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BiggerPockets Podcast 543: 5 Tools To Unlock Your “Ideal Life” w/ “Traction” Author Gino Wickman

BiggerPockets Podcast 543: 5 Tools To Unlock Your “Ideal Life” w/ “Traction” Author Gino Wickman

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Gino Wickman’s name is synonymous with business growth, entrepreneurship, and freedom. He spent the majority of his youth building up his father’s company to later sell it for a substantial sum. After teaching others how to do the same, Gino took the time to write books that would pave the way for future entrepreneurial success. Books like Traction, Rocket Fuel, Get A Grip, and his newest book, The EOS Life

In it, Gino describes the five points of an ideal life: doing what you love, with people you love, making a huge difference, being compensated appropriately, and having time for other passions. Sounds like paradise doesn’t it? Well, if you’re an entrepreneur (or a want-to-be entrepreneur), this “ideal life” is perfectly within your grasp.

On today’s show, Gino walks through how any entrepreneur, nine-to-five worker, or business owner can hit all five of these points and live a truly fulfilling life. Gino mentions five separate tools that can help you along your journey to an ideal life, but the most important piece of this entire show is how you have to put up the risk to take away the reward.

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Read the Transcript Here

Brandon:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show 543, where we sit down with Gino Wickman, author of some of the best business books ever written, including Traction, the Entrepreneurial Leap, Rocket Fuel and his new one, The EOS Life. And today we’re going to talk to Gino about what EOS is and how you can use EOS to, to improve your business and to build a life that is freaking amazing. All that and more coming up.

Gino:
And so now all of a sudden, there’s this wonderful opportunity to show the world the life that is possible for people and how they can live their ideal life, which is what was indirectly happening. I like to lovingly say, we trick into living their ideal life, but it was all very business focused. And now we’re showing people this end result so they know what’s possible as they start the process. And even if you don’t get involved in EOS, you can apply what we’re about to teach you right here on this podcast.

Brandon:
What’s going on everyone? My name is Brandon Turner host of the BiggerPockets Podcast here with My colleague, Mr. David Green. David Green, man it is a pleasure to be here once again with you. How you doing, man?

David:
I’m doing fantastic. I’m back in the passenger seat with you. I couldn’t be in a better place.

Brandon:
Yeah. There was a while there where you had a lot of solo shows by yourself. So I’m back in the driver’s seat for a little bit here. And talking about real estate investing normally, but today’s show is obviously a little bit more broad than that because on Sundays we release these episodes that are more about just larger, bigger issues. Of course, this is the BiggerPockets Podcast. This is a show where on Thursdays we really dive into real estate investor stories.

Brandon:
And here on a Sunday episode is where we dive into mindset because you know what, there’s a lot that goes on between the ears that will direct the rest of your life. And that’s why we want to just dive into that on these Sunday episodes like today with Gino, where we’re going to go through how to build just your ideal life and an incredible life and how to use business to do that. So this, isn’t like a simple step by step like, “This is how you’re going to become rich overnight”. This is how to change your life by changing the way you think. So how do you like that? Change your life by changing the way you think? I just made that up. Was that good David?

David:
I love it. That’s awesome. I mean, shows like today, remind us why we are learning and pursuing and chasing down this dream of real estate. Sometimes you get so caught up in what’s right in front of you analyzing deals, making connections, networking, looking at things, trying to learn about taxes that you forget what the whole purpose of it is and then you end up unhappy even when you’re successful. And today’s show is all about how to use this stuff, this information to build a life that will make you a happier person.

Brandon:
I know we kind of killed the quick tip, but I’m bringing it back from the dead here because the quick tip today is pick up a copy of The EOS Life from Gino Wickman. It’s the newest book from Gino, the author of Traction, which many of you have heard me talk about a lot over the last few years, but his new book, The EOS Life, It’s a good one, pick it up. And now it’s time to get to our interview with Gina Wickman, the man, the myth, the legend. So without further ado, let’s bring him in. Gino, welcome to the BiggerPockets Podcast, man. It is an honor to have you here.

Gino:
Thank you, Brandon and David, I’m really looking forward to this.

Brandon:
Awesome man. Well, as I said in the introduction before we brought you in, EOS and your work has just made a tremendous impact on my life. And so this has been one of those interviews for, I don’t know, three, four years now, since I first read Traction, I’ve been like, “I got to talk to Gino on the podcast someday,” so I’m excited to make this happen here. So I guess why don’t we dig in before… I mean, we’ll get to EOS and Traction and the new book, The EOS Life, which I read the whole thing yesterday and it’s an amazing book. I love it, and I recommend everyone get it. We’ll get to all that shortly. But first let’s establish a little bit of who you are and how did you get even into this world of helping entrepreneurs?

Gino:
Yeah. Well, I’ll give you the lightning fast life story because it all matters and leads up to kind of this moment. But I moved nine times by the time I was 10 with very entrepreneurial father. So entrepreneurship has been in my blood my whole life and whatever, moving nine times by the time you’re 10 does to a kid, that’s what it did to me. I was not good in school. I was very rebellious, wild and crazy had a blast, but couldn’t wait to get out of academia. Did not go to college, went to work. I just wanted to go to work and make money. I went to work in a machine shop, saved up a bunch of money and then took my entrepreneurial leap at 21, lost all my money, trying a bunch of different things and learned that there is no get rich quick, but there is get rich slow, which was a great aha. In that I was doing some real estate investing, which obviously your audience is intimately knowledgeable of and watching real estate agents putting the commission in their pocket, I decided I would put that commission in my pocket and get my real estate license and in doing so, my dad in the backdrop had built the number one real estate sales training company in North America, which once he learned, I got my license really wanted me to get in his training, which I didn’t want to.

Gino:
Ultimately I did. I was not going to get into real estate. Well, long story short, I ended up in real estate did very well for myself making six figures by the time I was 24 years old and fell in love with my dad’s company and set a goal that, “I want to be the president of that company.” And by the time I was 25 years old, I had worked my way up through the company, took it over. It was in need of a turnaround, I turned the business around in three years, got out of some deep, ugly debt.

Gino:
I had two great mentors. I’m a fanatic about learning what makes companies great, entrepreneurs great. I applied all of that to do that turnaround, ran that company for a total of seven years and then we decided it was time to sell and we successfully sold the business. We each owned a third at the time we sold, my dad and a third partner of ours and certainly myself. In that experience, I got involved in YEO now known as EO and I found myself helping my EO brethren. I got in strategic coach program, which literally changed my life. And out of all of that experience through my 20s, selling and retiring from the business, I transitioned in the new leadership team over about a year and a half. I discovered my calling and that is helping entrepreneurs. I realized that’s why I was put on the face of this earth and around 32 years old is when I took the leap to start doing that.

Gino:
Took me five years to ultimately create EOS through 500 sessions with 50 clients over a five year period. And then once I really felt like I had something, I then put it into a book called Traction, found a partner in Don Tinney to help me leverage the whole thing and then shoot forward to date. 21 years later, after starting that we have 450 EOS implementers all over the world, we have 130,000 companies running on this system. I sold that business three and a half years ago, still own 12.5%, still own all the books, still the EOS guy, but I’m just no longer responsible for the day to day, which is fricking heaven and I’m doing all the stuff I love now.

Brandon:
That might be the best summary of somebody’s life they’ve ever given on this show before. That covered everything in very detail yet quick. So that was great, man. All right. So I want to dig in a little bit. Entrepreneurs, we oftentimes struggle with the idea of systems, of structure, of that stuff. That’s why we became entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, because we hate meetings, right? Most people just hate meetings, they hate that stuff. So then all of a sudden this book and this idea comes along from Traction and the EOS and when I first read it, honestly, I was like, “Nah, this is not for me. That’s why I’m an entrepreneur, I do not do this stuff.”

Brandon:
And the very first time I read it, I was like, “I don’t get it.” And then I picked it back up again maybe… I don’t know, six months later and I was like, “I’m going to give another shot because everyone talks about it.” And that time was different. So I guess the question I have for you is why do entrepreneurs struggle so much with this idea of having a system and why is this therefore so important?

Gino:
Yeah. And it’s vital. And so I’ll say a few things around that. And I don’t want to go too far down this road, but a book that I launched two years ago is called Entrepreneurial Leap. So I finally got into like the psyche of an entrepreneur and I’m helping anybody that thinks they’re an entrepreneur confirm if they are and I’m showing them the life and how to ultimately become successful. Well, in that book, my discovery is that a true entrepreneur has six essential traits. They are visionary, passionate, problem solver, driven, risk taker, and responsible. Well, that’s the DNA, that’s the genetic makeup of an entrepreneur and you’re born and it can’t be taught. Well inherently, someone with those traits is a bit wild and crazy and they’re not cut out for structure. So that’s just the nature of the beast.

Gino:
So it’s a blessing and it’s a curse. And so having been around it my whole life, having turned around the family business, having had worked side by side with my visionary entrepreneur father, I played the integrator role in that turnaround. I am a visionary, but I have this ability to do both. All that said, then with EO and I’m helping my EO brethren, I just get it. And I am one. And so this is a system created by an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs. And so what I do is I teach the 20-80 approach to the world because a wild and crazy entrepreneur can only handle so much.

Gino:
So what I do is just give some very simple tools that absolutely creates structure. It’s an operating system, that’s why I call it the entrepreneurial operating system. And so I’ve just figured out a way to give a visionary entrepreneur just enough that they can tolerate to make their life 10 times better than what it was. And when they see that potential, they willing to cave a little bit to structure, but ultimately it’s their team that is executing on the structure and that entrepreneur is freed up inside of that system to freely and fully be themselves.

Brandon:
Hmm, that’s exactly it. When we implement it and we’ll talk about what exactly EOS is. We’ve talked a number of times here about it, but we’ll talk about what it is in a second and the EOS Life as well, I’ll just preface it with when I implemented EOS officially in my company, which opened our capital as my real estate, we buy big mobile home parks and apartment complexes. When I implemented EOS, I went from working probably 20 to 25 hours a week on that business, down to about five, because all of a sudden, there was a system and an operating system that managed the entire thing, I wasn’t managing it. Where before I had to set goals for everybody, I had to meet one on one with everybody in the team, I had to do everything versus all of a sudden a machine was running everything and I was just watching it going, “Oh my… I made that.” And EOS and was a huge piece of that.

Brandon:
So anyway, so thank you for that. It’s this phrase I say a lot now. I don’t know where I first heard it, but freedom’s found through structure. Oftentimes we think freedom is just like, “No, do whatever you want,” but as any parent in the world knows, if you just let your kid do whatever they want, it just ends up being a nightmare. Kids value that structure and that’s where they find a lot of freedom and as adults, I think we do as well so… Anyway, maybe before we go into a little more detail than EOS, you mentioned visionary and integrator, can you explain what those two terms are because they’re vital.

Gino:
Yeah, you bet. So another book I wrote, and again, we’re getting to the book that we’re going to talk about. So I’m not trying to everybody, a bunch of books here, so please you don’t have to run out and buy them. But another book I wrote is called Rocket Fuel. I wrote that with my co-author Mark Winters and Rocket Fuel is teaching a concept to the world, which is the visionary integrator concept that I created. And I discovered this in the family business and I did a presentation in a hotel meeting room to my dad and my partner to convince them to adhere to a structure so we could do this turnaround. And that’s when I created the visionary role. And I said, “Dad, you got to stay in this visionary role and you got to let me be the integrator.” And so those words came to me through a whole bunch of sources and then our partner Ed, he took over sales and marketing and I took the other two seats and forward we went.

Gino:
So I lived that for many years and then I started to teach it and I started to teach it to my EO brethren, and I started to teach it as I was creating EOS. And it just fricking worked because everything I create, it’s just simply intuitive and it’s proven thousands of times over. There’s no theory. And so it’s simply put, it’s taking that wild and crazy visionary entrepreneur with those six essential traits I just mentioned and putting them in their sweet spot and that sweet spot is growing the company, having ideas, creative problem solving, big relationships, the culture, and then they are counterbalance while they’re operating in that sweet spot, they’re counterbalanced with an integrator.

Gino:
Somebody who’s great at running the day to day of the business, somebody who holds the people accountable, manages the people and harmoniously integrates the functions of the business. And when those two people come together in an organization, look out. And that’s why we call it Rocket Fuel because it’s truly Rocket Fuel that takes a company to the next level.

Brandon:
So for those who aren’t familiar with what we’re talking about when we say the EO or the EOS, can you just give us a quick summary of basically what that system does and how it changes the way that we approach business?

Gino:
Yeah. And just to clarify any confusion in terminology, EO is the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, which is an organization with thousands of members all over the world. And I happen to have been a member of that organization for eight years. What we’re talking about is a system I created EOS which stands for the Entrepreneurial Operating System and what it is, it’s a system I created with 20 very specific tools that you implement in your business and it helps you run a better business. And so it helps that entrepreneur get everything they want out of their company. In it’s simplest form, it basically works with the leadership team to do three things we call vision, traction and healthy.

Gino:
It gets that leadership team 100% on the same page with the vision for the organization, so they’re all rowing in the same direction. Traction from a standpoint of helping them bring discipline and accountability in the organization so they can execute and make that vision a reality. And then healthy is helping that leadership team become a healthy, functional, cohesive, strong leadership, because sadly most are dysfunctional and all screwed up. And from there as goes that leadership team, we get to a point where the entire organization is crystal clear on the vision, gaining traction, very healthy. And so that’s the fastest version I can explain EOS to you.

David:
Brandon, do you think you could maybe give us an example of how you implemented this at Open Door Capital just so the listeners understand what this looks like in practical terms.

Brandon:
Yeah, I can do it real quick. And the thing is we’re not going to go through the entire EOS thing. If people want to pick up the book Traction, they can read every single detail in there or do it like we did, we hired an EOS implementer, Matt Curry to go through and actually help us implement it perfectly. But anyway, I’ll give an example. We have our core values. We define what the core values are. What does the company actually believe in, right? So we’ve got these core values that-

David:
That’s actually right behind me.

Brandon:
… I made them into like little magazine article and I keep them in my office and everybody has them on their wall, whatever. We have our 10 year target, “Where are we going?” Our 10 year vision. “Where are we headed in the future?” We’re going to buy a billion dollars of real estate. We’ve got seven years left on that. So we’re going to buy a billion dollars of real estate. In fact, we’re going to blow by that. We bought 300 million already in the first year. So that was probably way too small of a target which is telling on what happens when you get everybody in a company aligned and you get the right culture and you get traction, right? That’s what it is.

Brandon:
So the way we meet what the meeting looks like every week, how every single Thursday at 9:00 AM, we have our level 10 meeting. It’s a certain type of meeting run a certain way, and it just helps everything flow. And so everyone knows where we’re headed, everyone knows their specific goals. We call them rocks right within the business. So mine might be to whatever I’m going to make 12 YouTube videos. Somebody else’s might be to talk to 50 investors. Somebody else might be to send 12 emails. We all have these numbers and then it all lines up together. And it really helps us buy just below our goal in just a phenomenal way. So, anyway… Yeah.

Gino:
Yeah. And what I would say just to jump in there, I mean, so for anybody interested in learning what EOS is, because it would take us eight hours on this podcast to teach the world EOS, please just go to eosworldwide.com. It’s all there for you, so much free content. You can download those tools for free, buy Traction. So if you are a 10 to 250 person privately held company, that’s who I created it for. If you’re an entrepreneur that wants freedom to grow your business, that’s why I created it. And two things I lovingly like to call it Adderall for visionaries, because what it does is it helps the entrepreneur focus. And number two, I call it a system for managing human energy. And so that’s what it does, is it gets all the human energy in your organization rowing in the same direction and you will literally be two to 10 times more productive if you’ll implement the system. So it works and 130,000 companies can attest to it.

Brandon:
I love that you say Adderall for visionaries. I’m the most cliche visionary that I know. I mean, everything you say in talking about visionaries, I’m that guy. I’m so not the integrator. I’m not the guy to get it done. And that’s why I struggled for so long. In fact, people ask me oftentimes when Josh Dorkin left the podcast and when Josh left and left being CEO of bigger pockets, why wasn’t I CEO of bigger pockets? Why didn’t I take over and run things? It’s because I would hate that role. I would hate running the company like COO being in charge. That sounds horrible, do you know who’s amazing at it?

Brandon:
Our current CEO, Scott Trench. He loves it, loves all that stuff. I can’t do it. So I’m the visionary. It gives me structure, it helps it work and makes me so I don’t tear out my hair so the company can actually grow. So, awesome man. All right. So let’s let’s shift and then tackle… So Traction covers what EOS is, Rocket Fuel covers going through the integrator visionary self, and then obviously you’ve written other ones, but the EOS Life. I want to talk about that. What was the background of that? Why did you write the EOS Life?

Gino:
Yeah, so it’s a really interesting story, how it evolved because I never intended to write this and I never intended to teach this to the world. And so what happened is I’ll give you again, the fastest version I can about these kind of three really big data points that led to it. And so the first was I created EOS out of an obsession about helping entrepreneurs get what they want from their business. And so it was very much a business focus. And so again, five years into creating it, these 50 clients ranting and raving about it, I decided to rebrand EOS. And when I did, I went to a high end marketing firm. They wanted to interview my top seven clients. We called them the magnificent seven. They went out and literally met with all seven, came back to a big meeting that I sat in on and presented the results.

Gino:
And the owner of the marketing firm said, “It’s uncanny.” He said, “Seven out of seven, said the exact same number one result. They are getting a better quality of life.” And I was like, “Eh,” I shrugged it off because I was just obsessed about, “So I want to hear about how profit is up and they’re in more control of their business and the business is growing.” And certainly they were saying all those things, but the number one thing was very different. So that’s number one. Number two is when I brought partner, Don Tinney and we grew the business, he saw the life that I was living because I just naturally live this EOS Life. And so we call it the EOS Life, but for everyone listening out there, if you don’t know EOS, aka, it’s the ideal life.

Gino:
It’s you living your ideal life. What we are about to show you how to do in the next, however many minutes is we’re going to show you how to live your ideal life. And so my partner Don saw this in me and he wanted that life I was living that again. I just naturally do it, so I couldn’t explain it at the time, but he started to see his clients living it. He started living it and he started to teach it to our implementer community. And so as we grew this team of implementers, like I said, now 450 strong, he started to teach it, they started to love it. They started to see it and then he coined it as five points, okay? And so the EOS Life, you living your ideal life is defined by five things, doing what you love, with people you love, making a huge difference, being compensated appropriately with time for other passions.

Gino:
And so all of a sudden it started perpetuating the community and implementers started teaching each other clients and I was still shrugging it off. Still I’m ignoring this ancillary personal benefit. And then the third thing that happened is our first ever EOS conference I decided, “What the heck, I’m going to teach this because everybody was talking about it.” And so I decided to just teach how I lived this EOS Life in these five points and the audience blown away. It was so well received that I then did the same thing the next two years. And I finally put the finishing touches on the message by the third year and all of a sudden it was a thing. And then people had threatened to write the book. Well, what happened is when the pandemic hit, all of a sudden I wasn’t on a plane, I wasn’t in a hotel room 45 min… I had excess capacity and something just hit me and I said, “I got to write the EOS Life book.”

Gino:
And literally in three months, it poured out of me, literally flowed like water. In three months, I wrote this book, which is warp speed for anybody that knows book writing out there. My books typically take a year and a half to two years. So with that said, that’s how this was born and birthed. And it has been absolutely incredible. It just launched a month and a half ago. It launched extremely well. And so now all of a sudden, there’s this wonderful opportunity to show the world the life that is possible for people and how they can live their ideal life, which is what was indirectly happening. I like to lovingly say, we trick people into living their ideal life, but it was all very business focused. And now we’re showing people this end result so they know what’s possible as they start the process. And even if you don’t get involved in EOS, you can apply what we’re about to teach you right here on this podcast.

Brandon:
I love it. Well, why don’t we dive into those five points then? I mean, I think that’s great though, doing what you love, with people you love, making a huge difference, being compensated appropriately and with time for their passions. I think everyone listening right now is nodding their head going, “Well, yeah, that sounds great. But that kind of sounds like that’s the ideal life that maybe I’ll get one I’m retired or something,” but EOS can allow us to do it now. So why don’t we start with the first one, doing what you love. What do you mean by that one?

Gino:
You bet. And so as we go into this again, I want to repeat, you do not have to run on EOS to do this. So what I’m going to do is I share each one of these five. I’m going to start with a question that’s going to make you think, and then I’m going to share the tool that helps you accomplish it, and then you’ll get to work on moving the needle so that’ll make more sense as we get into it. So that’s the first point. The second point is, I first need to break through a psychological barrier that 63% of your audience is facing. And I’m making up that percentage, but it’s probably not too far off. And that is just like you just said, Brandon, when somebody hears this, they think, “Oh yeah, right.” Or maybe, “When I retire,” but the reality of it is people don’t feel they deserve it.

Gino:
And so when I speak on this and I look at the faces in the audience, 63%, they look sad, they feel guilty, they feel like they’re being selfish. I want to break through those barriers because what I always like to start by saying is you deserve it. You deserve it, you deserve it. And so Brandon, you are living it, you get it. And it’s heartbreaking to think of the people that they don’t deserve to live the life you are living and I’m living. And hopefully David is living and tens of thousands of other people are living who are EOS clients. And so taking them one at a time doing what you love, here’s how it works. Like I said, I want to start with a question to get you thinking, then I want to give you the exact tool that’s going to help you get there and then you just need to start moving the needle.

Brandon:
Awesome.

Gino:
So the question under doing what you love is this, what kind of work do you love to do? So you have to start by answering that question. The tool that we help you do that with is something called delegate and elevate. And every tool I share with you is free and downloadable and at the EOS worldwide website. But if you go to eoslife.com, you’ll find these tools. And so if you’re sitting there listening, ideally with something to write on and with, I would urge you to kind of cut a piece of paper in four quarters so there’s like four quadrants on a sheet in front of you. And this is called delegate and elevate. It’s a tool I created many, many ago. And in the upper right hand… Well, let’s do it in reverse. In the bottom right hand quadrant, if you’ll write the words, “Don’t like,” and, “Not good.” So this is where everything goes that you don’t like to do and you’re not good at doing.

Gino:
Bottom left hand quadrant, if you will write, “Don’t like, good.” So in other words, you don’t like doing it but you’re good at doing it, upper right hand quadrant if you’ll write, “Like and good,” these are the things that you like to do and you’re good at doing them, not such a bad place to live. And the upper left hand quadrant, if you’ll write, “Love and great,” these are things that you love to do, and you are great at doing. The way the exercise works in the tool is you start by listing everything you do all day, every day in work. So start with work, work focus. And so you’re going to create this laundry list of 20, 30, 40 things. Then you take the laundry list and you be very honest with yourself and put them in the appropriate quadrant. And so everything you don’t like to do, not good at you put it in the bottom right. Everything you don’t like to do, but you’re good at, that’s most people’s personal hell, you put that in the bottom left.

Gino:
Everything you like to do and you’re good at, again not such a bad place, you put that in the upper right. And then everything you love to do and you’re great at you put that in the upper left, it’s only going to be two, three, maybe four things. And so Brandon, if you think about your life, you’re living 80% plus of your life in that upper left hand quadrant, that’s where we’re trying to get the world. That’s where I’m trying to get the world, that’s where we get our clients.

Gino:
And so, but first it’s just an awareness exercise. And then all you simply do when it’s clear is once a quarter, you delegate and elevate. You delegate one thing from the bottom two quadrants, so you’re elevating yourself to the top two quadrants. You can certainly move faster than that. But for almost 30 years, I have delegated one thing per quarter and I am living in heaven. In other words, I do what I love every day to a point where I literally sold EOS worldwide three and a half years ago, because that was my next delegation. It was too much of a distraction for me, it was consuming too much energy. I needed to delegate it so I could elevate myself to put more energy and creativity to the other things that I wanted to create.

Gino:
And so just simply delegate one thing per quarter and 10 years from now, maybe five years from now, who knows maybe two years from now, but the idea is just keep moving the needle, you will find yourself doing more and more of the stuff you love, less and less of the stuff you don’t love. And that’s how it works.

Brandon:
I love that you brought up that this is an awareness exercise, right? Because most people live life in the backseat of their car while somebody else is driving them around, right? But as soon as you’re aware, “Oh, this what I do, this is what I like to do, this is what I love to do. This is what I’m awesome at doing and this is what I don’t like doing.” As soon as you’re aware of those things, you can start making changes. This doesn’t mean tomorrow you’re going to go quit your job or quit your business or sell your business, whatever. But just being aware of it, now you can start moving toward the destination, right? It’s like the old famous Alice in Wonderland quote about the Cheshire cat saying like, “Which way do you want to go?” And Alice’s like, “I don’t know.” And he’s like, “Well, it doesn’t matter then.” And most people, they don’t know where they want to go. They don’t know what they like and don’t like.

Gino:
Yeah. And so watch this. Let’s all of a sudden add the icing on the cake. So awareness is what we’re talking about. Let’s pretend you do that exercise. Please do it out there. And you fill it, and now you’re looking at your delegate and elevate all filled out. Now take it one step further and of a 100% of your working time, what percentage are you spending in each quadrant? And so worst case, if you see it’s 80% in the bottom, 15% in the upper right, 5% doing what you love and you’re great, how is that? Your soul won’t let you not move the needle in the next year. In other words, some force bigger than you is going to change that percentage because who the hell wants to spend 80% of their life doing stuff they don’t like to do? None of us. And so all of a sudden you start to take control, like you said, and move that needle just through awareness.

Brandon:
Yeah. Yeah. Just being aware of it naturally is going to make you go. David, question for you. David, what’s something that you absolutely loved as a real estate agent? We’ll go business, real estate agent business. What’s something you absolutely love to do and you’re really, really good at it? Like what’s that thing that you should be doing?

David:
I love hearing the client come to me with their resources. “I have equity in these properties, I have this much debt. My current house has PMI. My interest rate is this. My property taxes are that, I have HOA,” and seeing how we can move them out of an inefficient property and more efficient one. So I really like hearing, “Okay, your house has $500,000 in equity, we can actually sell it, get rid of your PMI, lower your interest rate, get you out of that HOA, get you closer to work, get you a house that’s much more expensive and nicer, but your payment’s only going to go up 150 bucks. And then instead of putting the full $500,000 down, let’s pay off all your high interest rate debt, wipe that out. Now your overall monthly balance is actually cheaper that you got a better house, closer to work, you’re paying less in gas.”

David:
I like seeing how all those pieces fit together, but then when it comes time to actually having the conversations with the client every single day about like, “Hey, stay on course, we got this. It’s going to be difficult,” and listening to all of their fears. That type of thing will tend to drain me. So I was always in this like, “Stop start thing,” where I’d get all excited and we had this plan and then I’d go to execute it and I would start to fill my energy draining, just like what Gino said.

Gino:
Yeah. And then to just humor me for a minute. So I can not help but all of a sudden jump on that and say, all right, so now what’s in the bottom half, right? The stuff you don’t like to do. And what’s in the top, half the stuff you love to do. So why on earth would you not hire someone that is great at the follow up? A ridiculous, highly analytical, highly detailed follow through project manager that is an incredible relationship person. And at the end of that first meeting with your client you are saying, “Now, what I want you to know is as we part ways Jim or Sally is going to be following up with you and staying all over this.” So in other words, what an opportunity for you to delegate away the stuff you don’t love to do so that you can go do another one of those meetings that you love so much?

Gino:
But what most of the world would say is, “Oh, but that’s so hard to do.” Then my answer is all right, then you’re going to of stay in your own personal hell of 50% of the time, or because then do the math, imagine how much more money you’re going to make if you stay, spend all your time up there and have other people doing the execution. Anyway, I can’t help, but jump on that example. But any example, somebody gives me, I’m going to jump all over the opportunity for you to spend more time in the upper left hand quadrant.

David:
Well, as a testament to what you’re saying Gino, that’s what I did over the last sort of like five years from when I started [crosstalk 00:32:08]. It was a skill that I had to build to learn how to manage people, how to train them, what a good employee looked like. I just didn’t know what that was. And like many things in life it kind of takes you a while to get sort of that like off the runway. But once I figured out what the right people look like and how to work with them, I went from being one of the top agents in my area to one of the top agents in Keller Williams.

David:
We’re in the top 25 of the biggest brokerage in the world now and it was based on exactly what you said. And I think what was crazy for me was when I realized that the stuff that’s in my bottom right quadrant or my bottom left quadrant is in the top left of the people that I was hiring. Like they [crosstalk 00:32:45] were wandering the earth hoping to find a person like me that could bring them what they wanted.

Gino:
And I have to jump on that because that’s the other thing that happens is somebody thinks, “Oh my God, who wants to do all that crappy stuff that I don’t like to do?” Oh my God, there’s like 10,000 people you could throw a rock to within you. That’s what they love to do. We all have different skill sets.

David:
Yeah. That’s exactly right [crosstalk 00:33:09]. So now I’ve sort of like moved, like branded into much more of a visionary than an integrator role where now I look at it like it’s my job to create an ecosystem and then find the right people to participate in that ecosystem. And I think that kind of ties into what you’re saying about doing what you love with people that you love. I get very excited about this concept in my mind of creating an ecosystem where you have synergies between how all these places work and finding real estate agents that aren’t getting the training they need, or they’re not in the right environment and they’re not able to use their skills. And when I bring them in and I see them flourish, it’s like when you see a professional sports team and you have a player that just kind of like bounced around the league and never find their home and then they get on this team and boom, they play incredible. That is really, really exciting now. So I’ve sort of shifted my focus in business to looking for those resources, like underutilized players, much like how an investor looks for a property that’s they can buy for less than what it’s worth.

David:
I’m sort of looking now for people that I can use in a way that is better than what they were getting somewhere else.

Brandon:
Well, on that note, maybe that’s a good transition then to talk about that’s what doing what we love. The second one was with people you love. So let’s talk about that point.

Gino:
Yeah, for sure. And so again, I’ll always start with a question and then I’ll share the tools. So now we’re talking about with people you love. And so the question is who are the people you love to work with, okay? And so I urge you to spend some time thinking about that. The tool that we use to help you get there is something called a people analyzer. Sounds horribly cold, but it’s incredibly powerful, probably one of the top five tools in the EOS process. And so the way that people analyzer works. And so if you imagine an organization, let’s say that has 100 people. One of the things we do very early on in the process with our clients is we have them people analyze everyone. And what the people analyzer does is help you understand that there’s two criteria for all people in your organization that you work with that helps you determine if they are the right people in the right seats.

Gino:
And so the first is that they have your core values. And so you must discover your core values. If you don’t know how, I share how in traction, but you can also buy these wonderful core value cards by think2perform in 15 minutes, you’ll discover your core values. But for a company, learn how to do it through traction, that’s core values, right? Seat means something I created called GWC Get it, Want it, Capacity. So they’ve got to get it, want it and have the capacity to do the job, the seat that they’re sitting in for you. And then there’s a minimum standard. So I won’t go into a great deal on fully teaching the people analyzer because that’s all in Traction, that’s on the website. Go take a look at it. But the point is this, if you think about those 100 people, your job is to make sure every single one of those 100 people are the right people, they have your core values and they are in the right seat.

Gino:
The job they’re doing for the organization, they get that job, they want that job and they have the capacity to do that job. And anyone that doesn’t, you need to help them go somewhere else where it does fit their core values and they get, want and have the capacity to do because they don’t in your organization. And you can do that with compassion, whatever, bottom line is, if you’ve got 80 out of 100, that are the right people in the right seats, you got 20 to move out of your organization. But let’s pretend that we’ve done that for you. All of a sudden, boom, the company is at least twice as productive because all of the cultural darkness is gone. You have a thriving culture. Now, all of a sudden in a whole bunch of people, high fiving, thriving, but more importantly to the point we’re talking about, you love working with these people because they’re highly productive and you’re like-minded.

Gino:
Your core values align, you think alike, you act alike, you operate alike. So from there though, what I urge and teach in this book, because once you master that, then I push you to what I call, expand the circle. Because then I want you to think about how about your customers and your clients aligning with your core values? Oh my God, what a world that is. And how about your vendors and suppliers aligning with your core values? Oh my goodness. And then the aha wow, wow icing on the cake, how about your friends and family? Really hard to fire family members, but there are ways to do it. I teach it in the book, but imagine in every aspect of your life, you’re surrounded by people, everyone you bump into and spend time with aligns with your core values. Life is really good. And I will tell you that that is very, very possible.

David:
I’m curious Gino and Brandon, I want to ask both of you before we move on to the next pillar there, how much of the frustration that people feel in life or just the overall negativity can be tied back to, you’re not on the same frequency with the people that you’re working with, either in the company or a goal that you have, or even maybe your personal life? You’re on very different frequencies, resonating in different levels and that’s causing conflict.

Gino:
You’re asking me for a percentage it’s very high. Let’s pretend the average human being interacts with the same or roughly 10 to 15 people every week, whatever that is. Brother, sister, mom, dad, spouse, kids, coworkers, whatever it is that. So if 15 out of 15 are all core value aligned people, oh my God, you’re pretty happy dude. But if 14 out of 15 aren’t, oh, your energy is zapped, you’re miserable. Because again, you become the five people you surround yourself with the most. So I’m giving you two contrasts there, but I would suggest the average person, oh my God, it is a very high and sad percentage.

David:
Yeah. I think when Brandon and I get together, we are on that same frequency. And it seems like work gets done so fast. Like if he and I sit down together for two hours, we can probably get two weeks worth of work done compared to other people. And it doesn’t feel like work. It’s always fun-

Brandon:
Yeah, fun.

David:
… and it’s energizing. And when we get done, we’re in a better mood than what we started. And once you’ve tasted that you are very aware when you try to do the same thing with somebody and it’s not like that.

Gino:
Yeah, and when I’m doing the talk, the homework is I always ask everybody to do one action going out of here, around each one of the points. And on this one I say, “You have an appointment scheduled with somebody next week, that you’re going to leave that meeting after an hour drained, depressed, exhausted, cancel the effing meeting, go out of here, cancel that meeting right now and replace it with somebody who fills you up when you spend time together.” And that’s the gauge. When you spend an hour with somebody, do you feel uplifted, energized, positive, better, or do you feel less than, insecure, energy drained? So it’s just listen to your body man, your body will tell you exactly who are the right people for you.

David:
That’s so good, man. That’s so good. I’m thinking back like this sounds stupid now that I’m going to say it. But I used to think, I had to decide between people who I really liked and people who were like right for the job, like they had the skillset and that I could not get both. I just assumed that I wouldn’t be able to get both. And I mean, for a decade of my life, it was one of the two. And so I was always either drained or irritated with almost everybody around me, and everybody I worked with. And it’s a terrible spot to be. And I don’t know what it was a few years ago. Maybe it was even reading Traction. I was like, “Wait, what if I just made those non-negotiable? What if I was like, “No, you have to 100% fit with the culture and with my energy level and you have to be the best person at that job and if I can’t find you, I keep looking.”

David:
I usually just hire for convenience, because they’re like, “Oh, they were there, they’re in front of me. That would be easy,” but it just drained me. And it wasn’t till I figured that out and then built the team that I have today. I’ve got, I don’t know, a dozen and a half or so employees now and every single person I’m like, “This is ama….” We do all hang out after work. I mean, we do hang out after work, we hang out with our families, get together, we vacation together. But they’re also the best at what they do. It’s phenomenal.

Gino:
Yeah. And if I can jump on that, that’s the exact point. So that’s what we saw happening with our clients is they would kind of clean house in their companies and they realized after they made a couple, 1, 2, 3, 4 tough changes and all of a sudden they were happier and these people were better to be around, they’re like, “Wow, maybe I can do this in my life.” And so you just naturally realize you can start upgrading everyone in your life and you can call that selfish, you can call that whatever you want, but listen, man, you want to walk through life energized and uplifted or miserable and depressed? And my decision is easy.

David:
Yeah. I love it, man. All right, let’s move on. Number three, making a huge difference.

Gino:
Yeah. So making a huge difference. Well I always start here. The question I want you to ponder is how do you make a difference? Because we all do to a certain extent, but the tool we use to help you make a difference is something called the VTO. VTO for short, it’s the Vision Traction Organizer. And it’s a planning tool and we help leadership team all get on the same page with answering eight questions about the business. “What are our core values? What’s our core focus. What’s our 10 year target, marketing strategy, three year picture?” With that, they create clarity around their vision, but also clarity around the impact they’re going to have on the world. And then from there, that’s the impact and the difference the company’s making. And then departmentally, you can make a difference on your people. You can make a difference on your customers.

Gino:
And so the idea is to ponder, “How am I making a difference?” And it’s so possible. And then you can start to look outside in your personal life. Are there charitable organizations you can get involved in? Are there family things, whatever it is, just start to think about how you want to make a difference, but it all starts with that VTO because that’s the ultimate tool to help you understand how your company is making a difference. And then again, start to expand those circles in all of the wonderful places. And then what I always like to say to a leader, who’s running a department, who’s scratching their head thinking about, “How do I make a difference? I don’t think I make a difference.”

Gino:
There’s this great quote I always like to share by Simon Banks that says, “You are a leader when you produce a leader who produces a leader.” And so if nothing else, if you’re a leader, you have an opportunity to literally leave such a legacy on the world. Because if you will teach somebody to be a great leader, like you are, who will then someday teach someone to be a great leader that’s when you ultimately get to check the box that you’re a great leader, but imagine the impact that you will have, but there’s so many ways that we can make a difference. So I would start by just asking the question, “How do I make a difference?”

David:
I love that. I love for several reasons what you’re talking about. The first is, there’s always a selfish component that wants to say, “Hey, if I can train someone to do the parts of the job that I don’t like, great for me.” And then that person maybe ends up dealing with no opportunity. They’re not building up skills where they can actually further themselves, they’re just functioning, like the lymph node of your business. Like, “Hey, I got a personal assistant. They’re going to go take care of all the stuff I don’t want to do.” Well, that’s good for you, but now that person doesn’t really have an opportunity to grow in life. But if you are teaching your personal assistant how to leverage off the stuff that they are doing onto someone else, it forces me to build that person’s character. Now I’m invested in that human being.

David:
I’m looking at areas where they’re lacking in confidence or character flaws or places they have doubt, and I have to pour into and invest in that human being to build them into a leader. And that’s one of the things that I’ve noticed once I’ve started on this business journey is there’s a practical component of developing someone, teaching them the skills of the job. And then there’s a personal component, which is kind of like teaching them the skills of being a better human being, having more conviction when they speak solving problems, looking at things several steps ahead. And what you’re describing sort of creates a… I don’t know what the right word would be, just like this pattern where you can’t get away with just leveraging off the stuff you don’t like and letting some poor or person have to handle that. You’re actually like almost treating them like your child, you’re raising them up to be able to continue the legacy that you have and that brings a ton of value within the business.

Gino:
Yeah, let me piggyback on that because it’s not always about a leader helping a leader become a leader, it’s about anyone that reports to you. Imagine this opportunity if you get what we’re talking about and how to live your ideal life through these five points to help everyone that reports to you move the needle a little closer to doing what they love, with people they love, and making a difference and getting compensated better, and living their passions. I mean, holy cow, you want to talk about making a difference? So just do that. I mean, that’s our dream is that every employee in every company is living their ideal life and it’s so possible.

David:
Love that.

Brandon:
Yeah. That’s cool. There’s a book. I honestly have not read it yet though, but it’s on my list, I ordered it. It’s called The Dream Manager, I think, but a friend told me to get in.

Gino:
Oh yeah.

David:
Yeah.

Brandon:
He said the whole thing is about like a great manager, like looks at their employee’s dream. Like, “What do you want out of life not just out of work? What do you want out of life? How can I help you get that, let’s set goals for your life.” And like that just builds so much loyalty, that concept.

Gino:
Yeah. And just for the record, that book is by Matthew Kelly and where that program was created was inside of a cleaning company with hundreds of $12 an hour cleaners. I mean, so it’s not like they were doing this in some fifth avenue, financial firm where everybody’s making a million bucks. So they incorporated the dream manager process you can do it in any business. So it’s a great, great book.

Brandon:
What else is kind of neat about being in real estate, a lot of our listeners obviously are in real estate investing is that we have the opportunity to make a difference in multiple areas. We can create these amazing win-wins, I’ll give you an example. If you are own rental properties, there are so many bad landlords out there. I mean so many, right? You have the opportunity to be a good one to actually make a difference in the lives of your tenants, to give them a safe, affordable, good place to live, and then treat them with respect and don’t be a jerk to them. That can be a good mission. At the same time if you’re raising money like we do at Open Door Capital, I get to give my investors a good return on their money. My team, I get to develop skill sets and then to help them grow.

Brandon:
Me, I financially am going to make a lot of money someday when these things start selling, especially. So it’s like this win, win, win, win. And there’s no real losers when you do it right. There’s one thing I love about real estate investing, it’s just that you can make a difference in a lot of people’s lives without sacrificing anybody, which is cool.

Gino:
And that prompts two thoughts in your world. And that is number one, if you collectively have 500 tenants look to collectively their biggest frustration, whatever that might be, solve that, you just made a huge difference. Number two, you have those 500 people coming and going through a door every single day, is there an opportunity that you could put one thing at that door that brightens their day, even this much, you literally made a difference in 500 people’s lives, how that doesn’t alter the course of the universe in a little way, it’s impossible that it wouldn’t.

Brandon:
Well, we’re in process right now, putting these tiny libraries, we own a lot of mobile home parks. We’re going to put tiny libraries in every mobile home park and every apartment complex, these little libraries. And of course we’re in a stock, them with books that we think will help them, not just romance novels, but we’re going to put things like the EOS Life in there and put things like David and my real estate books so that people have not… Not everyone will take advantage of it, but if one person write a book that changed their life just a little bit, like that’s-

David:
That’s really good.

Brandon:
… that’s totally worth it. And what does that cost to build a little mini library and put it? It’s nothing compared to the difference it can make.

Gino:
Awesome, that is so great.

Brandon:
David, what you were going to say?

David:
I was just going to say, this is one of the elements of capitalism, that when you get deeper into this, it causes you to fall in love with it. It’s not the greed of, “I want more, I always want more.” It’s that it forces you to develop an altruistic perspective on life and approach would be a better word that I have to develop the people around me if I want to have more. And if they want to have more, they have to develop the people around them. It’s sort of like when you look at Gracie jujitsu, when they came over here, if that was going to spread, they had to get instructors that were masters at it that then also had high characters so people would trust them when they showed up and got in a fight without punches. If you had a bunch of wild, crazy felons running around breaking people’s arms, you wouldn’t have had people that were showing up to class.

David:
And so they had to put a very high standard on the character of the person that was also teaching these techniques. And I think that’s like a great example of when it’s done right. You get the best of both worlds. You get people helping people and everybody benefits. And so for those that are sort of just getting into the world of entrepreneurship or real estate investing, this is why it’s addicting and people keep talking about it. It’s not so much the money. At a certain point, the money loses its value. It creates freedom, you can have what you want. You don’t think about what things cost anymore, but you never get over that, watching a person develop and flourish and knowing that you have to stay on top of that game, if you want the company to keep growing.

Brandon:
All right. Well, speaking of compensation, number four was being compensated appropriately.

Gino:
Yeah. I’m wondering if, if David is a genius because he keeps giving us the perfect segue-

Brandon:
I know.

Gino:
… into each one. I don’t know if he’s doing that on purpose, but well done my friend.

Brandon:
I’ll tell you, David is in his upper left quadrant. Is that like the love it and good at it. David is in his zone right now. He’s killing it, but anyway.

Gino:
That is awesome. So number four is being compensated appropriately. And so again, the question here to ponder is how are you adding value for people? And so if you’re complaining, because you’re not making enough money, there’s a simple equation. There’s a simple route to that, and that is just simply, you are not adding enough value for people in your life. And Steve Martin has a great quote, “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.” I just love that.

David:
Love it.

Gino:
But the tool here, we’ve already talked about. So here’s the beauty, the tool here for how you earn more money is delegate and elevate. Simply put, if you shift that percentage. So let’s say using the example from earlier 80% of your time is spent in the bottom two quadrants, which is misery and 15 and 5 up top for a total of 20%.

Gino:
If you shift that to 80% of your time in the top two and 20% in the bottom two, it would be almost impossible for you not to be making more money, but let me explain more. So just, I need everybody out there to understand that basic premise that the more you move to the top two quadrants, most importantly, toward the top left, you will make more money because you’re adding more value in the world. But I want to add a couple more things to that because I learned this from one of my mentors in my 20s, and he said, “Never do $25 an hour work.” And so what’s important in this conversation, assuming you want to make six figures or above or assuming you’re making six figures or above, you are insane to do $25 an hour work, unless you love it, and most of it you don’t love.

Gino:
And so the point is, if you catch yourself doing $25 an hour work, you’ve got to treat it like the plague. Somebody’s got to start doing that stuff for you. You need to pay them $25 to do that work so that you can be doing $100 an hour work, $500 an hour work, $1,000 work. So David, when you sit with that client and you have that conversation, that’s worth five grand easily and easily. And I’m sure it’s more. And so with that, you’ve got to stay away from $25 an hour work and do that high level work.

Gino:
Last point and the way it was best described to me is cutting my lawn, okay? I hate cutting my lawn. If you out there love cutting your lawn, you get energy, it’s uplifting, you’re satisfied by cutting your lawn, please don’t ever stop. I hate it. And so that one hour to cut my lawn and I thank God I learned this at 25 years old, I can pay somebody 25 bucks to do that, that frees up an hour for me to go sell something and make a few grand. So it’s the easiest trade off on the planet. Well, you can apply that to business because what I do in life, what I do in my business, I just show up for a living.

Gino:
The stage is always set for me because there are other people doing all the work so that I can just show up. I just showed up for this podcast. There were a whole bunch of people talking and working behind the scenes. I didn’t schedule this, I didn’t talk to you guys, I didn’t filter this, I didn’t send you the pre stuff. That’s all $25 an hour work. Why on earth would I do that? So hopefully that makes sense.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s that makes perfect sense. That’s that’s been a huge, the last few years of my life, big turning point as well. The more I realized, well, I don’t need to do that work. Even if it’s $100 an hour, I’m like, “Well, if I hired someone to do that job, now I can focus on the job that’s $1000 or 10,000.” People are already listening and going, “Well, that’s ridiculous. You can’t do $10,000 hour work.”

Brandon:
Of course you can. I mean, imagine if you spent 12 hours or still say 10 hours analyzing real estate deals and then the really good deals that you spent a couple hours finding out how to get the leads coming in and then one of those worked out and over the course of your life, you made 100 grand on that thing and you put 10 hours of work into it to actually acquire that property. Well, there’s $10,000 an hour. So-

Gino:
Well I’ll turn into a million dollar an hour work because let pretend you’ve got a billion dollars to invest and you are really freaking good at vetting deals, okay? Let’s just pretend you’re one of the greatest people on the planet at vetting deals. Well, I’m guessing you guys know the business better than I do, but somebody who’s that good and probably four hours can vet a deal and decide to make the investment. So just follow me on this for a second. And so maybe that’s all you’re doing is you’re looking at 200 deals a year. You invest your $400 in each deal, you decide to deploy that capital.

Gino:
Well, I’m quite certain that ROI, I’m saying a million dollars an hour, but I promise you that’s at least $10,000 an hour. And then the other thing is-

Brandon:
… huge.

Gino:
… we’ve got speakers out there that get $100,000 to speak for one hour and they’re doing that all day every day. So I promise you, you can make $10,000 an hour, let alone $100,000. And again, there are people out there making a million dollars an hour.

Brandon:
It’s so true. In my own life sometimes things I guess I’ll call them limited beliefs, I’ve put in there. And number one, I would do things like my own work on my rental properties. And I would tell myself I was doing it because I liked it. Because the truth is I did. I mean, I enjoy taking down a wall, I enjoy painting. I mean, it’s a fine activity, right? But the real truth was that I liked it, I didn’t love it. And I was doing it because I didn’t want to do the harder work of finding somebody to do it for me.

Brandon:
But if somebody were to just show up while I’m in the middle of painting and be like, “Hey, you want to go to the arcade and go play and I’ll finish this wall for you?” I’d be like, “Yeah, that sounds great.” And so they just kind of revealed that it was my own not wanting to elevate myself or not believing I could elevate myself that kept me at that. And then I would give myself an excuse and I said that I liked it. So I hear people constantly say, “Well, yeah, but I like doing my own work.” “Hmm, do you, or is that an excuse?” I guess that’s where I fired back at people.

Gino:
Yeah. But Brandon so important on that. So if somebody says to me, “I’m only making 90 grand a year and I want to make more.” And then they say to me, “But I like doing my own work.” Then I say, “Then you’re only going to make 90 grand for the rest of life.”

Brandon:
There you go.

Gino:
Please understand, if you like doing your own work, stop bitching about how much money you’re making, because that’s how much money you’re going to make for the rest of your life if you’re going to keep doing your own work. The only way you can go to the next level is something has to shift, something has to change. And one of the things is you got to stop doing $25 an hour work.

David:
Everybody’s got to hear that. And I will also apply what you just said, Gino to the W2 world, where those of us that are entrepreneurs understand there’s a spectrum of risk and reward, okay? The higher, the risk, the higher the reward and the lower the risk, the lower the reward. But most of us come out of a W2 background where there’s zero risk. If I work at Taco Bell and nobody walks in, it doesn’t matter to me, I get paid the same. I don’t have to learn marketing, I don’t have to give great service. In fact, what happens is you end up standing at the register, irritated that you have to touch a screen that’s doing all the work. If you actually think about the whole enterprise of a Taco Bell, the human being that stands at lets you, you come up and say, “I want a burrito,” and pushes the button that says, “Burrito,” is the least valuable part of the whole process.

David:
But we just start to like subconsciously assume that I shouldn’t ever have risks. So when people get really frustrated with their W2 job and like you were saying, “I only make this money. There’s all these ceilings on me, they don’t care about me.” Well, the solution is you have to start to take on a little more risk. You have to get away from that security that is inherent with that job. And if they don’t do what you just said, you have to understand, you got to do something different. You got to get comfortable with the fact that in order to go higher, to get rid of a ceiling, you also lose the floor. You can fall, you can fail, it can be harder.

David:
You got to make peace with that if you ever want to actually start to elevate yourself. I hear people complain all the time, “I’m an accountant and I’m only making 110 grand a year and they don’t pay me enough for what I do.” But there’s like 50 other people that would take your job if you don’t want it. You’re stuck there because you don’t want risk, you love security. And if you can break the security addiction, in my opinion, at least that’s when most of us operate at our best. When you don’t have a safety net, you pay the most attention. Can you speak a little, just to that mindset [crosstalk 00:58:53] from all the experience you’ve had from entrepreneurs over years?

Gino:
I would love to. It prompts three kind of big thoughts and I’m hoping I’ll remember them all, so you might have to re-ask the question. But the first thing I would say is I love how you’re talking about risk. And so the first thing we have to do though, with the person who’s not comfortable taking the risk, I wish I could impart upon them contentment, okay? So if at the end of the day, you’re making 40 grand, you’re a little frustrated, you want to make more, but you admit, “But I don’t want to take the risk to do the things I have to do to earn more,” then just make your 40 grand and build a life around that. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t blame us for making a million bucks a year. We took th risk, okay?

Gino:
And I hope you can swear on this, but so if you’re not willing to take the risk, then it’s okay. And so what’s maddening for me is government trying to rise the boats for everybody. Well, what happens is you can pay them 20 bucks an hour, 25 bucks an hour, give them all the money in the world, but the boat’s just going to keep rising. The people that take the risks and keep adding more value, we’re just going to make that much more money. I mean, you can keep trying to solve the problem all you want, be content, accept the fact. There’s nothing wrong with making 40 grand a year. And for us entrepreneurs, it’s borderline crazy what we do. We take a lot of risks. We kill ourselves for this and we’re rewarded for that, that’s point one.

Gino:
Point two, I love it. So it is about taking a risk and you have to decide how much risk you can take because David, going back to the example we used with you. If you want to stay in that sweet spot of just doing the initial meeting with clients and hand it off to somebody, you are taking a risk to pay somebody to hand it off to and to let go of that client because you run the risk of losing that client if your person screws up, you run the risk of paying that person and not getting return. It’s all risk, and it’s all relative.

Gino:
I don’t check my emails, I don’t schedule my appointments, I don’t do any fi… Everything is done for me while I’m taking a risk, my assistant checks and respond to all of my emails.

David:
It’s scary.

Gino:
I don’t know how much money, but it is worth the risk because it frees me up to stay in my sweet spot. And now I’m going to try and call on the third point. Hold on one second, because I lost it and I hope it’s going to come back to me. I think the first two were the most important.

David:
It had to do with the W2 mindset and people that just assume that risk shouldn’t be a part of this. They love the security of somebody else paying their checks, but then they complain when they’re not making as much money as the person that took the risk.

Gino:
Yeah. You know what? So I don’t think there is a third because I think it was all rolled into one and two because that’s, my wish is just be okay with it if you can’t take the risk, you’re not willing to, you’re not able. And at the same time you then need to decide what level of risk you’re going to be willing to take because the risk reward, they’re hand in hand. And so my dad taught me something when I was 19 years old. If you picture a glass tube and it’s in the shape of a horse shoe and it’s upright. And so one side says, “Risk,” one side says, “Reward.”

Gino:
If you pour liquid in the tube, it’s going to fill up both sides equally. And so the higher the risk, the higher the reward, and you just got to decide how big of a risk taker you are. And I have a lifetime of risking everything. And it’s crazy, it’s absolutely insane. And thank goodness I’ve been rewarded. I’ve been broke three times in my life, so it didn’t work really well three times, but I’m willing to take a huge risk. If you’re not it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.

David:
I love that. Just be content with what you have. You don’t have to see someone else doing better financially and say, “Oh, I must be doing something wrong. I want what they have.” You just might have a different demeanor, different goals in life maybe. Entrepreneurs, it’s all hands on deck when there’s a problem that can consume your life when something goes wrong in your business and it’s only you that’s going to save it, versus that 9:00-5:00 employee, man they just like show up and at five o’clock, if the world’s burning, they still get to get off work. They don’t have to deal with all of that. So I think there’s something to be said for that lifestyle if that’s what you’re into.

Gino:
Yeah. And I wish I knew what contentment felt like. I hear it’s nice, I have no kind comprehension of what it is.

Brandon:
Oh, that’s funny. You know we got to transition to the last point, but I’ll just say, like you mentioned there’s a lot of risk, but you’ve been rewarded for it. There’s one of my favorite quotes of all time. I think Mark Cuban said, “The great thing about entrepreneurship is you only have to be right once.” So you can fail and then you start over and then you can try something else and they could fail and you could start over, you could try something else, but being an entrepreneur, as long as you just keep doing that, you’re learning every time. And then one takes off, you sell it for $12 million and well, you’re set. You only have to be right that one time. And so I remind myself of that a lot as an entrepreneur that, “Yeah, things could go wrong. I mean, I hope they don’t,” and I try to do whatever I can not to make them that way, but yeah.

Gino:
Yeah. And you know what, and I remembered the third point and I’m going to share it-

Brandon:
Yeah sure.

Gino:
… I know we’re trying to move onto the fifth point, but this is it. It goes back to the question. The initial question I asked on this point, “How are you adding value for people?” And so for the W2, David, that was the thing that triggered me. If you’re making 40 grand working a 9:00-5:00 W2 job and frustrated with your situation, yes there’s risk involved, but there’s also just simply asking the question, “The 40 hours I’m working right now, how much value am I adding for people?” And that may be a light bulb moment because you realize if you invest more of your time in this area, adding more value to the people inside that business, you will see your compensation go up. And there’s not a lot of risk there and it goes back to that Steve Martin quote, “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.” I mean, you will get recognized if you provide a ton of value for people. So that was the third point I wanted to say.

Brandon:
Well I just want to expand on that because it’s like so many people work 9:00-5:00 jobs or like W2 jobs, right? And they complain that they’re not making enough money. And this applies for everyone, I don’t care if you’re working at Taco Bell. If you are the guy working at Taco Bell, and then you gain some skills that are higher than $12 an hour skills, you’re going to likely get recognized and then paid for that. Maybe you learn management skills, oh, now you’re a shift manager. Maybe you learn marketing, oh, now you’re going to run up Taco Bells marketing. And then maybe you get promoted a regional manager, because you’re gaining skills versus, “They should pay me more for what I’m doing now because it’s right or because I deserve it.” And that’s the thing, Gino. I mean, when I started the Biggerpocket, a lot of people don’t even know this, I didn’t come in as a co-founder of Biggerpockets.

Brandon:
I didn’t come in as the VP, I came in to help Josh edit blog posts on a part-time basis as just an independent contractor, making a few bucks to edit blog posts. And then we were like, “Hey, I think I could start a podcast.” So I learned everything about starting a podcast. And then me and Josh started the podcast. And because I took the risk to learn that skill outside of work, I wasn’t paid to learn how to podcast. And that led to the podcast which led to more. And so just people that are listening to this that have a W2 job, just know that you are not capped at where you’re at. And even if for some reason you have a boss that just won’t elevate you no matter what, great by adding those skills, you’ll go somewhere else and they will elevate you.

David:
Yes. And what’s cool about the culture we’re in now where not many people want to work hard, they just want to get paid to not work hard is it’s like being on a sports team where no one’s trying to get better, but you. You’re going to get all the playing time, they’re going to give you the ball then you’re going to get the raise because you’re doing better? This is the freaking time to give it your best to go all in to try it because there’s less competition. Imagine living in the 1800s or something, when everyone was fighting over a handful of jobs and you had to work 19 hour days just to stay level. You can hear the passion that you keep mentioning that phrase, “So good, they can’t ignore you.”

David:
There’s actually a book written by Cal Newport that is one of our favorite books. We talk about it all the time because it highlights this that if you take it upon yourself to be so good, they will pay you whatever you want. Don’t wait for someone to come and give you permission to be great.

Gino:
Yeah. And then I’ll share this other one, Napoleon Hill, I’m a huge fan of, Think and Grow Rich. “Those who do more than they are paid for will sooner or later be willingly paid for more than they do.” Mm.

Brandon:
Yeah. It’s really, really good. It’s so true.

David:
Yeah. If you see a player on a sports team that’s playing really well and that team just doesn’t want to pay him, well then some other team will. That’s the other [crosstalk 01:07:35]. If you hit your ceiling at Taco Bell, well Burger King’s going to pay, or some other companies. Like, “What? You know how to manage people. I’m running a real estate team and I need a manager and you already have those skills,” and all of a sudden, boom, you triple your income in one move. It’s that developing yourself that’s so… yeah awesome man.

Brandon:
All right. So once you are so good they can’t ignore you, one of the benefits of that is gives… Watch this transition, right? It’s going to be as good as David’s. Once you’re so good they can’t ignore you, and you’re doing these higher dollar power tasks, you can actually then afford to take more time off to pursue other passions. So that leads us to number five. Gino number five was you have time for other passions. Let’s talk through that.

Gino:
Yes.

Brandon:
How was that? Was that David Green worthy? Was that close?

Gino:
Yes.

Brandon:
That all right [crosstalk 01:08:21]?

Gino:
Well you know what? I’m sorry, Brandon, but David does it a little bit better than you.

Brandon:
Oh, I know. That’s-

Gino:
It’s in his upper left hand quadrant, it’s only in your upper right hand quadrant, Brandon. So…

Brandon:
… This is the story of my life. David does it a little better than me. This comes up often. All right. Tell us about this.

Gino:
So the question to ponder here is what are your passions outside of work? And so the tool that we teach is called EOS Time Management. And it’s basically this, your job is to decide many hours a week. Are you going to devote to your work? Because you cannot work 24/7, 7 days a week, eventually you will burn out. And so there is a formula all the way down to Tim Ferris’ four hour work week you get to choose. And so using me as the example, I’m a 55 hour a week guy. That’s the magic number that I can be productive, fulfilled, remain a family man, spend time with friends. So that’s my number. And there are some people, I’ve got clients, everyone in the company works 35 hours a week. And I’ve got clients, everyone works 80 hours a week. There’s no bad answer.

Gino:
You just have to decide you are 100% and then protect it with your life. And then just keep delegating and elevating within that 100% and never let it get away from you. And so now that you’ve created that you now have free time and you’ve got to take time off, you’ve got to recharge your batteries, you’ve got to rejuvenate because it will make you better. And so then you’ve got to decide what are the things that make you happy, that fill you up, that gets your energy? So it could be as simple as golfing or jogging or bike riding or traveling or going to the movies or reading books. It’s not these incredible, crazy race car driving, hella skiing, surfboarding. I mean, it doesn’t have to be life risking stuff. It’s simple stuff. And so again, for me, love to go for a bike ride, love to go for a walk with my wife, we love to go to the movies together, we love to travel together. It’s simple, simple, simple stuff.

Gino:
I love to sit and read a book quietly for two or three hours. Those are my passions. And so you just got to figure out the things that when you turn off the world, what are the things that you really enjoy doing outside of work so that you can recharge your batteries?

Brandon:
So another way of saying this is to tie the last two points together, you have to stop doing $25 an hour work so you can do $0 per hour work, right? You don’t get paid to go do jujitsu or to go play tennis or go read a book. But that’s why we do that high dollar power tasks.

Gino:
Exactly, right. And you can kind of cross that discipline over in your personal life. To my point about cutting my lawn, so now I’ve got this precious time that I take off to be with my family and my friends and myself while I sure the hell am not going to give up an hour of that to cut my lawn, I’m going to pay somebody 25 bucks because that’s one more hour I can spend with family, friends or myself and be better for it. It’s simple math.

Brandon:
Yeah. That’s really good. You mentioned in the book and I wrote down this to ask you about the one month sabbatical challenge. What’s that? Tell us about that.

Gino:
Well, so that’s just something that evolved as well. And so for 21 years running now, I have taken the month of August off every year. And so it’s a discipline I learned when my daughter was born. I did it when I was 24 years old and then fully committed to it when I turned 32, I think it was. And so what I find is I don’t go anywhere. So the idea is I just don’t work for a month. And it’s amazing how that time gets filled up with all the things you love to do. But what I notice is how it made me more creative, it recharged my batteries. I would literally take the month off going into the month, forgetting what I do for a living and hoping that when I come back, I’m still passionate about it. And living by that example, many of our clients have now done the same thing.

Gino:
And so we put some stories in the book about it and we realized what a great opportunity just issue a challenge to the world. First and foremost to entrepreneurs and then hopefully everybody, but just take a month off. There are so many ancillary benefits. One of the biggies is seeing if your business can run without you. That’s the whole reason you own a business, but there’s so many other ancillary benefits. And so we’re just issuing the challenge because that’s going to motivate these very competitive people that like to win, to just try it and we think we’ll help transform another million lives just by getting them to do that.

Brandon:
That’s so good, man. I just took off roughly five weeks. I had a conference at the end of it, but roughly five weeks off and it was just life changing. It was so good, everyday with family and just enjoying the time. And I’m like, “Why haven’t I been doing this for the past 10 years?” Like I had the ability. It’s not like I couldn’t have done it in the past. It just, I never made the choice. I never said, “I’m just going to do it. I’m just going to take the time off.”

Brandon:
I went to Hawaii for three months before moving here, but I worked every single day of it pretty much. Like, “Why did I do that? Why didn’t I just take the time off just to not work?” And also like you said, it reveals things like, for example, I have not really taken any episodes of the BiggerPockets Podcast in 10 years, like 10 years of doing this now until I went on this long vacation.

Brandon:
And now all a sudden David has been stepping up and everyone likes David more than me anyway now. So it’s like, now I can delegate and elevate. So I’m going to be taking an extended leave now coming up here shortly.

Gino:
That’s funny.

Brandon:
And the vacation is what made that a reality, I realized, “Oh, this show does just fine without me. That isn’t necessarily my upper left quadrant and I can delegate to David.” So thanks, David.

Gino:
That’s funny. I never thought about that, delegate to David.

Brandon:
Delegate to David banana. There we go. All right, man, this has been amazing. I know we got to get you out of here soon. We went even longer than I promised you we would do. So anything else you want to add about the book before we have a few more follow up questions, but any other final thoughts about the book?

Gino:
Yeah, so just to put a little exclamation point on everything go to eoslife.com for everything we to talked about, EOS Life, and I add a bonus mini book to this book called 10 Disciplines for Managing and Maximizing Your Energy. We don’t have time to get into that. I will tell you, that’s probably an hour long podcast all by itself. And so if you want to do that sometime in the future, I would be all for doing it. It is a brand new project, it is incredible. And so just 10 disciplines that will totally amplify your energy. It will help you manage it and maximize it. And so I’d be thrilled to talk to you about that someday in the future.

Brandon:
We’d love that. And as I was reading that, I was just nodding my head the whole time. It’s like, “Yep, yep.” Like everyone of the 10 I’m like, “Yes. Oh yes, yes, yes.” Like so good stuff in there. So yeah, we would definitely love that. And cool man. Well, let’s get over to the last segment of the show. It’s time for our…

Speaker 4:
Famous four.

Brandon:
The famous four is a part of the show we’ve been asking for all nine years now, ever year the same four questions. So we’re going to throw them at you right now. First question, is there a habit or trait in your life you’re currently working on trying to improve?

Gino:
Ooh, so I would say meditation is probably the biggie right now is just really mastering meditation. That’s very, very important. I describe it as I’m trying to get as close to my soul as possible. And so it’s definitely a journey. It definitely requires work and effort and every day I’m getting a little closer and, and doing it a little bit better, but I’ve certainly not mastered it.

Brandon:
Hmm, same. Have you read The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer? [crosstalk 01:15:59].

Gino:
Oh, you just hit me right in the soul now. So a year and a half ago, I started reading that and I have been studying that book with two other friends actually. I absolutely love it. That book is a game changer.

Brandon:
Yeah, totally. All right. Next question. This will be much less impressive than the answer you just gave. What is your favorite business book?

Gino:
Oh my goodness. Favorite business book. I’m torn between two. And so in EOS and the EOS process, we literally have every client read five books. So best business book. It’s so hard for me to say one. It’s a triple [crosstalk 01:16:40].

Brandon:
You can name a few if you want.

Gino:
Yeah, that’s good. So EMyth is a must for every new entrepreneur. Good to Great is a masterpiece. That book is over 20 years old and so not every business survives forever, but the business disciplines in that book are off the charts and then, Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, who is just one of the greatest thought leaders of our time, those are three must reads for any business owner.

Brandon:
Awesome. All right. Next question. What are some of your hobbies when you are taking that time away from work?

Gino:
Yeah, so I already shared those and again, I don’t know if I call them hobbies or what they are, but I love to travel and I travel with family and friends a whole variety of that. I love, like I said, bike riding, just simply going for walks with my wife, I love when I get time to read. They’re just really simple things. So no stamp collecting, no model building.

Brandon:
All right [crosstalk 01:17:51].

Gino:
In a bottle.

Brandon:
My last question, if you really could boil down all your advice and wisdom from years into this question, what separates successful entrepreneurs from those who give up fail or just never get started?

Gino:
Whoo, I’m going to try and put it in a nutshell, but this gets back to the book that I alluded to. This one I launched two years ago called Entrepreneurial Leap. And so that is a passion project of mine where I’m trying to do with that is help anyone who thinks they’re an entrepreneur, I’m trying to show them the life first by confirming whether or not they even are then a glimpse, then a path. And the point about confirm is you either have six essential traits that all entrepreneurs have or you don’t, okay? And so the failure rate is so high is because people that don’t have the traits are starting businesses and they shouldn’t. And so it’s not like I can say, “Do this and you’ll succeed more,” because what I’m saying to the 96% of the world that do not have these six essential traits, I am saying, “Don’t do this, please don’t do this. I’m saving you 10 years of sheer hell.”

Gino:
And then just as quickly on the other side of that, we have people in the world in all of the cracks and crevices of the world, okay? In the corporate world, prison systems, homeless, military, every career you can imagine, wealthy, poor, men, women, black, white, yellow, brown. So the 4% they’re everywhere. In other words, it does not care what you are. All balls of energy on this planet, 4% are entrepreneurs in the making.

Gino:
And so if you have those six essential traits, you take a simple assessment, you score 90 or higher, you have them, you were put on the face of this earth to be an entrepreneur. And the idea is that I’m trying to find, you show you the life you were born to live. And so that’s a lot. I tried to put it in a nutshell, but it’s too hard to put in [crosstalk 01:20:04].

Brandon:
That’s good, man. That’s powerful answer. I love it. All right, well, David.

David:
Last question of the day, where can people find out more about you?

Gino:
So I’ll give you a couple answers on that. So Ginowickman.com is the epicenter of everything that I do. Certainly this conversation was mostly focused on the EOS Life, which is eoslife.com. Entrepreneurial Leap is e-leap.com. And so again, it’s whatever kind of drew you in. And then there’s even the 10, it’s the number 10 disciplines.com and we’re about to launch something really cool there in 2022. So those are all the wonderful places, but Ginowickman.com is the epicenter of all that stuff and it will direct you where to go from there if you want to remember one and only one domain name.

Brandon:
Perfect. All right, man. Well, Gino, this has been phenomenal. I know, I feel like we can talk for 100 hours and not cover all the stuff you know and learn. And this has been phenomenal. So thank you.

Gino:
Yeah, you guys are awesome. This was a blast.

David:
Thanks Gino. You gave an incredible performance. This is one of the best shows we’ve done. I really appreciate that.

Gino:
Thank you.

David:
The humility that you have to continue sharing the things that you’ve learned with people, even when they’re not at the level of executing that you are just having that heart for the person trying to get it off the ground. Awesome that that is the case. So thank you very much-

Gino:
Thank you.

David:
… I’ll get us out of here. This is David Green for Brandon, delegate it to David Turner, signing off.

 

Watch the Episode Here

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why Gino created EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) for business owners
  • Whether or not you have the six essential traits of an entrepreneur 
  • The five points of living an ideal life (and why they’re closer than you think)
  • Dropping your $25/hour tasks and starting to focus on $1,000+/hour tasks 
  • Understanding that reward does not come without sufficient risk 
  • Why time off from work can fuel better ideas and help you enjoy life more
  • And So Much More!

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Books Mentioned in this Show:

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