in the entire business, before outsourcing the service they provide in the podcast. That’s their brand identity, their marketing pull, etc. I’m looking from the outside in, but just my 2 cents.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Getting the big hitters on the podcast now. Nice!
    Giovanni Isaksen Investor from Bellingham, Washington
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great show guys, you did as well as just about anyone could do keeping him on topic! Fascinating guy though, would love to hear more of his stories. Quite ironic that he described himself as the wandering Jew searching for the holy grail. I found his E-Myth Revisited twenty some years ago and it’s what helped me turn my construction practice into an actual business with the systems in place to make it salable. Allison Leung in her interview the other day to name my top 3 business/real estate books and my essential list has about a dozen however if it could only be 3 E-Myth Revisited would be on it.
    Giovanni Isaksen Investor from Bellingham, Washington
    Replied over 5 years ago
    *Allison asked me to name my top 3* It sure would be nice to have an edit feature for these comments 🙂
    Bevla Reeves Real Estate Agent from Scottsdale, AZ
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Whoa…I’m exhausted! ;))
    Account Closed Professional from Yona, Guam
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I love when he talks about the “I just want to, I just want to” people who are not committed. Real estate investing is LOADED with these people. Even if you just want to pick up a few properties and build some residual income, you need to be committed. It can still be done. I think most should be committed to what they are doing and let others who are committed do what they do best. Like the attorney who buys rental properties and is cleaning them out on a Saturday. He ends up losing money and hating real estate and bad mouths landlords. Go be committed to being a doctor and hire cleaners, realtors, property managers, who are committed. Great interview. GREAT BOOK!!!
    Account Closed Professional from Yona, Guam
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Lol had to edit. I got doctor thrown in there instead of lawyer: Go be committed to being an “attorney” and hire cleaners, realtors, property managers, who are committed.
    Carolyn Lorence Real Estate Agent from Round Rock, TX
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great podcast guys! I love Gerber’s no-nonsense attitude – no fluff there! Very relevant, practical information and inspiring, too. Thanks for adding these business topics to the already awesome real estate discussions. You just keep turning it up a notch! Love this place you’ve created for all of us!
    Bill Schollmeyer Investor from Sparta, New Jersey
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I personally found the majority of this podcast to be fluff. I’m not complaining because Josh and Brandon do a great job and have earned the right to try new types of guests for their podcast, and in fact, tried nobly to keep this guy from talking about nonsense. However, let’s call a spade a spade; the majority of this podcast was crap. Gerber wrote a good book a long time ago but he doesn’t offer much value here. Hearing about “going to the dream room” provides nothing to most of us. Personally, I’d get way more value out of something more tangible but not as sexy as a best selling author – an hour long podcast discussing a list of the top 10 Home Depot products for long-term buy and hold investors, for example.
    Tyson S. Investor from Des Moines, Iowa
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I’m glad I was the only one who thought that. Biggerpockets is great because it’s heavy on practical advice and light on motivational cliches or shticks such as this one. Even the motivational material on this site is usually to the point and many times includes practical advice. It was also highly irritating to hear someone dominate the interview with a combination of humble-brags and cliches that sounded condescending to me. Also, why keep mentioning how attractive or unattractive people are, even in a joking manor? Once may okay but it seemed to come up multiple times and was a bit creepy.
    Tyson S. Investor from Des Moines, Iowa
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Correction: *wasn’t the only one
    James Danchus from Saint Peters, Missouri
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I agree totally. It got to the point where he saying the same things over and over again. The motivational platitudes were vague and annoying.
    Graham Sullivan Specialist from Northborough, MA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I agree with Bill, Tyson and James. I credit both Josh and Brandon for exhausting all efforts in trying to get some focus and substance from Mr Gerber. Sadly, out of frustration, I had enough 45 minutes into the interview and had to progress to 126. I have been listening to the Podcasts since last year in order starting with the first one. This is the first podcast I’ve done that with. Mr. Gerber does a major discredit to a truly great book via ramblings, nonsense, awkward repetitive accounts of how attractive Hilary is, a clear lack of understanding the BP environment, and his and endless egotistical self promotion without providing any real takeaways at all. I contrast this to Podcast 117; an interview with David Allen (author of Getting Things Done). I just finished reading the book and was excited to find out he was a guest. Through an engaging discussion between Josh, Brandon and Mr. Allen; the entire book was summarized in clear actionable steps that further emphasized what I just read and motivated me to continue work on my lists. If you have not yet read the E-Myth and this podcast dissuades you in any way; don’t let it. Pick up the book and ignore the interview (my apology to both Josh an Brandon for telling anyone to ignore one of your interviews).
    Yasmine Bisumber Realtor/Investor from Miramar, FL
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I love Gerber’s raw truth approach. Although the podcast wasn’t “RE” targeted it did help round things off as far as the business was concerned. I had to listen twice but I did take a few key points away. One thing I will say, Brandon and Josh being a part of the podcast helps me feel connected as a BP Member. If they were to remove themselves from it to work “on” the business it would be a tough pill to swallow.
    Vania Castillo Investor from New York City, New York
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I agree with Bill Schollmeyer. I have listened to most of the Podcasts and I think this one was the worst. I hated it! Gerber was very difficult guest to interview and although he gave few insightful points, most of the hour was bluff. I personally prefer discussiong in more tangible and practical topics.
    Jonathan Makovsky Investor from Fairfield-New Haven-Hartford County, Connecticut
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thanks for getting Michael Gerber on the show – he is spot on with the amount of work it takes. I think if Michael knew more about the BP model he would understand that BP is a mentor. For many newbies that will struggle finding a mentor, take a listen to the BP podcasts and read the forums/blogs – that is pretty darn close to a mentor with best practices in the REI industry. Thanks again Josh and Brandon – excellent job and nicely done for mixing the podcasts up.
    Jarrett Harris from Calumet City, Illinois
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This was a good podcast. This guy cuts through all the garbage and hits the nail on the head. I guess I enjoyed it because… 1. I was a saxophone player when younger 2. I am now almost 35 years old and are watching people I grew up with never seem to “find themselves” or “get it” I couldn’t help but think about the movie “Whiplash” when he talked about being the best and only learning how to do something at the highest level it can be done at. This was not a real estate podcast, it was a life coaching/motivational kick in the pants podcast.
    Eric Tait Investor from Houston, Texas
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This to me was by far their best podcast. Cuts the b.s. of wanna be’s and trying to be’s. He seems to have lived a life full of those people and at his age he is tired of dealing with it and is committed to only dealing with those who are ACTUALLY committed and doing something. I also appreciate his recognition of mentoring and the need of one. While I think you can get good tidbits of info in very scattered places on BP as well as get discreet questions answered, it is not until you are in the middle of the fire and can pick up the phone and run a scenario by a more experienced person do you realize the true need for a mentor.
    Shelly F. Realtor from NW Suburbs of Chicago, IL
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great podcast! Lots of really interesting dynamics in both the discussion, presentation, and the art of “trying to get a word in edgewise”! One thing that really resonated with me was the very grit and determination with which one needs to pursue the dream…not just passion, but determination and perseverance…Gerber’s interview, thoughts and perspective are really indicative of the “old school” approach to success….hard work over the long haul, versus the “quick fix”, immediate gratification subsequent generations have been sold. I related a lot to this interview and share a lot of Gerber’s personal ideology…and I got a kick out of listening you to try to rein him in…! Well done BP! 🙂
    Shelly F. Realtor from NW Suburbs of Chicago, IL
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I was so inspired by this podcast that I gave it a review and shared it with my entire LinkedIn network…you can read it here and let me know what you think!
    Gary Hurst Investor from Belton, Texas
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Wow! Wow! One that I will listen to over and over. Thanks
    Account Closed Investor from Dunnellon, Florida
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I liked this podcast… I think it was pretty deep. You definitly had to be in the mood to get it. The guy keeps it vague, but that is the business he has built. He applies his strategies to get to the root of what you are doing and why you are doing it. I agree, there has to be systems in place. I am an Anti-Micro-Manager. It is exhausting and the payoff is minimal. It hit home when he said he had mastered a few things in his life. Once I master something I get bored and move onto something else. Once you accept that you can do anything. Right now I would like to master my real estate investments. 🙂
    Daniel Ryu Investor from Irvine, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    The EMyth is a great book, one that really got me to understand business. I was curious to see what I’d learn from this interview – if he’d repeat what’s in the EMyth. Here’s my takeaways: 1. He emphasizes the need to learn from the best. He’s also selling a product – his Dream Room. 2. He thinks that without a solid foundation of Dream, Vision, Goal, … and one more thing.. you can’t succeed over the longterm in creating a a really meaningful business. 3. He emphasizes the need to learn from those who are smarter than you – who will push you. 4. He then demonstrates that he’s that type of person through his no-nonsense personality and the stories he tells of his no-nonsense teachers. 5. He says that this isn’t for dabblers – you need to fully commit. I can’t discount his advice since he’s worked with so many entrepreneurs over the years. I think Dream, vision, Goal, .. are probably very important – he’d probably say essential. I also think everything he said was tailored to pitch his product – the Dream Room. It helps you create your Dream, Vision, Goal,.. It’s run by people who are smart and have been trained by him (the mentors he’s talking about). He creates a fear by saying that if you don’t do this, you’re probably not gonna succeed (or not succeed to the extent that is of interest to him. So.. he either passionately believes in his product and believes that this is the right way to do it – starting with the Dream and flushing things out. Or he’s put together a very good sales pitch that leverages his reputation.. he after all commands too high a price for anyone of us to afford. My takeaway, it’s probably a little of both. And I agree with Chad – Keep the podcast in the hands of Josh and Brandon.. Although.. maybe you could try the Letterman approach with the ‘guest host’ – I think that might be interesting^^
    Sunny Suh Real Estate Investor from New York, New York
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Loll. I’m in the same boat with Vania, Tyson, and Bill…. I mean this guy has been through some good experiences, some themes do resonate with me, but his delivery and some of his ideas are just… WTF? Some are just wrong, like Bill Gates example. Bill Gates capitalized on an idea that was supposed to be shared by all and better the world. Also, correlation does not imply causation. Sounds like another old guy who rambles his own beliefs, instead of evolving the book or questioning his own truths to either change or solidify his position. Saying that business books today are garbage? Would be better if he had some humility and knew a little bit about BP. What he proclaims isn’t new and others have said it, I got nothing out of this than just affirming a few ideas like being committed, having a big picture vision. Personally, I think one should also have an idea on the micro focus along with the macro focus, and not just be all about big picture. Yes, work “on” the business but don’t fail to not be involved “in” the business.
    Joe Moore Rental Property Investor from Los Angeles, CA
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I am just now getting to this podcast. I had a hard time listening to this one. His E-Myth Revisited is one the most important book that I wished I could found earlier in my life. My business success would have truly much greater. This podcast on the other hand had too little substance for my taste. My first disappointing podcast.
    Luis Montanez Contractor from Marietta, Georgia
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Understand that this guy is an “Information Marketer”, other than selling books and coaching for others peoples business, this guy has not done nothing other than feeding on small business owners insecurities. All this information you could learn on your own and find a mentor that is actually doing your business to coach you. Anyone will be “stupid” to pay for the “dream room” BS he was hard selling during the entire podcast.
    Michael Lofty Investor from Baltimore, Maryland
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    If you get anything from the podcast get this: Dream Vision Purpose Mission Most entrepreneurs do not understand the importance of a business plan and systematizing. These four starting points are great to get your mind thinking about what it is you want to do and why.