BiggerPockets Podcast 113: Becoming a Millionaire Real Estate Investor Using The One Thing with Jay Papasan

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Today on the BiggerPockets Podcast we’re excited to bring you another fantastic interview by one of the most successful real estate authors in America.

Jay Papasan is best known to this audience as the co-author of The Millionaire Real Estate Investor (co-written with Gary Keller) which has been our top-recommended real estate book here from BiggerPockets Podcast guests. He also co-authored The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and collaborated on the best selling book FLIP and HOLD. Most recently, Jay is the co-author of The One Thing, which Brandon recently featured as the number one book on his list of the business books that changed his life in 2014.

Jay is also a savvy real estate investor, and he shares his incredible story and strategy with us today!

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ls_logoWe just wanted to give a shout out to our podcast sponsor on today’s show: LandlordStation. LandlordStation provides online tools to small and midsize property managers or landlords throughout the US.

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In This Episode We Cover:

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  • How Jay got started writing real estate books
  • Why real estate agents don’t invest themselves
  • How to adopt an investor mindset
  • The habits real estate investors hold
  • How to do the math when looking at properties
  • Insight into The Millionaire Real Estate Investor
  • Clever methods for finding deals
  • What you should know about “The Domino Effect
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show:

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “Start looking at the world as an opportunity.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Every house is a surprise.” (Tweet This!)
  • “I’d always rather miss 5 or 6 good ones rather than buy one bad one.” (Tweet This!)
  • “I’d rather have fewer roofs to manage but have more net worth and cash flow over time.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Achievers have a clear sense of priority.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Action is how you make progress in life.” (Tweet This!)
  • “If I just teach him one thing, where do I begin that has the most impactful way for me to line up my life?” (Tweet This!)
  • “You figure out what your focus should be and act that way all the time.” (Tweet This!)
  • “The best way to learn something is to teach it.” (Tweet This!)

Quotable Cards

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Connect with Jay

About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


  1. Gerald K.

    Joshua and Brandon,
    You guys just keep outdoing yourselves. Thank you so much for bringing Jay Papason on the show. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor is really a great book as is The One Thing. Although I don’t always get a chance to comment, I just wanted to say Thanks again for all you guys do. It’s really appreciated!

  2. Deshan Kennedy

    Jay, what a great podcast and thank you for sharing your experience with us! This podcast was great because Jay talked about real estate, successful habits in life and various of other topics that has an impact in our daily lives.

    In the Marines, I learned that waking up earlier than everyone else helps us we can become more prepared than anyone else. Granted, I didn’t appreciate the zero-dark thirty mornings when I was in the Marines but it’s something that I used in my daily life and has been one of my greatest tool to help me achieve my level of success and getting better every day.

    I’m reading The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and its awesome! I can’t wait to read The Millionaire Real Estate Investor. I read The Richest Man in Babylon is an amazing book even though it took me two times in order to fully implement the advice on how to build up your savings and budgeting, its a great way of handling your finances. I strongly suggest everyone to read The Richest Man in Babylon.

    Thank you Josh and Brandon for bringing on Jay to the BP podcast! This is a definite must share!

  3. Mike Higgins

    Wow! Great podcast. It just keeps getting better. Jay, I wanted to ask about the 5 books you mentioned that Gary referenced to. What was it about those 5 books that intrigued him, and started your guy’s journey together?

    • Jay Papasan

      Mike, none of them were “ego” books. They were all based on research and observation. That was the unifying thread. He didn’t want to write books about what he already knew; he wanted to use writing books as a way to research for a bigger truth and share it.

  4. avi lang

    great podcast amazing information. I keep learning something new every podcast.

    in the podcast he mentions that he is an agent himself you said that you don’t have to be an agent to invest. i understand that but my question where can i learn the different lingo and different words that are used to calculate if a house/rental property is good like cap rate, and other terms that i have no idea what it means?

    thank you

      • avi lang

        Ok thank you.

        also i heard on one of the other podcasts about books and they mentioned this book:

        The ABCs of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss (Rich Dad’s Advisors)

        now i am hearing about your book:

        The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

        whats the different between the books and what book is better for a beginner.
        not trying to dis your book jay just wondering maybe JOSHUA can answer this?

  5. Joshua and Brandon,

    Thank you guys for the excellent learning environment BP is a blessing to many. I thought Jay shared some very valuable information on mindset “the one thing” always a great take away from the show.

    So here is what the breakdown from “THE RICHEST MAN IN BABYLON”


    Thought I would post due to the references and hope it may help someone.

  6. Jonna Weber

    When I saw the content of the podcast this morning I was thrilled when I saw the tagline. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, The One Thing, and The Millionaire Real Estate Agent are at the top of the top of my favorite books. Like Brandon, I am always recommending them, especially the Millionaire Real Estate Investor. Biggest surprise take away for me is the idea of tracking your net worth weekly. Awesome show – thanks again BP!

  7. Ron Harris

    Thanks for doing this! I love The ONE Thing. Good to know I am not the only one that just keeps talking about it over and over; as you say “Don’t underestimate how much I talk about that book…”. We make all of our students read it as I say, “Stop what you are reading unless it’s spiritual and read The One Thing!” It is now the #1 book to read when they become students (usually they have already read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, hence them seeking us out for real estate mentoring).

    Jay is also responsive on Social Media and reachable, so kudos to him for continually supporting The ONE Thing.

  8. Kurt F.

    Wow, Jay Papasan, that was a great interview….

    Now I of course need to read “The One Thing”… I mentioned this to my wife, who just signed with KW, so now one of her associates is kindly lending me her “One Thing” copy…via delivery from her 8-year old son, exchanged on the playground to my 8-year old son, and then final delivery to my house should occur this afternoon via my kid’s backpack… (You may not necessarily want to switch to my delivery guys…)

  9. William Newman

    Josh and Brandon,

    I needed to thank you both for bringing Jay on to the podcast. I have listened to it about 4 times now just to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. I can’t explain how motivated and informative these podcasts have been for me. (Maybe if I listened to it while I was not at work, I would have only needed to play it once! 🙂

    Jay – If you are reading this, please believe that your words are reaching individuals all across the world. I am going to pick my copy of One Thing today!

    • Jay Papasan

      Awesome, William. Sounds like this was a message you needed to hear right now. Now, go pick one thing and implement it in the next 24 hours. If you take the first step quickly, it greatly increases your odds of success.

  10. Justin Schellenberg

    Great Podcast! I remember a several years back reading First things First by Stephen Covey… changed my life! So intrigued by The One Thing I am going to buy the book tonight! Thank you for the hard work developing these podcasts. I look forward to learning from fresh perspectives each week!

  11. joe kim

    Fantastic show. I can’t get enough of BP podcast, lately. the shows keep getting better and better. In fact, I accidentally listened to the very first BP podcast, recently due to my podcast player doing an accidental download. Both in content, format, interviewing techniques, and interviewees have gone from good to amazing since episode 1!

    I calculated my net-worth immediately after listening to the podcast. About 50% was gained during the last 2 years while investing in real estate!

    After calculating my net-worth, I went to amazon and bought the millionaire real estate investor. After that, I’ll be purchasing “The One thing”.

    Thanks guys. I’ll be putting in a rating on itunes….even though I don’t even use itunes (Android user!)

  12. Jason Miller


    I have read more self help books than I care to count. “The one thing” is far and away one of the most practical approaches I have come across. Think and Grow rich, awaken the giant within, magic of thinking big, the go-giver ,etc etc are all books I strongly recommend, but they just don’t get a person to focus like the approach in “The one thing”. It has been added to my annual reread list. I can only hope the book is successful beyond your wildest dreams. That means it has it home for untold millions.


  13. Mark S.

    this really was a great podcast with Jay!!! i’ve read all your books except hold which i am looking to read now that i’m a buy and HOLD type entrepreneur. the millionaire real estate investor really helped shape the way i approached my methods and helped me focus on CTN. Thanks Jay!!
    great Job Josh and Brandon.!!

  14. Barry Smith


    I enjoyed your Bigger Pockets podcast, and am looking forward to getting the audio book on The One Thing.

    However, at the end you recommended short book Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker that I have several questions about.

    While it sounded like very good information, what I’m looking for is the “how” do you find out the things he mentioned that are important to know. Like how do you correctly determine as he suggests how you learn your strengths (and enhance them) and what you are not good at (that you shouldn’t waste your time on. Are there more specifics on how to acquire or utilized the feedback analysis process (more than make a key decision and write down your expectations, and then evaluate or compare them to results a year later?); does he have another book or is this someone else’s specialty?

    How do you know what your correct method of working or performing is?

    Am I a reader or a listener? How do you determine that correctly. Well, I hate reading books, but I love reading them via audio books. I’s always reading internet news, emails, magazines, etc., but those are different than books. Better than audio books, I learn better from videos… which is just training by TV I guess. But what I think I am doesn’t necessarily tell me what I actually am, a reader or a listener. How do you determine that?

    I am a writer of press releases and press materials, but I don’t know that I learn by writing. How do I figure out what he is suggesting? I know I don’t learn by hearing myself talk.

    Do I work well with people, or am I a loaner? How do you determine that when you’ve been forced to do both and have successes and failures going both routes?

    How do you determine strengths, weaknesses, values and where you belong? How do you determine if you’ve been doing the wrong things all along because you made a mistake in determining these… and are wasting and opportunity working on being mediocre instead of working on being brilliant.

    Am I better working as an employee, or as an employer/entrepreneur. How do you determine this? How do you determine what way you work, and what way others work that work with you?

    Again, you recommended this book, but what I have found having read (listened to) it that it asks a lot of good questions, and tells you to determine many things to maximize your productivity and results… but it doesn’t do a very good job explaining how.

    So, are there other books where he discusses he “how?”

    Any feedback on the questions I have about the book you recommended would be greatly appreciated?

  15. Dave Maheshwari

    Awesome Podcast, I really liked the simplicity and simple message of Jay .. thanks for all those great book references ..
    I am a newbie in this business (not sure I can even call myself a newbie, I am that new), One thing that I will focus on is “Learn” , learn as much as I can before I jump in for the first house
    Great learning

  16. Don Spafford

    Great podcast. Getting caught up on all the past podcasts to learn from the greats.
    Millionaire Real Estate investor was the first RE Investing book I read that got me hooked a few years ago. I found it by accident. I was looking to buy Millionaire Agent for my wife who is a Realtor with Keller Williams now and when I was searching for that book, I found the Investor one which caught my eye so I bought both and I started reading the Investor book every time I would go with her to show a house while I waited and I loved it. One of the best written books ever. Just wish I could have found it and Bigger Pockets years earlier.

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