I’m Quitting My Job at BiggerPockets—Here’s Why

I’m Quitting My Job at BiggerPockets—Here’s Why

6 min read
Craig Curelop

Craig Curelop (aka the FI Guy), is stationed in Denver, Colo., and is a real estate agent, investor, author, and employee of BiggerPockets. He is primarily known for taking a very aggressive approach toward achieving financial independence.

Experience
Starting with $90,000 in student loan debt and a negative $30,000 net worth in 2017, Craig used various tactics to make more, spend less, and invest the difference wisely to become financially independent 2.5 years later in 2019. In over 50 articles, Craig has written about all of these strategies and more on the BiggerPockets Blog.

Craig’s story has caught the attention of media outlets like The Denver Post and the BBC and many real estate/personal finance podcasts, including ChooseFI, Side Hustle Nation, the Best Ever Real Estate Podcast, not to mention a repeat guest on the BiggerPockets Real Estate (#252 and #350) and the BiggerPockets Money (#35 and #95) podcasts.

Craig has read hundreds of books, listened to thousands of podcasts, and talked to thousands of people in the real estate and personal finance community. With all of the knowledge gained, he was able to write a book called The House Hacking Strategy, which is the perfect blend of real estate and personal finance.

Over the past 2.5 years, he has done three house hacks, a flip in Jacksonville, Fla., and lent on a condo-conversion in Boston, Mass. He is now looking to step up his real estate game by doing BRRRRs in Denver and other areas.

Education
Craig earned a bachelor’s of science in Business Administration with a concentration on Finance and Management Information Systems while minoring in Economics at Northeastern University.

Accreditations
Real estate broker in Denver, Colo.

Follow
LinkedIn
Instagram @thefiguy

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Don’t be fooled by the title of this article. I don’t view this as “quitting my job,” I view it as “graduating.”

The time has come. After almost three fantastic years of being a BiggerPockets employee, it is time for me to move from employee to employer. I have been thinking about this decision for months; hell, I spent 10 uninterrupted days in Mexico and went on my first meditation retreat. The more and more I meditated on it, the clearer and clearer my decision got.

The current relationship between Craig the BiggerPockets employee and BiggerPockets the company is no longer beneficial.

In this article, I am going to explain what went into my decision both from BiggerPockets’ perspective and my personal perspective. If you are thinking that I will be bashing BiggerPockets in any way, you couldn’t be more wrong.

To this day, I am not sure there is a better company to work for or better people to surround yourself with if you are seeking financial independence through real estate investing.

While I realize most people won’t be affected much by my departure, that is not the underlying point of this article. The point of this article is that almost everyone who reads this wants to quit their job and either be financially independent or start their own business—whether it be real estate-related or not.

This post is not meant to be sentimental. It is to explain what went into my decision to “graduate” from my W-2, so that you too can determine when the time is right for you.

Related: 3 House Hacks in 3 Years & Now I’m Financially Free—Here’s Exactly How I Did It

Why My Employment at BiggerPockets Was No Longer Serving the Company

First, I would like to talk about it from BiggerPockets’ perspective.

Despite popular belief, BiggerPockets is not a real estate company. It is a technology company. BiggerPockets does not buy and sell real estate. It provides a platform and seemingly unlimited free resources for real estate investors to then go ahead and invest themselves.

I was hired at BiggerPockets to be the financial analyst in April 2017. At that time, BiggerPockets was much smaller, and the focus was less on finding the best possible accountant and more on finding someone who was proficient in accounting and super passionate about the brand. That is why they hired me.

I graduated with a degree in Finance—but only took two accounting classes. What’s the difference? In one sentence: finance people interpret financial statements, whereas accountants build them.

real estate team members

As time went on, BiggerPockets began to grow like a weed. It went from a mom-and-pop startup to a very legitimate business that needed an accountant who would be able to account for every penny the way a public company would. Given my background and experience, I was unable to do this at a level BiggerPockets demanded and deserved. For this reason, they hired an experienced CFO and controller, who could lead the finance department. They are doing a fantastic job.

Almost any other company at that point would have fired me. Not BiggerPockets though!

They saw my passion for the brand and how our goal of helping others reach financial independence through real estate aligned. We thought they could leverage this into another position that would provide positive results for me and for the company. That position was webinar producer.

After a few months of being the webinar producer, I began to realize that this position was also not for me. Why? Because it is more about getting people to attend webinars than it is about me personally teaching anyone about real estate. The former is neither my expertise nor my passion. While I get spurts of motivation, it is not sustainable.

Just like they did with the finance role, BiggerPockets offered to find a different position for me. As I brainstormed ways I could continue serving the company, the only thing I could see myself doing is producing the highest quality content possible for all of you to consume.

The entire reason why BiggerPockets is so amazing and competition is so slim is because they have top-level real estate investors who are willing to contribute this high quality content at no cost. This is the area that I enjoy and how I can provide the most value at BiggerPockets going forward—and I recognize I do not need to be on the payroll to do it.

Why My Employment at BiggerPockets Was No Longer Serving Me

Now you understand why my employment was no longer a good fit for BiggerPockets. And full transparency, I would be joking you to say there are absolutely no selfish reasons for my departure.

First and foremost, I do not see myself as someone who progresses up through any company. I am not one for rules, hierarchies, or sitting behind a computer all day. I do not want to become CFO, CEO, or chief webinar producer. It’s in my blood to be an entrepreneur, and entrepreneurs make horrible employees.

I want to be a real estate investor! And as I mentioned before, BiggerPockets as a company does not invest in real estate.

Over the course of my employment here, I have certainly practiced what BiggerPockets preaches. I made additional income through various side hustles and saved almost every penny I could.

I started off with Uber driving to help me save for my first house hack. Then, I took house hacking to a new extreme by sleeping on my couch behind a curtain while a revolving door of guests slept in my room. I rented my car on Turo, did some Airbnb arbitrage, and more—all of which served the purpose of helping me pay down $85,000 of student loans.

Related: How I Paid Off $85,000 in 16 Months

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Today, I am a real estate agent, who primarily focuses on helping house hackers find a property that will work for them in terms of profitability and comfortability. In the past few months, my agent business has erupted. It has gotten to the point where my W-2 job at BiggerPockets is getting in the way and is now one of my lowest dollar-per-hour tasks.

Once I realized this, my decision became very clear.

After three successful house hacks that cash flow fruitfully, I am now at the point where my real estate portfolio easily satisfies my living expenses. I am financially free, and my W-2 is no longer my “safety net.” My real estate portfolio is now that safety net.

This allows me to take the 40-plus hours I was spending on my W-2 and apply that energy to growing my real estate agent and investing business. This way, I’ll get even better at finding, analyzing, and negotiating the best deals for both me and my clients.

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

To sum up, BiggerPockets is an amazing company to work for. I am not exaggerating when I say that there has not been a single second that I did not enjoy being there. Heck, they just got on the list of top 50 companies to work for in Denver!

If you spent a day in the office, it would not take you long to understand why. Management is extremely fair; employees are smart and hard-working—yet fun as hell. To top it all off, their mission of helping others achieve financial independence through real estate investing aligns directly with mine.

How could there be a better place?

I am eternally grateful for BiggerPockets and how they took me from a semi-depressed venture capitalist to an incredibly happy real estate agent and investor. Three years ago, I was sitting in my tiny San Francisco bedroom watching Brandon’s webinars, listening to four to five hours per day of the podcast, and devouring every book BiggerPockets published.

To have the opportunity to not only work with the very people who inspired me but also produce the very webinars I watched, be a guest on the very podcast I listened to, and write a book that I would have devoured—all of these are things I will never take for granted. I am one lucky son-of-a-gun.

I hope you all can see why from both BiggerPockets’ perspective and my own, it is not the best place for me to be anymore. Again, I still plan to contribute as much as BiggerPockets allows. You will still see my posts on the blog, my face at conferences, and maybe even hear me on a podcast or two.

And while it is bittersweet, I am very excited to “graduate.”

This post has been all about me, which I dislike. But I hope that you can glean a few nuggets of wisdom from my thought process to help make the decision for yourself about if and when it’s time to quit your W-2.

Best case scenario, hopefully I made some of you realize you can quit your job sooner than you think. Cheers!

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Questions about house hacking, financial freedom, or retiring early? Thinking of resigning from your W-2? What’s holding you back? 

Let’s talk in the comment section below.