Log In Sign Up
Family Over Everything: How Life Forced BP Founder Joshua Dorkin to Reevaluate His Choices

Family Over Everything: How Life Forced BP Founder Joshua Dorkin to Reevaluate His Choices

51 min read
The BiggerPockets Podcast

As a Guest you have free article(s) left

Join BiggerPockets (for free!) and get access to real estate investing tips, market updates, and exclusive email content.

Sign in Already a member?

Many avid members of the BiggerPockets forum, listeners to the podcast, or readers of our articles may know our founder, Joshua Dorkin.

What you may not know is Joshua’s journey in founding, building, scaling, and finally leaving BiggerPockets. It was a hard decision for Joshua to leave, but thanks to his amazing team, he was able to (even during a time of tribulation in his personal life).

You’ll hear how Joshua was cranking out 100 hour weeks, working 7 straight days, for the first 6 years of BiggerPocket’s existence. He later transitioned to building a team, starting with the BiggerPocket Podcast’s very own host, Brandon Turner.

This later snowballed into more hirings, with the BiggerPockets growing faster and faster, and being able to scale larger and larger. Just at the time when things were starting to go from big to bigger, Joshua had to take time off to take care of his daughter’s medical emergency. This caused a shift in Joshua’s reality, so he dropped everything.

This keynote speech goes deep into what really matters most. It’s not money, it’s not success, but it’s something that matters even more: fulfillment and family.

Check out the video on our Youtube channel, and be sure to give Joshua a follow on Twitter at @jrdorkin.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon: This is a special edition of the BiggerPockets podcast. Show four 21. 

Joshua: You have your own path. You have your own path, you have your own path. We all have our own paths. And we have to figure out how that path is going to work. And there’s not any single person that is out there. That’s going to tell you, this is what you have to do.

You have to figure that out for yourself. 

Intro: You’re listening to BiggerPockets radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large

and small. 

If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype you’re in the right place, stay tuned. That’d be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com.

For real estate investing online, 

Brandon: what’s going on. My name is Brandon Turner host of the BiggerPockets podcast here with a very special show because we are bringing back someone that you probably have no idea who it is. If you haven’t been listening to the show in the last year. Welcome back to the sea shed.

Mr. Josh Darkin 

Joshua: thanks for having me, man. 

Brandon: Yeah. And of course, David, Green’s still here as well. 

Joshua: What’s up Dave? 

David: Hey guys. Thanks for remembering me. 

Joshua: I mean, this is just, it doesn’t feel all right, man. Dave, you’re talking about my, my lack of relevance. Brandon is 

Brandon: making fun of nobody. 

Joshua: You it’s just, it’s awful.

Brandon: Yeah, it’s been a few years. So for those who are brand new to the show, let me give you a quick rundown though. Josh darken started BiggerPockets back in like. I don’t know, 1912 and he built it. It’s basement for like 45 years before he finally wised up and decided to hire somebody smart and good luck.

Yeah. And 

Joshua: talented. And I fired them. And then, and then hiring a guy. 

Brandon:  and so early on, I came on a bit, your pockets, Josh and I were the first things we did is we launched a little show called the BiggerPockets podcast, which.  do you remember? Our goal was like within the first year, I said, I want to be in the top hundred of all businesses, I guess, one of the first, within the first year.

And it took like 12 seconds and 

Joshua: it was pretty fast. 

Brandon: It’s been a ride since then. So anyway, thanks for starting BP. 

Joshua: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, it’s been fun and I’m excited to be back. Last show we did was Jesse Itzler I think January of last year. 

Brandon: Yeah, that’s been awhile. Yeah. 

Joshua: Last year or two years ago. I don’t know.

It’s been awhile. 

Brandon: Well, I think two years 

Joshua: ago, actually, it’s been a, it’s 

Brandon: been a medic, so yeah. Cause,  I don’t think you’ve been on since BP con last year. 

Joshua: Oh, that’s right. Yeah. 

Brandon: Speaking of BP con last year. Yes. Today is actually episode. We are going to be revisiting Josh’s speech from last year, BP con, and a little bit first we’re going to chat with Josh.

It wasn’t just us. It was your keynote. Sorry. 

Joshua: Sorry. Give me some credits. 

Brandon: All right. Your keynote. 

I don’t know, Josh is the keynote. It doesn’t have a cough. It’s whatever, you know, we’re not gonna, we’re not gonna pick on you for that. 

Joshua: I didn’t play on the conference. I was invited. 

Brandon: You were invited guests.

This is true. 

David: You were recruited to give a keynote speech. You were pursued at least sought after 

Joshua: highly sought after. 

David: Right. I just got up there and talked, Josh. He gave a keynote that needs to be shared. 

Joshua: There you go. Thank you, David. David’s getting a bonus. 

Brandon: Yes. All right. Well, before we get into today’s show, we’re gonna find out what Josh has been up to.

We’re gonna talk a little bit about COVID. We’re gonna talk about, about his,  kind of what the crazy last year has been for him. Let’s get to today’s

Joshua: quick. Tip 

Brandon: Today’s quick tip is brought to you by Josh, Josh, take it away. 

Joshua:  Way to put me on the spot. Oh, Holy Moses. Today’s quick tip is if you’re a bigger pockets listener and you have not yet created an account on bigger pockets, because there’s a lot of you guys who just love the show. And are out here listening, trying to pick up information.

I highly recommend creating an account on bigger pockets, so you can start networking and getting access to everything that BiggerPockets provides, because there’s a lot of you who don’t actually know that bigger pockets is not just a podcast. It’s also a website and community. So, 

Brandon: well, let me check it out.

Let me ask you Josh. Yeah. Why should somebody create an account on BiggerPockets? 

Joshua: Do how well do 

Brandon: we send them money? Give them massages. 

Joshua: I don’t know what you do, but Dave here certainly gives massages. 

Brandon: He’s got to go with, 

Joshua: you have to just send him a friend request. Yep. Wait, no, this isn’t Tinder. 

Brandon: It’s swipe, right?

Swipe left. Yeah, we should have that option. In BP. Oh, they’ve only done three deals. Swipe left. Oh, birth, like, right. So 

Joshua: you would create an account so that you can actually start to network with people. It’s amazing how many people over the years have created accounts started to make friends, colleagues, connections, build their business on the platform.

It’s not just about observing conversations that are happening in the community, but you know, to be able to engage, you actually can start to build your own personal brand and by creating your own personal brand, obviously.  you can start to build your business as well. So, yeah. 

Brandon: Have you noticed that theme lately?

I mean, David specifically, because you know, we’ve been hosting this podcast now. I thought the last dozen guests we’ve interviewed have all said, like, somehow we’ve gotten into networking and your personal brand with like every single person, pretty much everyone just keeps talking about the importance of networking, getting out there, talking to people, getting to know people.

You notice that too. 

David: Yeah. And, and we talked about this briefly when we had our last guests on the author of it, essentially,  when Greg was discussing or we kind of brought up the point that technology is trying to push people out of real estate. It’s essentially trying to replace people in some form, but relationships are not something they can ever be replaced.

So the people that are doing very good in real estate right now have doubled tripled, quadrupled down on relationship, their integrity,  understanding what they’re doing, coming up with win-win solutions for other people, and they’re drawing opportunities to them and the people that sort of had a transactional based approach.

They’re just being out transacted by technology. 

Brandon: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s what we’re talking about. Greg McKeon that’s episode. I think that still comes out in a few weeks. I don’t think that’s been released yet. I don’t think I’m not sure Kevin decides when these episodes 

Joshua: is awesome. 

Brandon: Either way. Yeah. Great episode.

So,  very cool stuff. So yeah, that is, today’s not so 

Joshua: quick to, 

Brandon:  to, that was good,  rusty, but a little rusty, you know, whatever. You’re bringing 

Joshua: it back way to put me on the spot 

Brandon: and now let’s get into today’s show what I want to go it. Start with here. It’s okay. Josh the last two years, you know, a lot of people know that you were on the podcast for years.

For what? Six, six, six years I created it. You created it. And then something happened in your life. Showed up. Dave showed up at some point and kicked you out. 

Joshua: Police gone into my head. Exactly. That’s just my show. 

David: And I’m the captain now. 

Brandon: So you left and you’re going to tell the story of what happened today on the podcast.

We’re going to hear that story as we play your keynote, not your speech, keynote speech from BP condom. Oh, it’s a phenomenal story. A sad story with a. A good ending. I will say that’ll tease this a little bit and it ended up with you actually sitting in my seashell here, out in Hawaii. It’s 

Joshua: a little hot and 

Brandon: it is a little getting hot and see me in here.

Joshua: Yeah. It’s kinda nasty 

Brandon: little gross, I guess. But,  that’s what happens when you’re in Hawaii. So Josh has now, you know, him and I the other day, Josh and I, true story, Josh and I were sitting there out at this beach,  with, with Frank and 

Joshua: with Frank 

Brandon: and we were. Sitting there surfing together, watching whales, like breech out in the water, like a mom and a baby.

And we’re just like, look at each other, like, how did we get here? Like, this is crazy. And today’s keynote. It’s kind of like how we got there. I guess like, you know, especially how you kind of got here. 

Joshua: I think it’s the mindset behind it, right. Or at least it’s. It’s more like, you know, what do you do when opportunity presents itself, for example.

Right. And so how did we get here? Where were we? We are in time. And how did we get here where we are physically? I mean, you would not be here in Hawaii if not for BiggerPockets or I would not be in, in Hawaii if not for BiggerPockets.  I think. I think it’s really important that we, we dive into, I dive into my key, the idea of,  just seizing opportunity,  and, and not letting other people kind of dictate the terms of the life that you want to live for yourself.

Right? Because we all go through life. Having all these influences starting from our parents, right. Our parents are telling us do this. Don’t do that. You get to school suddenly. You’re you’re. Your peers, you know,  dictate through various forms of influence how you should act or not act, you know, bullying or whatever it is.

Right. And that, that’s how we all live our life. Right. We all make our decisions based upon those external influences until some points now. You can make a decision, right? At each step, along the way, I’m going to allow these influences to dictate how I go, or you can make that decision, say, you know what, I’m going to take control of my life.

And, and so that’s kind of what we dive into here.  an example might be,  I know that, you know,  my two buddies are,  throwing a party. And I, I really want to be there cause you know, I’ll be the cool kid, but my parents say, absolutely not. And, and so, you know, I have this choice, right? Do I go and seize the opportunity to go and have fun or do I, you know, do something that’s against what my parents are talking about?

I mean, that’s one level, but at another level, as in a career, which is what we more specifically talk about decisions that you make as an adult,  You have the same influence? Right? My parents, when I graduated from college,  I had to tell them at some point, Hey, mom and dad, I’m moving back into the house for a little while because I want to be an actor.

Right. And what do you think they said.  I’m going to guess. They didn’t love that. No, they weren’t happy. Right. Aren’t you supposed to go to law school to be a lawyer, be a doctor. Dave. That is a good impression of my mom. That was, 


Joshua: was impressive. So, you know, now I have that influence, right. So I have to move forward, making a decision based upon the fact that I’m either going to stand up for myself and do what I want to do, or I’m going to disappoint somebody.

Yeah. Right. And, and so we all make those choices as we move along and it may not be our parents. Oftentimes it is. I would ask you Brandon and Dave, you know, where your, have you ever made a career decision that disappointed? Apparent that’s a yes.  

Brandon: yeah.  yes. 

Joshua: Right. But, but you made it regardless, right?

Yes. Okay. So what 

Brandon: was it? We not to go to BP. They said that Josh darken guy. Yeah. He’s got something wrong with him. I’m 

Joshua: glad you didn’t listen to it. So what was it that helped you? Make that decision or what was it that made you make the decision to go over or violate that kind of want of somebody else?

Brandon: I’d say deep down. I knew what I needed to do, which is exactly what your key notes about today. Right? Nicely done. That was my, that was my T’s for you. Speech 

Joshua: was good. 

David: Yeah. I had such a struggle wrong desire. It felt like God, the universe, whatever you want to call, it was saying, this is what I have for you.

And that to say no to that felt. Wrong more wrong than to disappoint my parents. It was being a police officer. No, obviously no mother wants their child to go be a cop. My dad straight up told me you’re not tough enough to make it as a cop. And that was always kind of a challenging relationship in my life because the way that my dad looked at me and I had this really strong feeling inside, like, this is what I meant to do.

And even though other people were saying, don’t, it felt more wrong to saying no to that feeling than it did to let down my parents, which is also a very strong instinct that you have as a kid. And it was like a turning point for me, where I knew I’m either going to do this with everything I have, or I’m not going to do it.

You can’t really halfway something like this. And I think that maybe for me, that. Resistance to that plan forced me to double down on how much I was going to give to it and really served me well in the career. And it’s funny you say this because it was a very similar feeling when it came to real estate investing, all those same people were saying, why would you do that?

Everyone loses money. That’s such a bad idea. It’s safer to go be a doctor, go be a lawyer. And it was that same, but something feels like this is the right move for me. So, and this is, I mean, it’s a really important thing. We don’t talk about it as often on a podcast like this, but that why that feeling.

And it’s driving people is an incredibly powerful part of this whole process to finding financial freedom. Yeah, 

Joshua: absolutely. It’s funny when you, when you say that, you know, I think about when I started BiggerPockets, I had no support. You know, the only support I had was Julie, my wife. And that is one of the things that a lot of,  startup guys finally acknowledged and realizes, you know, They’re often alone with the support of their spouse, because really without the support of your spouse, you can’t really move forward.

And that’s why we’ve had so many conversations over the years on the podcast about, so how’d you get your how’d, you get your spouse, how’d you get your partner to come in and come along on this, but it all dives back to the same thing. Right.  and, and that’s the thing with real estate as well, especially,  You know, it’s, it’s frowned down upon by, by some money or, or it just seems so risky and so scary for people who don’t understand it.

Right. And so taking that leap and making that decision that, Hey, I’m going to try something that everybody I know thinks is kind of crazy and out of the box.  that ultimate decision can be the decision between moving forward and early retirement. Or being locked in on a job that you don’t like for the rest of your life.

And, and that’s what we talk about a lot. When I talk about in the speeches, the keynote, it was a keynote, there were a thousand people back, you know, just, I mean, I’m just saying, 

Brandon:  it was 250,000 listening right now, Josh. Wow. 

Joshua: I, I, but that’s, I think that’s the important thing, right? Is, is. You need to find it within yourself to find a cause a purpose, some kind of inner drive that like what Dave talked about, that your decision and your call and you can’t let all the other noise dictate what you’re going to do.

You’ve got to believe in, you know, and trust in yourself and your own decisions,  in order to move forward. And so we talk about that.  we, we also talk about some, you know, deeply, deeply personal family stuff with, with my daughter. And,  we talk about some other crazy revelations about, you know, just, yeah, not his story of finding my, my origins.

 so yeah. It’s interesting you 

Brandon: touch in your roots. That’s good. 

Joshua: That’s all I does. 

Brandon: All right. Well, I don’t know, 

Joshua: David, anything 

Brandon: you want to add before we get into today’s keynote? Speech. 

David: I remember when I listened to Josh giving this speech, it had very little to do with real estate and it was probably still the most impactful speech of the entire conference.

Everyone said that. Yeah, it was the quietest you’ve ever heard that many people at one time it was eerie. How, like, I remember thinking if, if someone was texting on their phone right now, you’d, you’d hear their, they’re 

Brandon: getting the screen 

David: of it. So. 

Brandon: If you heard that 

David: speech, try to go back to what you felt when you were hearing it and how it moved you and motivated you to go back from that conference and double down on getting through your obstacles.

And if this is your first time hearing it, let it move. You let it like a wave in the ocean, carry you with more Gusto towards the obstacles that we all face. There’s real estate investing is not something you get into without obstacles. We do it. Because there are obstacles, cause that allows opportunity.

And so anything you can grab that kind of gives you momentum or motivation to push through those is really valuable. So that’s what I’m hoping people take out of the speech. 

Joshua: That’s great. Now I’ll just add, you know, and if you have no interest in real estate investing at all, hopefully it influences you and how you live your life.

And I would just say if, if folks. After listening to this, I would love to hear your take and your feedback. 

Brandon: And where’s the best place to hit you at? 

Joshua:  the best place is probably Twitter.  I’m at J R darken at J R D O R K I 


Brandon: R stands 

Joshua: for read 

Brandon: Richard, Josh Reed, not Richard, not Richard like mine. We both have an Armadillo.

Is your middle name, David. 

David: I’m not speaking that 

Joshua: Josephine. I always try to throw that in there. 

David: He does have to say it. 

Brandon: Yeah. He never says that.  all right, well, mr. J R darken,  

Joshua: yeah, we’re just Joshua darken.com 

Brandon: or you can call him his number is 

Joshua: let’s see how this goes for Brandon and his career path.

Brandon: Yeah, there we 

Joshua: go. 

Brandon: All right. Y’all well, with that said, let’s get to today’s keynote from mr. Josh dork and founder and 

Joshua: host. Oh, bigger 

Brandon: pockets. 

David: The godfather. 

Brandon: All right. With that said let’s cue the tape. Oh, Oh, I do want to say this. Josh had COVID  after the show, we’re going to talk to Josh about what that was like.

Cause I want to know what that was like, so, but I want to get to the show now, but we’ll talk about,  we’ll talk about him and his family’s experience with COVID right afterwards. Let’s get to 

Joshua: the episode when,  when the team asked me to come out and speak today. I,  I pushed back a little bit. I was like, I don’t know, you know, things I’m transitioning, I’m moving towards the next stage of my life.

And my wife came up to me and she said, Josh, this is an opportunity to share a story that a lot of people want to hear. A lot of people care. You’ve been out there. You put yourself out there for all these years. You’ve given back to all these people and now it’s time for you to, you know, to kind of wrap it, wrap things up, put it, put a little bow on it and.

Let people feel good that life is life is going okay for you. And then you can also teach them a couple of lessons while you’re at it. And I said, okay, you know, push back, push, push, push. And finally, she convinced me and I was very excited. So I’m happy to be here. I am going to be telling you a fairly emotional story.

So if I lose it, the entire BiggerPockets team is already expecting this to happen. They know that I like to cry. So, you know, whatever it takes a big guy to cry. I’m a big guy, giraffe remember giraffe. So,  my speech today is actually though, you know what to do this morning. I was having breakfast with somebody who was on the podcast and he was talking about his business and he was talking about how he’s known for the last year and a half.

That he needed to hire somebody to be as property manager. He’s known this for a year and a half and he hasn’t done anything about it. Here has known for a year and a half that they had to do something, but didn’t do it. Okay. Just making sure I got the right audience. All right. So let’s start with this quote here.

I’m the wisest man alive for, I know one thing and that is that I know nothing. A lot of you guys turn and you look at me, Brandon J all these brilliant speakers up here, all these wonderful people, all the people within the community. And one of the things that stood out to me when I started bigger pockets was there was this group of people who were teaching real estate education.

And they knew everything. They knew exactly how you had to run your business. They know exactly what you needed to do the path you had to take, but guess what? They didn’t know anything. They were selling you on that you have your own path, you have your own path, you have your own path. We all have our own paths.

And we have to figure out how that path is going to work. And there’s not any single person that is out there. That’s going to tell you, this is what you have to do. You have to figure that out for yourself. So for starters, please don’t listen to anybody who thinks they know everything about everything because they don’t.

And if, if their ego is so big that they think so you want to move on and learn from somebody else. So. But even up to for the last few years kind of fell off the earth, right? Josh was there. He was out and about. And  all of a sudden I disappeared. Now, a lot of you guys know I’m on the,  I’m on the podcast.

I’ve been on this running the site for 14 years. And,  out of the blue, we had this family tragedy, we had these things happen, but haven’t been super forthcoming and everything just for privacy purposes really wanted to kind of deal with stuff. I’m gonna talk a little bit about that, but before I do, I’m gonna dive into a very history of bigger pockets.

Bigger pockets was founded almost 50 18 years ago. I believe it’s 15 years ago in the next week or so.  it’ll be our 15 year birthday. I was teaching special ed high school in Los Angeles.

I had a, a brief failed career in the entertainment business. Wasn’t that failed. I, I,  got the sport, this amazing Mohawk, which is obviously sexier than the one that you saw yet. Obviously. That,  the homeless man in the middle there, that was actually me and a film. That was not what happened to me as a result of teaching special ed for four years.

And,  the last photo is actually me,  in the very first stages of BiggerPockets on that big old iMac and,  just kicking things off. So early days I’m investing in real estate. Things are really exciting and I’m starting to make mistakes and I need help. And I look out and I can’t find anything to help me that I feel like I can trust.

And I say, all right, you know what, let me see what I can do. Let me see if I can build something on the side. Now mind you, back in the day, I had been building websites for fun. I was like, all right, look, let’s see what I can do. Right.  so I’m investing, I’m teaching. And nights weekends in between classes.

I start my side hustle. So who here started their real estate business as a side hustle. All right. All of a sudden my side hustle hobby starts to take over my life here. I am not in my boxer shorts. Unfortunately, the rumors are not true. But,  here I am in my living room. All of a sudden I’ve transitioned.

I’ve quit my job teaching high school, I moved to Colorado, I got married and this is pretty much how I spent my days in between feeding a baby and taking care of them and doing all these other things. I did that for eight years. So for eight years, first, two years were while I was teaching next six years, I worked hundred hour weeks every single week relentlessly.

When my children were born, I had my laptop in the hospital. When my kids were sick. I had my laptop in the hospital. When I traveled, I had my laptop. Not in the hospital wherever I was, hopefully it wasn’t the hospital. So I went eight years without taking a single day off. I worked seven days a week, 365 days a year for eight years, who here thinks that’s a healthy thing to do.

Thank you. All right. Not, not super smart. I burnt out. And realized that I needed to change. I needed to do something different. So I decided it was time to hire. And one fourth and hired this skinny little boy

handsome without facial hair. You’ve really got to lose the beard man. And,  things change very quickly. Things change very, very, very quickly. We launched the podcast who here listens to the bigger pockets podcast. Yeah. Yeah. We launched the book business who here has read a BiggerPockets book. Yeah. All of a sudden we could start scaling.

I didn’t have to work a hundred hours a week. It was awesome. I was working 95. My hair was falling out less quickly.

Things continue to scale things, continue to scale. Things, continue to grow. And all of a sudden I have enough money to hire the next person, my next employee, all of a sudden I have a team. So before we go further, I’d like everybody here to give a rousing round of applause for the entire BiggerPockets team.

stand up, stand up guys. BP, stand up. Come on. These guys are unbelievable and they’re not all here and not the whole team is in here. We’ve actually got somebody down with food poisoning, unfortunately, and then there’s there’s folks back home and otherwise, but these guys are amazing. So this is a photo of the early team.

You got Brandon next to Brandon who knows who John Holdman is one hand. So John Holman the guy with the funny beard. He was our first moderator. He was literally one of the first hundred people on the site and continue to stay with us for years and years and years and years as a moderator, then you got Scott next to him.

You got this guy, Hillary cat and the most amazing customer support person on earth, Alison Liang. And that was Rob,  our head of engineering for very, very long time. So the team starts growing. We start scaling. We hire some phenomenal employees still with us today. And then we made some mistakes. We didn’t hire all amazing people.

We learned, we screwed up and it was okay. It was okay. But we continue to scale this business and little by little, this thing got a life of its own overnight success. Right. You’re eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. We’re at 30 something employees, the business is growing. We’re catering to you guys, hopefully. And,  things are going great, but then I needed to step away.

I needed to step away because life forced me to, but here’s the thing. I probably should’ve done that sooner. So in 2017, I had three panic attacks and I don’t know if anyone here has had them. And if you have, you know, it, you don’t have to raise your hand, but who here has had some form of anxiety or panic attack?

It’s scary. It’s scary. And my panic attacks, I knew in my heart and I knew in my soul that my body was telling me something. But I didn’t listen and I kept going and I’m not 20 anymore. A panic attack at 20 is one thing, a panic attack in your forties. Suddenly you’re having a heart attack. I got three kids.

Life is not worth it.

Let me continue forward. Bigger pockets was in this stage where I had to step aside and we’re going to talk about that in a second, but then we move on to this next stage. So as I step aside, somebody had to step in, in my interim and this drunken man here,

Scott trench, everybody CEO of BiggerPockets. By the way that is Scott sitting in the first row of first-class next to me, I think that was the only time I’ve ever flown first glass. Scott’s rocking his gym shorts. He’s got his sandals on, I think, and I don’t know how you can quite fall asleep like that.

Don’t ever let him forget that. So this, if you’ve never seen this before, these are the core values that we’ve established for bigger pockets, family, over everything, serve others with purpose, build authentic relationships. Be insatiably curious, keep things fun and get it done. Challenge what’s possible and value unique perspectives.

By the way, if you have not written core values for your business. This proved to be one of the most important exercises we’ve ever done back to Alison who really helped take the lead on this Alison Lang,  and worked with me very closely and the rest of the team.  this was extremely important for us and has helped to guide the business forward and will continue to help the guide the, the business forward.

So th the ironic thing is the top thing there says family over everything. Here’s the problem. I was putting bigger pockets over everything instead of family over everything I was trying, but you do that long enough and it takes its toll something wasn’t right. And I just ignored it. So. That’s me, that’s my business in your business.

I guarantee every single one of you has something happening in your business that, you know, you need to do. And it’s usually the big, scary thing. And you sit and you wait and you procrastinate and say, I’m going to get there one day. I’m going to do it. Let me knock these little easy things out because they’re easy.

And then you wait and guess what happens. You never knew that you’d never do the big, scary thing. And it’s the big, scary thing that helps you to move forward. It’s a big, scary thing that brings you progress in your business and in your life. Now, in my case, it was, I was just working relentlessly

what? Movies? This round. All right. Okay. All work and no play. Makes Jack a dull boy. Well, I was becoming a dull boy and I wasn’t aware of it. I didn’t even realize. Yeah.

November of 2017, November 27th, 2017.

I’ve got three little girls who were amazing, amazing wife. My eldest Zoe,

up until this point had had, and I believe it’s six surgeries. She got salmonella when she was three, spent eight days in isolation in the hospital. We thought she was going to die. She tonsillectomy adenoidectomy. And she had two eye, muscle surgeries to straighten her eyes out.  she had something called strabismus, so kind of like a lazy eye.

So they do these eye muscle surgeries. They detach one of the muscles. There’s an outer inner, they detach one, they move it like millimeters and then reattach it. Suddenly your eyes are straight and your brain’s like, cool. We’re going to keep your eyes corrected. 80% success rate. While we were in the 20%, the first time, and then 20%, the next time, November 27, 2017, we took her in for her third eye muscle surgery as a routine surgery in and out.

We had done it twice before we knew what we were in for. And,  so yeah, I took the day off of work to take care of her. And we did the surgery and we took her home and we knew the next day she’d wake up. Her eyes would both be open and she’d be fine. Except the next day she woke up and her, I did not open, so I didn’t go into work.

And the next day and the next day,

her. By ones. So Monday was the surgery by Wednesday, we knew something just really wasn’t right. We had called the doctor on Tuesday. He said, wait, Wednesday. He said, let me see here. We brought her in. He said, I think she might have an infection. Her face had started to swell up

Thursday. It didn’t get any better. She’s on antibiotics Friday. It’s getting worse. We go on again. Now things have picked up. We are going to need to admit her to the hospital. So they admit her to the hospital. They put her on IV antibiotics and these Ivy antibiotics are obviously gonna hopefully help take this infection away.

The problem is your eye is really close to your brain and. And infection can spread very quickly from your eyes to your brain. So they watched her and what they told us was Josh, you know, and Julie, we think there’s a chance we may have to do a surgery. Well, this is scary. This is really scary. Decided that we’re going to just wait and watch her Saturday comes.

We may take her in this afternoon. We may not. We’re not sure. You know, imagine the weighting, right? Imagine thinking, Hey, any second, this thing could go into my kids’ brain. What are you going to do? Sunday comes by the way, Julia is home sick. She cannot be in the hospital. I’m alone. She’s got my two kids I’m with Zoe and  all of a sudden the doctors come in Sunday morning, a second doctor, we hadn’t met, comes in and she says, it’s time.

So come with us. So we go downstairs, they roll her down into the surgical area. There’s not a single person there it’s a Sunday. They don’t do surgeries on Sunday. They wheel her downstairs. They bring us into this room and they say, you know, they start prepping her and they say, you know, we’re going to take her off.

Now when they take kids for surgery, normally it’s a calm, relaxing thing, as scary as it is.  and the parent gets to go into the room with them. Well, once we went downstairs and they prepped us, they rushed her off. She was crying. She was freaked. I was crying. I was freaked. No one fell on how long it was going to take no info on what was going to happen off.

She went as I pace here nervously. I did the same that day for the next two plus hours in a hospital waiting area with no doctors, no nurses, no patients, no parents, nobody just by myself. They finally came out by the way, unimaginable fears, scenarios spinning through your head. They come out. We, we did the surgery.

She’s going to be okay. We cut into her. We had to cut into her eyeball. We had to drain the fluid out of her eyeball and we found all this necrotic, dead tissue, her eyeball

scary. She going to see again? Is she going to be okay? Yes. She is. Okay, so she’s gonna be okay. Everything’s gonna be great. They,  they admit us, but you know, we’re back in the hospital, we’re there for the next few days and she’s doing okay, but there’s kind of some weird stuff happening and I couldn’t quite explain it.

And the doctors kind of poo-pooed. Everything I was saying and everything my wife was saying now, I don’t know if there’s any physicians in here and no offense to anything I’m going to say, but a lot of doctors are full of shit.

you know, the challenges they, unlike my first quote, they know everything. And the challenge is. There’s oftentimes difficulty in admitting that you don’t know everything. And so when we had these weird things happen, everybody kind of pooh-poohed us, the whole team pooh-poohed us. And they actually sent us home.

So we went home a few days later and nervously agreed to do so. And we were happy. We were excited. Her eyes still closed, but we’re home. And then the next day she’s still kinda acting funny.

And then the next day

Zoe, what are you doing? Nothing, Zoe, what are you doing? Nothing.

why are you walking? Funny. Okay.

It was too late in the day we called the doc. He said, just watch it wait till tomorrow. If nothing changes, bring her in. We tentatively agreed. The next day he came, we brought her to the emergency room.

It was Saturday. She wasn’t walking anymore.

Scandore checked your brain, checked dry ball

who put us all along the way. Everything’s going to be okay. We don’t see anything wrong.

She can’t walk. What do you mean? There’s nothing wrong. We think it’s something in the brain. Well, she didn’t have anything in the brain before she went into the surgery. What did you do? What happened?

Do you think it’s this thing? Go see your primary care doctor on Monday. It’s Saturday,

excuse me. So they sent us home

for the next 48 hours. I’ve got a kid who can’t walk and hold her torso up anymore. And I have zero answers and I have doctors telling me everything’s going to be okay. Imagine that feeling, that absolute terror that you go through, we went into the doc, doc says, this is horrifying. We’re sorry. We need to bring in the psychologist.

We think there may be something from a psychological standpoint, and then they make this ruling. They say, Hey, we think it’s this. We got to get you into the hospital. They start calling the hospital hospital, says we’re not going to admit her. They continue to call. We start calling. They’re not going to admit us.

Tuesday comes. Same thing. Wednesday comes. Same thing. Thank goodness. I have political aspirations and I’ve befriended several politicians in my area. And I have some friends who were on the board of the hospital. I call, I say, tell them my story. What’s going on. And within an hour, we get admitted to the hospital.

So let me stand on my soap box for a second here. That’s bullshit. And no one deserves that. And that is absolutely. One of the biggest reasons our healthcare needs to be reformed.  absolutely insanity because I’m lucky, privileged and connected. There’s no reason that my kid should get treated better than anyone else.

And it goes further because they made a diagnosis. They had diagnosed her with something called conversion disorder. A condition in which a person has blindness paralysis or other nervous system neurologic symptoms that cannot be explained by medical evaluation.

The recovery ratio on conversion disorder is not very good. And there’s a reason for it. It’s costly to treat. And there’s not really a great explanation for it. Yeah.

So in the case of Zoe she’s in the hospital and over the next couple of days, her legs aren’t working, her torso is not working. She, her eyes already close. She can’t hold her head up anymore. And she stops being able to use her arms.

they give us this bullshit explanation, which is we ruled everything else out. We got nothing left to call it. This is an actual disorder by the way, conversion disorder, but they’re going to find out in 10 or 20 years, that conversion disorder is one of like 30 things.  They really are with conversion.

I don’t believe it. One day I’m laying in bed with her in the hospital. She’s sleeping. It’s the middle of the night

she sits up.

Wait, wait. She lays back down.

We thought there was something physically wrong with her. Well, my daughter was asleep Walker. She would wake up in the middle of the night and walk around and talk and blabber. All of a sudden I bought into it. We now knew that it wasn’t something physical, that it was something psychological. We actually bought into conversion, sorter,

start making phone calls while we’re at the hospital. They give her a little bit of treatment here and there.  because that’s what they do because, you know, that’s, they’re just not equipped unless they’re a specialty facility, which there was one in Rhode Island, it would cost us like $75,000 to put her on an ambulance plane to get her there because she can’t hold her body up.

She can’t get treated at lots of the facilities because she could not bathroom herself because she cannot hold her body up. And she could not get the full level of care that she absolutely deserved because of her condition.

And so we started making calls, talked to some experts and decided it was time to get her the hell out of the hospital. We needed to bring her home. We needed to put her in a normal, regular home environment. And we were going to build a team. We were gonna, we were gonna overcome the statistics on this and we were going to win

family above all else. Oh, I finally started following that.


50% is a really scary numbers. So we’ve got our plan together. We build our team seven days a week of occupational therapy, seven days a week of physical therapy in the home therapy weekly, where you started seeing a psychiatrist. I turned my living room into a gymnasium. There were mats mats on the floor.

I got one of these electrical, like bike things that you click,  you know, there for all the old people, you click it and you know, it automatically does this for you. Right. Strap her in and let her go. We didn’t want her to atrophy. Right. We worked on her body. We worked on her mind every single day. My full-time job was to care for this child.

And that is what I did.

So this is Zoe in therapy, trying to learn how to use her legs.

On imaginable, fear. I thought my daughter could be a paraplegic for life

we worked with her constantly relentlessly. Did not quit in the same way that I relentlessly built this business. I now knew who had a new focus and it was this child and I was not going to lose this battle because I don’t like to lose battles. And I, especially don’t like to lose battles when it comes to my family.

After weeks and weeks, we started to see some improvement. Before we got her out of the hospital. We actually got her hands moving. We just kept buying Lego sets. She loves Legos. So Lego is constantly, we bribed the hell out of her stuffies. She’s I mean, she’s got to have three, 400 stuffies, like move your finger an inch.

You’ve got to stuffy. You know, you name it. This is her in school. We tried to normalize her life. Nine years old, you go from a healthy kid and all of a sudden you’re in a wheelchair. I don’t care how awkward you feel. You are going to school, maybe not all day, but you’re going to go in and we’re going to normalize your life.

We saw things get better and little by little, there would be light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s your Walker. Nice and decorated. Blinged out. Rock the rock, the Walker for awhile. And two weeks before the end of school, the Walker was gone.

August 23rd, 2019. Those of you guys who know me now, I like to go out. I like to play in the woods, getting the goods in the woods is one of my friends likes to say, and, 

Mount Bierstadt August 23rd, 2019, 14,065 feet.

That little girl did what? The big, hairy bearded guy in the back struggled to do last year with me. She made it to the top of a 14,000 foot peak in Colorado. That’s around skis.

So for the last two years, I’ve spent my time with that kid, with my other kids, with my family and in, so doing, I pondered. I thought about life. I thought about death and I mostly thought about happiness and I read and I read and I tried to figure out what it is that matters.

There’s nothing more important than finding your happiness. Life has a way of giving you signals. In my case, I might’ve been working a little too hard. I was having panic attacks. I was frustrated, stressed out who here in their work is stressed out from time to time. That’s okay. Who here gets frustrated with how things are going from time to time.

Sure. Yeah. It’s been a perfect business. There’s going to be frustration and stress, right? But these are signs. These are symbols. These are things that are telling you. Maybe you got to tweak things. Maybe you’ve got to change how you do it. Maybe you need to alter, maybe you have to find processes. Maybe you have to simplify your business.

Well, a funny thing happened despite stepping away to be with my family, bigger pockets, continue to grow and thrive.

I guess, 14 years of,  creating a great foundation, allow something to foster and grow bigger pockets. Would be okay without me.

It was time for me to start the new act. So I’m figuring out what’s next, I’m working through it. My family things are starting to get better where we’re mid 2017. And some new information comes to light.

My brother calls me up, Josh. I just took a 23 and me test

Yeah. All right. Well, you know the girls, so he’s got two adopted daughters. The girls really wanted to learn more about their background, their past. So we did that and I took it and Alex, his wife took it. That was cool. And, you know, got all this info and all this stuff and our half-brother this and that, all this stuff.

And I’m half awake, half what brother, but I’d say that again. You gotta have brother, at least that’s what the site says. No, that’s not possible. How could we have a half-brother no, no, no, that doesn’t work now. Let me rewind first second here. So when I was a year old, my dad passed away from testicular cancer.

Thank goodness. People don’t really die from testicular cancer today, but I didn’t know that. So if you’ve ever seen me doing things, you know,

For her really long time that I was going to die of testicular cancer. My hands were there.

Anyway, my dad died when I was a year old. He actually died on my brother’s fourth birthday. Which is crazy, but he died. And my mom remarried and darken is the name of my stepdad. He’s my dad. He raised me. And,  so we get this information about this, this half-brother well, half brother dad’s been dead for 40 years.

We know it’s not mom because mom is a. Overbearing Jewish mom. And those of you who have overbearing Jewish or otherwise mothers would know that no overbearing Jewish mom would let their boy go. And so, and so it had to be dead. Well, maybe he had a kid before mom and maybe while with mom, maybe afterwards.

Oh, let’s call mom. So we call mom, Hey mom, what’s up? How you doing? Hi Josh. Is that good? Brandon? That was good.  Hey mom, Sue was there’s this whole DNA test that Dave took and,  it says we got have brother DNA. What’s that? It wasn’t that bad. So do the DNA. We explained it to her and say, Hey, what’s the story she denies.

No, nothing is known. It’s impossible. Mom. It’s not possible. DNA science. It’s impossible. She hangs up the next day. We call her again, mom DNA. What’s DNA. It’s science. It’s not impossible. And,  and we relented and we relented and out of the blue, she says, well, there’s this one thing.

What’s the one thing, mom. Well, your father and I couldn’t have kids. We struggled. So he went to a fraternity,  fertility clinic and they took your father’s stuff and they mixed it with another guy’s stuff. They mixed it.

Mom science. Do you know how it works? What do you mean? I have to explain the S the ones that can swim. They’re the ones that are gonna win

mom. So what you’re telling me is the. By the way, step back for two seconds, the guy that I had been my, my birth dad. So there was like a family separation. We, we literally, my entire life knew nothing about him or his family. So there was a hole in my life, by the way, this is a big part of my speech. So I probably shouldn’t forget it big hole in my life and my whole life.

We are searching for this family and we can’t find this family well. Now all of a sudden we’ve got this new information. We are all of a sudden. I’m not trying to figure out about my birth dad’s family. We got DNA dad. Yeah. By the way, I’m going to create a new television show called my three dads. I think it’s brilliance where I find out about my 600 stepbrothers that I’ve never knew about.

That’ll be a comedy. Anyway, I’ve got all this new information. I’ve got this giant hole in my life and all of a sudden the whole kind of went away. But here’s the weird thing. I don’t know who my bio dad is. So how did that whole go away? Well, I didn’t need to search for my birth dad anymore. He was there, sadly, he, you know, in the last year of his life, as I was growing, he spent most of the time in the hospital.

My father raised me, my stepdad and the guy who allowed me to live, planted his seed, so to speak, you know, I’m grateful. I didn’t need to really figure out who he was besides the fact that it would be close to impossible. I called some people and was like, Hey, what are the odds? And they’re like, well, you got to take a 23andme test and you can probably try and find the clinic that you may have to pay lawyers a whole hell of a lot of money to open up court records on all of this.

And I’m like, sounds like a lot of work. I don’t care. Then when I said that, I realized that I actually didn’t care. This is my life.

I am not my father. I am not my father. I am not my father. Hopefully there’s not a fourth. I’m not my mother, my brother, I am me. And this is my life. And I’m going to live this life the way I want to live this life. And I have lived this life the way I want to live this life. And I’m proud of the way I’ve lived this life.

I’ve lived a great life and that whole, that whole is gone. And so I’m sure all of you guys have folks out there who tell you what to do. Oh, you shouldn’t do that. Come on, man. You’re really going to do that with your business. Really, really? You’re going to hire a property manager and not save all that money.

Wait a second. You’re going to flip houses. Are you crazy? Who hears her? Something like that. Guess what you are going to continue to hear something like that forever. The reason this room is so special, at least in the world of real estate, is that nobody here is going to say that to you. And if they do go back to my second slide about people knowing more than they think they know, right?

So. This is your life. You know what you need to do, you know, what’s important, you know, what’s necessary. I love this quote. We cannot change the cards we’re dealt and just how we play the hand.

So I learned all this information about,  my three dads. My is getting better. And as I said, I decided it was time to make a change. Bigger pockets was doing well. I needed to kind of, I mean, it’s to figure out what mattered to me again. I needed to figure out what was next. So I set forth, got together with Scott and Brandon, who at this point were pretty much running the day-to-day along with Dave and the rest of the team.

And we put together a search and summer, we found a group that we thought was going to be spectacular. We’ve met lots of folks and it was a private equity shop out of Omaha, Nebraska company called. McCarthy Capitol McCarthy was going to come in and become my new partner. I was going to step down

14 years of building my baby, and that was time to step away. So along with McCarthy, we put together a board of which I am a part. We hired a chairman of the board, mr. Mike

and built an incredible, incredible team.

Scott trench, our new CEO has done a phenomenal job. Along with the rest of the team. I was so scared. I was so scared of letting my baby go, but I realized it was time. It was ready. And I realized that I found the right people to help continue the path. Of my company. So here’s to the future of BiggerPockets and the amazing team that we already applauded.

Who’s currently running it as for me, I’m pursuing my happy, I’m spending time with my kids. I’m finding hobbies the first time in years I’m getting fit. I’m getting the goods in the woods. I’m taking care of my mental health. I’m taking care of my family and I’m focusing on me. Haven’t done that in a really, really, really long time.

Okay. So here’s a few takeaways. Okay. One do not wait until life decides for you. You know what you need to do. You know, what is important, make it happen to map and plan, write down, write down. Is it your family? What part of your family life needs help make a list? I have a book that book,  monk Ferrari actually really helped me with this.

I literally I’ve got a page that says family. And it’s, Hey, make sure I do this. You know, write love letters to my wife, do this with my kids, all the things I aspire to do, all my family health run a 5k. Did that run a 10 K, did that run a marathon? Haven’t done that yet. Climb a fourteener I’ve done. Many of those actually did for a few weeks ago in one day.

Take action. You can’t just write things down. You got to do it. You got to do it.

Do not wait for permission. This is your life. This is nobody. Else’s life. It’s nobody’s business telling you what to do. You know what to do? In your heart. I see you guys. I see the brains spinning all of you guys. Think about all that stuff, you know, in your heart, what it is that you need to do, do not wait for permission.

Take action and do it. Life is short. You can die tomorrow. Gary Vaynerchuk is very famous in saying this and whenever people text him for advice, That’s his response. He’s right. I’d like to live my life as if I’m going to die tomorrow. Well, what are you waiting for? Because you can die tomorrow or your kid can get conversion disorder or you can get hit by a bus.

And I know it’s sad and I know it’s scary and I know 90% of you are afraid to stop and think about it, but I implore you guys to think about it. You can die tomorrow, and if you’re going to die tomorrow, what the hell are you going to do today? You better start changing your life, go out and find your path.

Everybody’s got their own. Figure it out, you know, it, put it down, write it, follow it, do it. Good luck to you. You guys. Great. Great, great quote from a very, very smart man. Your time is limited. So don’t waste it. Living someone else’s life. Thank you very much. 

Brandon: All right. That was,  that was even better the second time around than it was the first time Josh, you know, 

Joshua: that was good.

Thank you. Yeah, I know you weren’t really listening to the first or the second time. So, you know, 

Brandon: I listened carefully, Josh. I was not texting the whole time. 

Joshua: I appreciate you. 

Brandon: Yeah, whatever. 

David: I love that you called him out on that. And it was so much better for him the second time. Cause that was the first time.

In a vigorous game of snake on his cell phone during the entire first. 

Joshua: That was a great, Oh my God. Calculus hours. I played that. 

Brandon: Yeah, no, it was, uh know. So I worked with you. Let me be honest with you. I’m gonna be honest with you. I worked with you ahead of, ahead of time on your speech. And I think two hours before you went on stage, you were like, I’m just, I’m not really sure where I should go with this one.

I’m not sure if I should tell this story. And I was like, thinking Josh is going to. 

Joshua: He’s going to 

Brandon: blow this. He has no idea what we’re to talk about today. And then you just came out of nowhere with an amazing speech. I was like, like, cause like you, you, I think you were pretending that you had no idea what we’re gonna do, like up until like a minute before we got on stage and then just like here, I’m just an awesome speaker.

So anyway, I was very fearful for you. So I was not playing the snake. I was sitting there like shaking, like Josh don’t mess up what you’re going to say here. Well, 

Joshua: yeah, so I, I had, you know, I had a number of stories that I had. Potential to go through and, and, and. Essentially, I had constructed this thing and, you know, decided as things we’re going forward.

And as I kind of felt the crowd’s energy or whatever, you know, which, which way I was going to go with it. So yeah, I had it mostly outlined, but yeah, we did get, I think it turned out all right. 

Brandon: Well, speaking of turning out. All right, let’s talk about, COVID knock about you. So Josh here, and this is back in,  

Joshua: how are you feeling, Dave?

Yeah. Speaking of COVID 

Brandon: COVID how are you feeling David? 

David: I’m still alive and kicking. I good. 

Brandon: David David has a cold, but we think he probably 

David: will. Now every time you get a cold 

Brandon: call. Exactly. 

Joshua: Well, the fact that you’re not around anybody and you got a cold magically. 

Brandon: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. David’s got a cold, uh it’s if he’s got a meme online, it’s like every day I wake up now and go, is that, is that COVID or is that what a throat feels like?


Joshua: but anyway, but that’s a thousand times worse. When you have COVID and after you have COVID just so you know. 

Brandon: Yeah. All right. Well, let’s talk about that. So you, so I’m like, I’ll be honest with you again, sometimes 

Joshua: by the way, David, he’s been honest twice in the last one conversation, this conversation, which rarely happens.

Yes. I 

Brandon: mean, I’m 

David: wondering if Brandon has COVID and he’s on his death bed here. 

Joshua: Well, the fact that I’m the two feet away from him. Yes, 

Brandon: we are troubling. We are five feet. We are a foot short of social distancing standards right here in this sea shed.  but.  back in February, I think it was maybe even early March.

Joshua: Was 

Brandon: it March, March, but you marched when you got, but even before that you were the very first of anybody in my circle of anybody I knew who was like, this is a big deal. We need a social distance. Yeah. I think it was maybe January. You were like, we need to stay inside and you like locked your family in.

And I was like, They are, go with Josh, Josh. Yep. It’s all going to blow over in like a week. And Joshua just missed out on three weeks of life. Cause he was like, socially, I didn’t quite think that bad, but like I assumed you were just being a little hypochondriac a little bit, you know, that’s I was assuming that, and then.

The whole world falls apart. And then if everybody in the 

Joshua: entire life that I knew 

Brandon: you were like, 

Joshua: how did that happen? I don’t even know 

Brandon: you. Must’ve got it from like a box from Amazon or something because you were like locked down. 

Joshua: I w well, so I wasn’t locked down per se. I was prepping in January. I was starting to order.


Brandon: you should see a toilet paper stack. 

Joshua: I had a lot of toilet paper. I, 

Brandon: I, it was that guy. 

Joshua: Yeah, there was, but that was before, like everyone was hoarding. I was like, I was pre hoarding. 

Brandon: Yeah, you are a pre-order 

Joshua: but  yeah, I, you know, I, I was, I don’t know what that’d be.

But it was scary. I was watching what was happening in China and they were like, yeah, they were welding people into apartment buildings and I’m like, this is not going to end well for anyone on earth. And,  so far it has not, and we’re laughing about it and obviously it’s extremely serious. It’s crazy 

Brandon: if you had it and you were laughing when you were in your 

Joshua: house.

So I, you know, we had a family event in Los Angeles. We were at, we were locked down at home and there was a family event. It was a bat mitzvah. And like, we had to go to this bat mitzvah and I told you, Julie, my wife I’m like, this is a terrible idea. We should not get on an airplane. 

Brandon: Oh, blaming the wife now.

Joshua: And, and we got, we got into a debate and, you know, like, There was an expectation, which goes back to the speech. There was an expectation that we need to be there and we had to live up to that expectation. Right. And so ultimately we relented, you know, I did not want to, but I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do for my family.

Yeah.  we relented, we got an airplane. We went to Los Angeles. We were super careful. Like we were the only one who was like wiping the seat down in the armrest and everybody thought we were crazy. We were not wearing masks though. And obviously this is an airborne,  element here. So when we got back, you know, we’d finished our grocery shopping and, and that we got back, I think it was Sunday or Monday.

That Thursday or Friday was when Tom Hanks, you know, announced that he had this disease and suddenly like the world shut down the next day. Yeah.  that, that was Friday.  Sunday I started feeling sick and I actually started charting it cause I was so worried that I had actually had it. And turns out I did.

And it was pretty awful.  you know, I, it started feeling like kind of a cold with this weird dizziness and,  had lots of other, pretty much every symptom. I lost my smell. I lost my sense of taste.  I had the low grade annoying fevers for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks.  after week two, I developed the lung stuff.

 and this cough that just wouldn’t go away.  I finally stopped charting after I think it was 94 days. So I was what they call a long hauler.  but that was the early days that was when like going to the hospital was a death sentence. Right. Anybody who would go into the hospital, you were probably going to die.

 did you go in and no, but I, you know, I was sick and then I got to this point where there were two days, everybody in my house. Got it.  there were two days where Julie and I could not get off the cast. We got up from our bed, got down to the couch. Like we could not do anything else.  our kids made all three meals for us.

We have a, you know, we had a six, eight and 11 ten-year-old,  and they prepared three meals a day for two days for us, for all five of us.  we just, we couldn’t do anything now. And, and it got to a point where I think the, the, the worst thing was when I had gotten the cough, I was having trouble breathing and ultimately ended up in a place where I was really struggling breathing.

I was coughing.  I had no energy and, you know, really could barely do anything. And I freaked out the next thing I’ve got to do. I’m going to have to check myself in the hospital, you know, and. I, I kinda started having, just, and I talked about on the show, panic panic attacks, where I talked about in the keynote here today about these panic attacks I had, the last time I had a panic attack was, was, you know, before everything in the speech the next time.

And I’ve not had one sense was when COVID hit.  I thought, I thought I was gonna die.  I legitimately was like, I need to go to the hospital today.  this is the last time I’m going to actually see my kids. This is the last time I’m going to see my wife again. And I just lost it. Yeah.  I was, that was horrifying.

 before I did that, I decided to call a few friends who were physicians and said, Hey, you know, am I at that point that I need to go and get intubated or, and go to the hospital. And they walked me through kind of what I was feeling. They’re like, you’re kind of at the cusp. You know, if it goes even a drop more, you need to go and check yourself in.

And thank goodness.  you know, I was able to recover.  I’m here obviously,  unlike, you know, the 250,000 plus others who who’ve died from this thing horribly.  but,  yeah, it was a, it was a pretty terrible experience.  and, and the big thing you were, we were joking about, which is like, everybody has like a sniffle and they’re like, Hey, do I have COVID what happens when you actually get it is?

And when you get it bad, at least it happened to me and it’s happened to other people I’ve talked to is I still get sniffles. And now when I get my sniffle again, I’m thinking, Oh, no, It’s back. Yeah. And that’s like a serious PTSD. So we’re all going through this crazy PTSD right now. Like every everybody’s going through it.

 it’s, it’s considerably worse for those people. Who’ve had it pretty bad.  and,  I’m just, you know, hope everybody stays safe and I’m excited that we’ve got so far three vaccines that are, that are coming hopefully soon. And, and,  hopefully we’ll get back to normal in the next year or so. Yeah, crazy man.

That’s nuts. Yeah. It’s been a long, a long two years since,  since we last were here, but things are going well, we’re in Hawaii. Life is, life is all right right now. So, you know, despite yeah. Yeah. Great. 


Joshua: What do you think, Dave? I think 

David: this is a great indication of what the year 2020 is Ben for a lot of people is a wake up call nothing’s guaranteed.

 there’s been a ton of uncertainty. I don’t think any of us have known from who was going to be president to what COVID-19 was going to do to the wildfires that were in California to are we going to have stimulus as they call on me going into a recession? It’s just been nonstop. Not status as usual.

And it’s forced a lot of people who were in a comfort zone to be shaken out of it. And I think that being shaken out of your coverage on whether it’s voluntarily or involuntarily is usually a good thing and it can be dangerous when you slip into one for too long. So while it’s been an unpleasant year, it’s also.

Healthy in the way that exercise when you are out of shape is very unpleasant, but it’s still really good for you. And so there is definitely a lot of scary things that we can take out of a story like that. But on the other end of that is what you talked about in your speech. Don’t live your life, according to other people’s standards, make sure, you know, what’s really important to you and design your life to support what you want it to be.

And this was a year that really pro a lot of the importance of that to the. To 

Joshua: the surface. Yeah, I think it’s great. And what I, what I would add is I would plead to everybody listening to use this time, especially as, as this is about to come out, we’re going back into downs again, hardcore, right? This is the third wave, so to speak.

I don’t know who knows what waiver and,  but take this time, take this opportunity to really. Evaluate your life. Take this opportunity to look at not just your career path, right? Because you know, this is a real estate show is a show where we talk about careers, but, but every aspect of your life, look at your friendships.

Look at your family, look at your relationship with your, your spouse or significant other. Look at how you,  how you behave around your kids. The time you spend with your kids, right? Look at your parents, you know, look at those folks.  look at your neighbors, look at your community and, and. You know, I would Brandon and I, one of the things that you’ve done for me, the most important thing you’ve done for me besides, you know, the background show and, and the frequent backups,  is Brandon does this thing at the end of every year with Heather, where they evaluate kind of, they, they look forward, they look at the year.

 I had and, and talk about what they’re planning to do. And then they, they look at, you know, they, they break their life down into various verticals. Right.  when he told me about that I was blown away and I started doing the same thing. And so I would just tell people, take this time to, to self evaluate,  and really consider what’s important to you.

What’s important to your family and everything else is kind of noise. I mean, it really is. And then use that to dictate and shape the path that you want to take forward. That’s a good quick 

Brandon: tip right there. 

Joshua: Wasn’t so quick. Hello. Tip. A lot of bruises. Got me there. Yeah. 

Brandon: All right, man. Well,  we need to have you back on the show more often.

So come back anytime. It’s the seashell, you know where it’s at? Yeah. We’re like six blocks from each other now, so 

Joshua: it’s easy. Awesome. 

Brandon:  David Green and you want to close the show with. 

David: That’s a nice tall order after a show like this, now I gotta figure out a way to move to Hawaii because I don’t like being the odd man out over here.

Joshua: The talk side. Yeah. Come hang out. 

David: Exactly 

Brandon: what you need is a good integrator David. Like somebody who can run your business in California, that runs everything. That’s like the best of the best. They run California for you. So you can come back and forth to Hawaii whenever you want or wherever else. 

Joshua: So he’s saying hire your CEO in your life 

David: and a CFO and an integrator.

If that’s you, please contact me. Selfishly, be in Hawaii with Brandon and Josh frolicking in the waves and looking for whales on paddle boards, 

Joshua: frolicking, we’ll pay you handsomely. 

Brandon: All right. Well, thank you Josh for joining us today, 

Joshua: jr. Durkin on Twitter at, at J or darken on Twitter and Joshua darken.com.

Brandon: And of course we did real estate investing today, but Josh and I did write a real estate book and it’s called how to invest in real estate. It’s great. It is a great book. So you can pick that up. Wherever books are sold, including. Biggerpockets.com/store.  it is meant to be the book. We actually really call it what start here.

Cause it was meant to be the book that people start with. So if you’re starting with real estate and you’re not exactly sure what niche to go into 

Joshua: should relaunch it as start here 

Brandon: so we could relaunch it. See how that does here today. Start here. You can buy it for 29 99. Now. I think it’s cheaper that it’s cheaper than that.

Yeah. It’s much cheaper than that. It’s a, it’s a, 

Joshua: it’s a good book. All right, 

Brandon: David Green, I’ll let you take us out the way you usually 

David: do. Thank you very much. This is David for Brandon, the ocean frolic or Turner, and Josh, the godfather darken signing off. 

Otro: You’re listening to BiggerPockets radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype you’re in the right place. Be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com. Your home or real estate investing online.

Watch the Episode Here

Help Us Out!

Help us reach new listeners on iTunes by leaving us a rating and review! It takes just 30 seconds and instructions can be found here. Thanks! We really appreciate it!

This Show Sponsored By

Rei NationAre you interested in investing in out-of-state properties that safely? Chris Clothier, owner of REI nation,  has contributed to BiggerPockets for a long time and has written an excellent ebook and recorded an audio book laying out the specific steps that smart passive investors follow to invest safely and securely.

You can download the ebook and audio at REInation.com/biggerpocketspodcast.

Turnkey logo

TurnKey makes it super easy to earn more from your vacation rental without all the stress. They’re a national brand with expert, local teams in every market they serve. So they do all the work while you go ahead and live the lifestyle you want…whether that’s maximizing your revenue or using the home for some much needed R&R.

Learn why more than 6,000 homeowners already trust TurnKey with their vacation rental investment by visiting tkvr.com/join.

Mid-roll Sponsors

nordvpn kupn.jpgNordVPN is the best VPN if you’re looking for a peace of mind when you use public Wi-Fi, access personal and work accounts on the road, or want to keep your browsing history to yourself. NordVPN now serves  more than 14 million people worldwide.

Special Black Friday deal! Every purchase of a 2-year plan will get you 4 additional months free. Go to nordvpn.com/biggerpockets and use our coupon BIGGERPOCKETS at checkout.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • The history of BiggerPockets and how it grew to what it is today
  • Why “knowing everything” usually means knowing nothing
  • The importance of hiring smart, capable people
  • How to listen to your body and mind, to find out what you need most
  • Why you shouldn’t work 6 years straight with no time off
  • Why you need to do the “Big Scary Thing
  • How life forces you to account for what matters most
  • Why Joshua Dorkin has 3 dads
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Josh: