Be one step ahead in your real estate journey and improve your life as an investor in this episode with celebrity real estate broker Ryan Serhant. Unlock the freedom of time and money as we explore what having a money mindset and goal can do. Listen until the very end to release your investing potential!

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The 5 freedoms in life and how to achieve them
How to make the most of your time and better serve your goal
Tips for people who want to explore their potential in real estate
Why you should develop a money mindset and how you can do it
A smart way to deal with failures


Million Dollar Listing New York
Bravo TV
35 Thousand
Sell It Like Serhant by Ryan Serhant
Big Money Energy by Ryan Serhant


Ryan is one of the world’s most successful and well-known real estate brokers. After spending a decade leading one of New York City’s top-ranked real estate teams, he founded SERHANT, a brokerage firm that drives success through innovative content and amplification. 

SERHANT is the first real estate company launched and designed for the marketplace of tomorrow. With in-house film production and branding capabilities, combined with a tech-powered innovation platform, SERHANT has revolutionized the traditional brokerage model. 

In addition to his work in real estate, Ryan is an entrepreneur, producer, public speaker, bestselling author, and star of multiple BRAVO TV shows. He is a frequent guest on the real estate segments of CNBC, CNN, 20/20, The Today Show, The Insider, Bloomberg TV, and is often quoted in The New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. He is also an official contributor to Forbes, regularly writing columns on real estate, sales, and branding.


Website: Serhant
Website: Ryan Serhant
Instagram: @ryanserhant


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Full Transcript
Ryan Serhant  00:00
Sales combined with real estate, but honestly combined with any product is the greatest career you can possibly have, especially if you’re in this country if you’re in the United States, because you really probably ride the highest line in terms of freedom to do whatever you want every day to make money to survive.
Greg Lyons  00:16
Welcome to the passive income brothers podcast.
Tim Lyons  00:18
Here we take the fear out of real estate investing using real life stories of everyday successful investors. Let’s go. Welcome to another episode of the passive income brothers podcast. My name is Tim Lyons and today I’m joined by two rockstars, one of which is my brother, Greg, how are you doing today, buddy?
Greg Lyons  00:33
Jim, I’m doing fantastic. And today is really important because our YouTube numbers are gonna go shooting way up. Usually it’s my beautiful face. A little bit of yours. But today, our guest I feel like our YouTube numbers go shoot up to at least 100 views. It’s gonna be crazy.
Tim Lyons  00:51
We have a YouTube channel.
While we
Tim Lyons  00:56
all right. So listen, guys, I highly encourage you pull the car over, get the notebooks out, sharpen the pencils, if you’re still using them. If you’re punching the iPhone with your thumbs, make sure that phone is charged because today is going to be a masterclass on coming into your being defining who you are, what are your goals? What do you want to be? How do you get there, right on top of passive income, real estate and all those things that we usually talk about because today’s guest has come from a modest background, just like so many of us and if you want to really have a masterclass in what it takes to get to the top level, I want to introduce you to Ryan serhant. Ryan, how you doing today?
Ryan Serhant  01:32
Good. Thank you for having me. Love that. So
Tim Lyons  01:35
Ryan, as you guys probably know, are well aware has a TV show called Million Dollar Listing New York, it’s been on the air for at least 10 to 12 years. I’m gonna say Ryan. He’s a author, best selling author of two books. He’s got a branding company, he has his own real estate company, probably leaving out about seven others companies that you own. But everybody kind of knows you Ryan, right? I mean, your face is everywhere. You’re on social, you’re doing everything but it wasn’t always that way. Was it? So can you bring the listeners through a little bit of your background before Sir Hans was a household name?
Ryan Serhant  02:12
Well, thank you for the kind introduction. I think most people who’ve watched TV over the last decade are aware of me. Some people will recognize me and then an even smaller portion of that audience will know me and say Ah, yeah, right sir. Hey, sir head into the broker. Awesome. I follow him on social which I think is a good like pyramid, right for kind of how you want to build your brand and build that awareness like because so many people are aware I can go into any room any office any meeting any stranger and just start with that general awareness. You’ve probably heard of or seen or thought of and not everybody but a good chunk have heard of what Bravo TV is they’ve heard of the channel from their ads. Have you ever heard of a TV show called Million Dollar Listing New York falls real estate agents onto Yeah, I think my wife maybe or something, I don’t know. Okay. And then you start trickling down from there. But um, I was born in Texas, Houston, Texas, 1984 38 years old, bounced around a lot moved around a lot. Parents work kind of the same old, same old, I was in a lot of different schools growing up having to make new friends almost every year, every other year, up until I hit ninth grade, really, ninth grade, settled down outside Boston, and went to high school outside Boston. And then I went to college in upstate New York, little college called Hamilton writing intensive college. I majored in English literature and theatre, the thing that I liked the most, my whole life was always just theater I liked. I had a very, very low sense of self. It was a little overweight, had bad skin, just going all the classic stuff I had, like a couple of friends said girls never talked to me all the standard adolescent stuff. And I was also terrible at sports. So I wasn’t one of those boys who could at least like go play soccer all day, every day, you know, at least had that friend group, I was so bad. I was like the opposite of the athlete. And so I was just sort of by myself with movies, TV and theater, and I wasn’t allowed to play video games. So I didn’t even have that. And so I just sort of thought I was always just going to be an actor, because I’d gotten pretty good at pretending to be other people other than myself. And so that’s what I trained in. And I had a little money saved up for when my grandfather died. He left $20,000 to each of the grandkids and so put them into $10,000 CDs. Plus I had some construction money, saved up from summer jobs and moved to New York in 2006. When I graduated college to be an actor, and they don’t teach you the business of acting when you’re in school. They teach you how to be an old man, they teach you how to be a tree. Right? So I had to learn really quickly, like how do you actually make money doing this? And I didn’t want to have a survival job. And so I made that 20 grand stretch two years in New York City, which is, I think a pretty, pretty good feat, but then I ran out of money pretty quickly. I did a soap opera for like a hot minute and They killed me off. You can look it up. It’s on my IMDB page, I played Dr. Adam Walsh, the fourth. And then I was killed by my grandmother. It was a bad day for me, a hand model that held phones for AT and T that actually paid me the most. I made 1500 bucks a day holding telephones. I did lots of random stuff just to prolong my time in New York City. So I knew if I left New York and went home and my parents were in Colorado, then at that time, I would never come back to New York. I would just go to Colorado and I’d figure it out. And then I’d be just another millennial living with my parents forever. And trying to maybe I go back to school, right? Because that’s the classic millennial thing to do is no, I need more education. I need another degree. What are you really just doing is buying time, right, you’re delaying the inevitable. So I just want it to work. And a friend of mine in oh eight, the summer of oh eight said, listen, get your real estate license. It’s just like acting. It’s theater. It’s the same thing. You do improv all day you meet people you don’t know. You memorize information about buildings and apartments and houses. And you just talked about the information. You memorize those lines, and you play improv, who do they want you to be? They like sports? Guess what you like sports, they like cars, you like cars, talk about cars, their investment banking, oh, my God talk about the market. Right? It’s a people game. You’re trying to create friends in 20 seconds or less. And if you show them a home, they’re like, you get paid for it. You really meant to build that house. I was like, that’s not a job. Can’t be real. Turns out, it’s real. And here I am, almost 13 years later, doing the same thing. But I fell in love with it. early on. It was I think because I’d spent two years of just rejection. As an actor, like in New York City, you want to develop a thick skin, go to Actors Equity audition lines in Times Square, every day for two years. Rain, snow, cold, trash, homeless people yelling, like all this shit, and wait in line to get rejected to your face. Because your face, you will build up a real strong sense of self that I never had as a little kid because you have to survive. And I really credit those two years of trying to be an actor in New York City, as a huge part of the endurance that I needed to succeed. As a real estate broker in New York City is like 90% of the agents who get into this business. Around the country. Yes, but definitely in New York City quit in the first year. It’s way too hard. It’s too expensive to live here. It’s sucks. It’s like, is the top How do you break through that, but I had two years of like, you have the wrong nose. Actually, your nose sucks, or your hair is stupid, right? Or you’re just bad. Your voice is terrible. It’s all personal, which is tough. And then the rejection that most agents quit over, oh, I don’t want this apartment because I bought through someone else. Okay, that sucks. But at least you didn’t do it because of the size of my ears. Like, I can’t change the fact that you suck. I also couldn’t change the fact that my ears are the way they look. And so that’s how I got started. That’s me trying to be as quick as possible about it. And then a lot of other stuff happened. And now I’m talking to you guys. You know,
Greg Lyons  08:01
it’s funny a lot of times is that when we interview people they’ve turned attained a certain status, right? investor, a bunch of multifamily units, but it’s the journey along the way. It’s the either a rough childhood or getting rejected because of the size of your nose ears. I get rejected a lot because of my lack of hair. So I get all that stuff. But we all get there. And it’s a part of a journey, getting into real estate. Was that a super smooth transition from acting? Or was it kind of a bumpy start for you?
Ryan Serhant  08:35
I was trying to be an actor in New York City for the first two years I was here summer of oh six through the summer of oh eight and really into oh nine like my first year as a technical real estate agent. My first day as an agent, is most people know, but maybe not people who are listening to this was the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. That was day one, khaki pants, collared shirt, cowboy boots. Those are my nice clothes in an office on 49th and Madison above burger heaven. I was the only one in that office who was not Israeli like it was just total culture shock. Very different. And it was like, okay, post ads on Craigslist, go meet people at Starbucks, convince them to rent departments you’ve never been to before. Good luck, Godspeed. Don’t get punched, like, holy shit. Like, what is this job? This is nuts. You know, I’m not from here. I didn’t go to the schools. And I had to create a marketplace and try to meet Pete like it was just, it was almost like you hear people they don’t speak Spanish, right? But then they move to Mexico. They learn Spanish real fast. You have to write you have to and it’s just immersion therapy really, which is what it was for me, but I was used to working for myself. As an actor. You’re your own boss. I was used to waking up every day early to try to get stuff done taking initiatives I was used to that. I was used to rejection like we just talked about. So I was used to that. I was used to the structure of the day as an entrepreneur and really the 1099 gig economy which whether you’re doing theater or, or TV or selling real estate or tires or cars or flipping multifamily buildings, you’re part of that gig economy, you are not w two, you work for yourself every single day and you are now your Creator, you’re creating a personal brand in some way, shape or form, you’re creating an awareness. And Jen, you’re creating a business out of thin air based on whatever comes out of your brain, whatever you can get your hands on. And so like those parts were very, very similar. The Go meet people on the corner of 50th and fifth, who are coming out of Saks Fifth Avenue, profile them, and determine if they’re wealthy enough to go look at apartments and see if they’ll take your business card and talk to you in English that I wasn’t used to. And the structure of like having a desk and the stuff like there was a big big learning curve. I mean, I made $9,188 My first year as a real estate agent. So now I have agents that work for me all over the place. They come to me and they’re like, I didn’t break six figures my first year and I’m like, shot the guy. Dude, I made nine grand my first year, except now they’re all smart. They’re all Gen Z and everything. They’re like, Yeah, but with inflation, right? We’re probably the same like No, no, you have 19,000 Legs up compared to me, I had no support and no mentor. And so people asked me all the time, like if I can go back and do things differently, what I would have like asked for a bit more help. I really got into it because I was like, Okay, if I could rent an apartment a month, in apartments, $4,000. Let’s say that was an expensive apartment for me. My first rentals were 1000 1100 $1,500 a month, you take 50%. So you take one month’s rent as commission 50% goes to the brokerage the other 50% comes to me is what it used to be anyway. And then boom, I can make 567 100 bucks from doing that I just had to make $2,000 a month to be able to live in New York, my business plan was do not go broke, make $2,000 a month, stay in New York City, and we will figure it out. And that’s really what I did, right. And then I started to learn that this was far more of a game than anything else. And I could figure out how to play that game, and start stacking the games on top of themselves to start to really scale, right and just make more money, so I could lead a better life.
Tim Lyons  12:22
So Ryan, your goal in life was to not go broke to make $2,000 a month to pay your rent. And suddenly, it’s just journey that you’re on. You have become now today who you are. But so many times along your journey that you just detailed out for us. You could have taken your ball and gone home to Colorado, you could have gone back with mom and dad had been in the basement. And that really brings me to a point where I just got back from a gold retreat out in Lake Las Vegas, I took a four day retreat, to go work on my clarity, my focus around high net worth people, entrepreneurs, real estate folks. And there was a stat in there, Ryan that really blew me away 3% of Americans write down their goals and become clear as to what they want. Which means that 97% of us, most of us listening to the show do not get clear or focused on what we want in life, and how and then back into how we’re gonna get there. And I’ve heard you another different podcasts and YouTube and you really kind of you’re intentional about where you want to be how you want to set your life up, who is Ryan serhant in 2030, or 2035. And you’re really super intentional with your time. And I really want you to dive into that because Greg and I have had mentors over the years and coaches and one of our coaches really talked about the five freedoms, right? And he said, the five freedoms in life are this time, freedom, financial freedom, freedom of location, be and do and have wherever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want, right? Yep, freedom of relationships, and freedom of purpose. And I have a feeling that you could probably comment on a lot of those. So let’s take a bit of time real quick. Give us a little bit about your timing, your focus your clarity and how you kind of run your life that way.
Ryan Serhant  14:09
Sure, I mean, I just want to talk for one second about being intentional because you kind of lead into the five freedoms that way. And it just reminded me of something that I think about a lot when I think about stats like what you just said how 97% of the population doesn’t write down their goals, etc. And a society has been structured in such a way that we need to operate for the betterment of society, whether we like it or not the educational system, right, the work system, the tax system, we all work for the government. That is that is that is really what we do. We’re allowed to feel like we’re free. We’re allowed to feel like we get to do other things, but we are all in the matrix in some way. Like without going down that rabbit hole. We work for the government. I give 50% of what I make net at the end of the day as a New Yorker to the government. I am an employee ploy II of the federal government, the state government and the city governor, I shift three bosses and they don’t give a shit. If I do well, or do poorly, they’re going to treat me the same way, as they always have, we need to always remember that when we think about our freedoms that we think we have, okay. And remember, too, that because of that structure, and the construct of how we are all raised, which is intentional by the government, we all get older, most of us don’t actually grow up. We all get older, but most of us don’t actually grow up, because we don’t need to, because we are on the conveyor belt. And the structure has been put in there. You’re a school, graduate college if you can, if you don’t, no problem. There’s jobs out there, get a job, find a partner procreate, because we need more people to do work for us, right? Create new employees, go about your life and then die. That is it. You’re an employee, you have a lifespan. That is how it works. And I think once I really, really realize that, which is probably like, when I got my first paycheck, everyone’s like, where did all go? What just happened? I appreciate paying for all of our services, right? So you are paying back into the house, I get it. I’ve been to a lot of countries around the world, and I’m so thankful to be an American, I get that too. But you just have to understand the game you’re playing, who created the game, and what the rules are, to use them to create the best life for you you possibly can. Because we’re all gonna die one day, right? So it’s just that journey in between? What kind of journey Do you want to have? I use goals for myself, because I don’t know any other way to go into a game without a game plan. Like imagine being a sports team just showing up and like, Alright, we’re gonna play this team the same way we played the other team, the other team ran a lot, this team is in the air game, a lot of shit. We lost, you’re just gonna lose your lose every game, you will lose statistically every single game if you don’t come in with a game plan. So why would I not go into each year, like a game with a game plan. And as my life has gotten more and more complicated as I built more and more and more to play this game of life as big as I possibly can? To the best of my own personal abilities, right? I’m not the smartest out there. I’m very intentional about the goals that I need to reach each year. And I make sure that no matter what happens, no matter what happens in the world, right, what happens to me, I do not negotiate with those goals. So as an example, in 2019, I said my goal in 2020, the start of the new decade was I’ve been a real estate broker for 12 years, I had been on an Emmy two time Emmy nominated TV show, I’d written my first book, I’ve done all this stuff, said 2020 is the start of a new decade, everything’s going to be amazing. Nothing terrible will ever happen ever again, I’m gonna start my own company, I got to life is great. I don’t need to, I used to be a broker the rest of my life, it’d be fine. But I feel like I have an entrepreneurial calling. And I needed to go start my own company. That was a big goal of mine. By the end of 2020, I will have started announced and built out my own business COVID hits and the world throws a massive wrench in my face. But I only had one day of doubt in like early April. I was like how am I? How do I start a company when all the money’s gone? Like how do you like the whole world just came to it. I can’t go outside. Right? Do this. Fuck it. I’ll figure it out. And we did it. I didn’t launch on July 1 The way I thought I was going to. But the Wall Street Journal came out from page article on September 15 2020 12 years to the day when I got into the business announcing that lunatic Ryan Serhan is starting a real estate company in the middle of a pandemic. We checked him he does not have COVID right now. So clearly this is a sound thoughtful decision on his part. And so I use those goals to give me that time, right and really structure the time for me. So we all have the same minutes every day is everybody else have the same minutes every day that you have that Bezos has Moscow has right Oprah y’all. We all the same minutes. So how are you intentional with each and every minute? And I think something else that I figured out early on was like, Okay, I’m not salaried. So no one’s paying me for my minutes. I have to sign $1 amount every minute. My time is my greatest asset. I’m not the first person to say that. So what is my time worth to me? And I’m also not going to ruin my entire day, if someone steals some of that time for me. And so I just did the math simply was like, Okay, so I’m an entrepreneur. I want to build a real estate team because, you know, early on in my career, so I’ve got 60 minutes, 24 hours, I got 14 140 minutes in a day. Let’s say you sleep you eat, you see some family, you just do random life stuff. Okay? That’s like roughly 440 minutes. I’m going 1000 minutes every day in my bank of time that I wake up with How can I be the most intentional with that I wake up every day fresh, $1,000 Fresh? How can I compound those dollars to create more of them for me tomorrow? How can I really put them to work so I can get towards my goals? That way, I’m not so upset about little things that happen in a day, that whenever I have a bad day or a bad week or bad month, because I’ve got goals for the year, and when I look back on it, unless you broke a bone or car accident, or you had major tragedy, you look back on last year, and you remember the good times for the most part, right? You look back like oh, yeah, the holiday Oh, that oh, that deal. Oh, that was yeah, that was cool. But if you looked at your diary, and you’re like, you know, the second week of January, last year was a shitty week and you just didn’t feel good and you were unmotivated. You’re not gonna remember that, right? Because we don’t remember pain. Evolution has come around, we wouldn’t exist if you could remember pain. If you can remember pain, you would not have gone out and fought that tiger again for meat. Right? You wouldn’t cross the street. If you got hit by a bike one time, you’d never go out if your body actually remembered what pain feels like, drug addicts would never do drugs. If you remembered how awful it felt after the high, right? If you truly remembered you would never pick it up again. Your brain remembers that good times. Right? But it’s evolution, right? You want to remember what it feels like to make babies. And so that plays out through the entirety of our life so that we make more babies to create more employees. For the system. I’m just sort of ranting at you remember, remember the question at this point, time, time management, my freedom, freedom of time. Listen, everyone listening to this, I think is entrepreneurial. You’re probably all listening to this if you’re investing in real estate, or you have an interest in sales. And I think sales combined with real estate, but honestly combined with any product, it’s the greatest career you can possibly have, especially if you’re in this country, right? If you’re in the United States, because you really probably ride the highest line in terms of freedom, do whatever you want every day to make money to survive. You don’t want to go to work this week, you don’t sell anything you’re buying, if you want to do anything, guess what, you don’t have to the only two things that anyone can ever do to you that are probably just detrimental, or they could kill you, like put you in jail. So as long as you don’t ride the line of death or jail, everything else, it’s all up to you. You have to answer to anyone but your future self. And you alluded to that a little bit earlier to your future self is your boss, like I used to I don’t have it in this office anymore. But I used to have a photo of myself aged to like 80 I use that faces app or something a long, long time ago. It was old man Ryan staring at me all the time. And it was like right here, off to the right side of my screen is kind of funny. But also it just reminded me over and over and over. Before I know it, I will be that guy. And his life better be awesome. So. So Ryan,
Tim Lyons  22:53
let’s take that into the Yeah, let’s take that into the investor now, right like so like, we always hear about passive investing and like, you know, financial freedom. You can go on YouTube and podcasts and hear about all these things, and they sound great. But for the entrepreneur for the person who has means but they’re killing themselves 16 hours a day, 18 hours a day, they’re a surgeon, their sales, they’re doing whatever, and they’re missing their tie their time. They know their time is their greatest asset. Greg and I always talk about passive income, because we’re the passive income brothers. And that’s what we do. What does it look like from Ryan Surina point of view as far as investing for cash flow, making good choices, buying back your time spending the time with your family, I know you have at least one daughter, she’s probably I don’t know, two or three or something like that. She doesn’t buy the pictures. So what’s printed the investor mindset now about buying back time, and we always advocate for building out your passive income stream, but you don’t have to quit being Ryan serhant You don’t have to quit being a surgeon if that’s what you like to do. But there’s optionality and people are so afraid of money. So can we talk about money investing, buying back the time, you know, really, from your perspective and some of the rooms that you get to be in? It’s not so much different than the rooms that say other people get to be in? So what does that mean to you?
Ryan Serhant  24:15
It means a lot, I think. First of all, I’ll say when you don’t have money, you count every dollar. When you do have money, you count every minute. Okay? I think that’s an important lesson to learn as we think about your future self and where you want to get to, you want to get to a point where you’re counting every minute, because that is your truest currency. Whether you make an additional 100 or $2,000 this year, last year you make whatever your world you operate in, isn’t nearly as important to you anymore is that way you spend your time because it is so limited, right? And before you know it, you’re 50 and the chances that you make it another 50 years are probably really slim. And so you’ve lived half your life. already, right, you’ve lived more than half your life, mortality becomes really, really clear to you. And so in our business, whether you’re purchasing multifamily buildings, and living off of that income, right, so that you don’t have to show up every single day and turn the lights on and mop the toilets, and do that type of work, as long as you’re not over leveraged, and you’re moving at a slow and steady pace for your own personal growth, right. And if your own risk appetite, everyone’s got their own risk appetite, some people can take a lot of risk. And hopefully it works out. Some people want to take it nice and steady, which over the course of time is probably proven to be the smartest way to go about it. You can do whatever you want. With your life, right, you can be as free as you possibly want to be in my world. My passive income comes from real estate agents underneath me, I’m in the real estate agent business, I’m in a salesperson business, far more than I am in the real estate, business. agents use my brand and my power to go out and sell and rent real estate everywhere. And I make a small percentage off of the brand that I’ve built for 15 years, agents come into our educational platforms, and pay us so that they can learn and sell more, right? We don’t take percentages of what they sell, they just pay a fee to come in, they learn a lot. They learn things they never knew before. We give them mentorship and coaching and everything that I wish I had, when I was growing up in this business, it just didn’t exist. There wasn’t at least like it does exist. But it exists in like 9095, right, even today, and I reinvest those dollars to create more freedom, so that you’re buying more time back, like you said, every year, right, you’re not buying more time back so that you have more time next week, because next week is kind of already been determined for you. But how do you have more time next year? And how does that time benefit your life so that it leads you more to your goals? Because you have to have worked goals, but you also have to have personal goals? What are your personal goals? I know a lot of people who create work goals that don’t actually sit down with their husband or wife or partner or by themselves and write down a similar number of personal goals. Right. We also know a lot of people who do a lot of personal goals, but they have no business goals, or they have goals. But with no plan. I’m going to make a million dollars next year. That is my goal. Okay, how do we do every day at three or 65 days a year to do it. I’m working on that part. There’s not really a goal, just sort of a dream.
Greg Lyons  27:20
There’s no doubt about that. And having a plan is so important. I think a lot of people that listen to this podcast, have varying degrees of success, whether it’s w two success, entrepreneurial success. And sometimes they’re a little bit afraid to kind of take that next step. When you started your own company. You weren’t going hungry by any means, right? But you had that itch to achieve, to have your own thing. And we talk often on this podcast about taking action. I think one of the quotes from your book from big money energy, it said, don’t be afraid to fail. Your life isn’t determined by a single moment. And I loved hearing that. Because we do have achievers listening to this podcast. You’re an achiever, where achievers not having your life defined by a single chance of taking action and getting out of your comfort zone is it could be a life changing moment for you. So when you think about that, and starting your own company, what do you say to people that say that, hey, I’m comfortable. But I’m not going to take that next step? What I can be my 2025 may make 2020 30 May.
Ryan Serhant  28:33
I mean, I say so don’t there’s your app, too. There’s no law, right? pushing you to reach your fullest potential. That brings us back to the two types of people we have in the world. People that want to reach their full potential and people that don’t you have people that will go up the mountain people that go around it, if people that are run into the water and people who are fine just staying on the beach, it’s really kind of it right? There’s you have two types of people and then you can break it down from there you have the people who want to reach potential, but just can’t, could have been born in a third world country they just had, they don’t have the resources, it’s incredibly difficult life has been stacked against them. And we have people who could reach their full potential and have every gift in front of them. Given everything at birth, there’s so lucky, and they squander it. For those who want to reach their fullest potential and who have the opportunity to do so. It is one step at a time. I think we all want to do everything tomorrow. We just want to do everything tomorrow. But it’s one step at a time to start small. Start small and it’s not sexy, and it’s not luxurious. for like the first five years of my career. None of the real estate deals I did were sexy luxurious or pretty. They were terrible shitty walkups like I was dealing with Roaches and rats and stuff and painting walls and replacing people’s micro like all this stuff, right this shit, but it taught me a lot and I needed to do it all starts with just just starting really, and I made a vlog Talk about that, I think during COVID, where it’s just easier to start, right? In a year from today, you’ll wish you had started today. So just start, like, what is the worst that can happen, it’s not going to work out? Well guess what, it’s not gonna work out if you don’t do it either. And if you do feel like you have that potential, which is, I think one of my fears in my life, which is that I’m going to leave something on the table, that there is something that I could do that I could bring to the world. And I could have squeezed out of this lemon, that I just didn’t feel like it because I was too scared. A scary movie is only scary when you have the audio on, turn the audio off, put on like kids music on it. It’s not that scary anymore. Just be awkward and weird. Like why someone being stabbed to Coco melon, that’s just weird. But you’re not going to be scared anymore. So what does that say about how we all operate?
Tim Lyons  30:51
Yeah, right. That’s a good point. I mean, listen, like I don’t know if you remember. But I work as a New York City firefighter. Almost, almost 18 years. And before that I was an ER nurse working in a level one trauma center, right. So yeah, crazy. But I was a W two, what you talked about before I was working half my year for the government. Right? In between those two jobs, I had three little girls are now 11, nine and three. And I realized that my time, I was spending an incredible amount of my 1000 minutes away from my family away from my friends and not doing what I was wanting to do. I found myself in some places running that I didn’t necessarily belong, whether it was the firehouse fire or crazy trauma room situation. And I said that there has to be more to my life. I was built for more. But there’s a voice inside of all of our heads. And I know I’ve heard you speak about it. And I know that I speak about it all the time, but imposter syndrome, and not feeling worthy enough and not having the right money mindset, right, because we all kind of grew up with this structure, about money about investing about living like a lot of us, like you said, we go to school, get a good job, max out to 401k. Hopefully, we can have enough to retire at 6570. And by the time we’re done, then we start living and we need to do hip replacement, the new valve replacement. And we’re now we’re on our deathbed, with the entire list of regrets. And what I love about you and your story is that you were there. I’ve heard you talk about being on the subway, not knowing if you’re going to be able to pay your rent next month or even put food in your mouth. And now you’ve kind of changed it. So can you talk to us maybe about getting started about investing or shedding that negative self talk and then really kind of transition it into money mindsets? Like what is money to you. Like if you had to teach your daughter about money? Like what would you tell her?
Ryan Serhant  32:36
Scared money don’t make money. Love that money is essential, obviously. But it is also a tool. Also a resource. We hear from lots of people who are way more the disease of poverty, right is a fear, fear of money, kind of like what I said earlier, you know, when you don’t have money, you count every dollar when you have money, you count every minute, and teaching her that the goal is not to have lots of money, right? The goal is to make an impact. The goal is to make an impact in your life. Because you are by yourself, right? It’s your life, the only control you have at the end of the day is what you do every day with your arms, your legs, your face, your eyes, your mouth, that is it. And if you’re lucky, you can make an even bigger impact, you can make a social impact, right, you can make a global impact. If you have that opportunity, you have to take it because the world or something much bigger than your brain will ever understand has set forth a plan for you that you now need to act upon. I’m here building this company, not because I need to. It’s because I want to, but it’s also because I feel like I have to. Because I’m not building SpaceX. I don’t have to I don’t know how to, it’s not even in my realm of reality, because that’s not in the cards for me, building what we’re building, now I have to because it’s been put in front of me, anything you can think of that you can take action on, I feel like you have to act on because your brain has enabled you to have that thought in the first place. So so take action on it, you have to and dollars are purely a tool and a resource to take action at scale and to take action now and take action tomorrow and to live your life, right so on and so forth. But it’s all part of the greater machine like we talked about the greater system, you work for something much, much, much bigger than yourself. And you have to understand that there are things out there that are probably too big for your brain and that’s okay. You’re going to operate within everything that you can personally control and then build. I don’t want Xena or anyone out there to ever be afraid of building. Like I don’t think most people are actually afraid of failure anymore. I think failure used to be far more real than it is today. Fail every day. Then I start over no one cares anymore. Right There’s too much information, the entire information on the internet is recreated, like every eight days or something now, so this is a different world. I think most people are just afraid of being embarrassed. You know, they’re not afraid of the failure. They’re afraid of being embarrassed. And I think that’s a problem, right? That’s a much bigger problem. And I really want to teach her not to be afraid of being embarrassed, or to own mistakes, own failures, right? You can’t hit homeruns unless you have strikeouts. Classic, and you can’t make money if you don’t spend money, really. And I deal with that right now. Like I’m in, you know, we’re ratifying our 2023 budget. I sound like such a CEO when I say that right now. It’s like the weirdest thing. Like a finance meeting later with our team and like this whole thing, I’m just like, looking at these expenses and like, holy shit, what am I gonna pay for this? Oh my god, I’m so scared. I’m so nervous. Whenever Oh, 2023 might be a terrible market. We’re going into a recession. Jamie Dimon told me Oh, it’s gonna be the end of the world. Elon Musk just lost $200 billion. What am I doing, we need to spend no money, oh, God, interest rates are so high, we’re all gonna die. Or I think we’ll figure it out. I’ve been through two downturns plus a COVID. We always figure it out. Because it’s evolution. And because the system is stacked in such a way that no matter what, whether it’s World War Two, the Spanish flu COVID Anything in between the financial crisis 2008 It is in the best interest of the system, that you move forward. And that’s kind of scary. But it’s also kind of comforting to know that as long as you keep moving forward, the systems God can figure it out kind of for you. They’re gonna enable you to interest rates have ticked down a couple of times this year, not because of the Fed, but because the system is like, No, we need more people getting loans. So just we’re gonna raise interest rates are a little lower now. It’s all going to be fine. It’ll always be okay. But use money as a tool. Count your minutes more than anything.
That’s great
Greg Lyons  37:13
advice. And I will say for being bad at sports, you have an awful lot of sports analogies. You know, I mean, you’re not
Ryan Serhant  37:21
the first person to tell me that like that is our books and everything. Like we, I grew up watching sports, I played every sport. I didn’t talk to my dad, he made me there’s a lot of resentment as a little kid. I respect it now. It made me play every sport known to man. Because the whole thing was, you’d rather regret the things you did and the things you never tried. Maybe you’ll love baseball, but you’re never gonna know unless you try it. Okay, football, I was the center terrible experience basketball, awful lacrosse, badminton, tennis, swim, like, every sports, okay, I played it. I was bad at all of them. So, you
Greg Lyons  37:59
know, I smell a little pickable in your future. But yeah, that’s maybe for another day knows, when you talk about impact and the budget you’re about to ratify, you’ve really doubled down on your business. And you’re making an impact on so many people from the branding perspective of your business. So you have a lot of different verticals that you’re working on. What’s next for you in 2023. And as we move forward into this year,
Ryan Serhant  38:30
since starting the company, and really being honored, because as a real estate agent, like your entrepreneurial, yes, but your expenses could be zero, like you’re not doing your own p&l Every year, your accountant will do that for taxes. Like you’re out there, you don’t own the properties, right, it is what it is. It’s just your time. Now that I own a company, fixed expenses, off expenses and all that. When I first started, I asked Barbara Corcoran, who has been a great advisor to me over the years, even though I’d never worked at Corcoran, but we’re similar in a lot of ways and asked her like, hey, why not fail? What should I do? So I don’t fail. advice to me was so weird. But I think about it every day, because it was so true. be too busy to fail. Okay, meaning, as long as you’re putting in the work, the work is going to take care of you. It’s the low moments. It’s the moments where you sit there and you have analysis paralysis. you overthink, you go through this, oh my god, oh my God, you’re gonna then tap out. Because you gave yourself too much time to think about tapping out and tapping out seems way easier than moving forward. If you’re so busy all the time, at least, especially in those early growth years. You’d be too busy to fail. There’s probably been a couple of times over the last years where like maybe some other entrepreneur in my seat would have tapped out and said I nope. Interest rates go to 7%. Right contract volume drops by 70% in the markets that we’re operating in. Agents dropping out of the business over the last nine months like what am I doing? I was too busy, I didn’t have enough time to pay attention to the downside, I was moving forward. So going forward, my goal is to build something that’s too big to fail, because why not want to build something that has lasting impact for the next generation? Okay, I’m a millennial, I think a lot about Gen Z, right? As our next workers, I think a lot about Gen Alpha. Okay, like my daughter, and her generation, because those are my future. Those are my future clients. Those are my future employees. We started going hard on YouTube in 2015, not because I needed to be in front of more cameras. But because I wanted to attract my next generation of clientele before anybody else. Because I want it to get to the kids before I got to the parents, and the kids also have influence on the parents decisions. That was probably one of the smartest marketing decisions I ever made for my business. But I want to be too big to fail, because why not? And also, I’ll never forgive myself, if I don’t at least try. I might not get there. And then that’s kind of what we’re talking about. Just, it wasn’t in the cards for me to get to that point. But I got as far as I possibly could. There’s a, I used to have it in my office somewhere. But when I moved to New York, in 2006, my sister who’s super entrepreneurial, and has started many businesses and has a great company right now called 35,000. And you can follow it on social skincare to blog. It’s everything for executive women. It’s created an amazing, amazing environment for executive women, and just women, female professionals, right, in general. She gave me a plaque that kind of got ruined by that show, we crashed because they use the same damn quote with Adam Newman a lot. So I don’t talk about that much anymore. But it was that classic line, like what would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn’t fail? It doesn’t mean? Well, I would have to fly. Let me go to my roof. Okay, but it means, right. And I have this conversation with my employees all the time now, which is my executive staff is we’re thinking about growth and what our next steps are. It’s like, what would we attempt to do if we weren’t so focused on profit? Today, if we weren’t so nervous about the market today? If we weren’t so concerned, like shit, are we gonna make it? Are we not? What would we attempt to build? If we weren’t so fearful? If you could just start over like a little kid, right, walking into an arts and crafts room? Do their eyes light up, and they’re like, I’m gonna destroy, I’m gonna make the I’m gonna do the I’m gonna build this, I’m going to that Mon. What would we attempt to build this year? If we knew no matter what? That we’re going to be okay, and 2024 If not potentially better, as long as you don’t go to jail or die, everything’s gonna be okay. And that’s why I like thinking about future me. That’s why I like having that photo of me at eight years old. Because I know no matter what, unless something else happens that I have no control over. I am going to make it to be 80 years old, I’m going to look old, or look like Biden, probably. I’m going to be an old guy. So why would I not at least try to make life? Awesome? Why would I at least not try to make things great unless you have a real short term thinking about how quickly your life is going to end? Maybe I don’t know. You’re gonna be old one day, you’re gonna make it that far. So why not take the initiative and create the biggest life you possibly can. And in order to do that, you need to make active income and passive income look full circle back to the podcast.
Tim Lyons  43:27
Man, I love that man. You’re skilled at that. Well, listen, I remember sitting in the crowd watching you give a talk at a conference that we attended down in Orlando earlier this year. Or last year, I should say, did a magical job right? You did a magical job bring everything full circle. And I tell you the energy is infectious. Right? And I tell you after you walked out of that room, Greg and I kind of made a goal to be more like energetic, like to be more positive. And to
Ryan Serhant  43:53
because it’d be you have to be cut you off. Yeah, it’s yeah. So our first sales course this felt like Serhan program, the first one I ever did, and in Salt Lake And in the book and everything, when people would ask me, like, well, what is sales? How are you good salesperson? I got, you know, what is it? If you really boil it down. People are gonna buy whatever they’re gonna buy anyway. You’re just trying to get them to do it through you. Which means that sales really is a transfer of enthusiasm. Have you ever bought anything from a sad person? Like as that shoe store person like been crying over your new kicks? And you’re like, all boy more? No, it’s weird, right? It’s a transfer of enthusiasm. And I see it all the time. Like we have buildings that were selling. We put agents on them. I think they’re gonna be great. But they’re going through a breakup or something. They’re negative, right? They bring a negative energy to it, they sell us is is what it is. I bring in somebody who’s not nearly as smart not nearly as skilled. That’s gonna present nearly as well. But man, oh man, that guy just happy to be alive. And he walks in that building every day and he’s so pumped about selling it, sales skyrocket. His people walk in, and they’re like, I’m also happy being here, right? Positive what he touches. Yeah, exactly. I made a vlog about this a long time ago where chemical imbalance aside, okay? You have a decision every day. Like, you wake up in the bed that you made for yourself. So if you want a nicer bed, go back and get one. Okay? And so you get in that car every day, or in that Uber, or that taxi or that train, or you’re walking. And you get to decide, is it sunny today? Or is it raining today? And it’s a metaphor, obviously, you get to make that decision. And so why not just have it be sunny. It’s because there are going to be days where it’s going to rain, it’s gonna be out of your control, and those days are going to suck. So you get your fucking umbrella. But also, when it rains, grab buckets, get the water, right, soak it up. Why not? This has been the most roundabout interview I’ve ever done. Maybe it’s because I had coffee today. And I very rarely drink coffee. So I want to apologize.
Tim Lyons  46:17
Now, dude, you could drink coffee all day long if you want. Because honestly, I’ve gotten so much out of out of not only hearing you speak in person, but prepping for this interview, I just, I dove into a lot of your content. And it just makes sense. It makes sense for us as entrepreneurs and makes sense for us as people. So I really want other people to get a sense of that as well. So I’m so happy you made the time to bring come on our show. I really want to highlight both of your books. I had both of them right here. The first one is sell it like serhant All right, you can find them in any bookstore, Amazon, I got my copy. And the other one was big money, energy. And I gotta tell you, I liked the big money energy, a little bit more than I liked the other one about sales just because I love the positivity of the message. There’s a lot of codes and there’s a lot of stories. So I really highly, I highly recommend people go out and get those books. But also you can find Ryan in a ton of places, but right what’s the best place for people to find out more information about you what you’re doing? How can they follow you? All that good stuff?
Ryan Serhant  47:14
Well, if you’re listening to this right now, thank you for listening this entire time, I appreciate that my company is personal website is Ryan socials as at Ryan serhant. everywhere across all of them. I’m a lean mean tech talker, follow me over there. Instagram is nice and visual for us. Like we we do a lot. And what I’ll say is from those two, I’m writing my third book right now but um, I structured them almost like a trilogy. Like they all kind of speak to each other because it’s all part of the building that entrepreneurial mindset and and business plan for the for the worker, the future, which is all of us. So set like Sir hand is kind of like the ingredients of the meal. Right? Big money, energy is a bit more fun. It’s not as tactical, because it’s like, it’s the special sauce. So you can have all the ingredients. But if you don’t know what to do with them, because you have no confidence. You don’t even understand yourself for who you are, then you could be the greatest potential chef in the world. But you got all these ingredients sitting on the table, right? I know what to do. I had them all in front of me. What do I do? Why do I use them? Right? That’s big money, energy. And the next book is how you put it all together to build the strongest personal brand. And I’ve looked for ever for a brand book that speaks to how we build brands in the 2020s and 2030s. And it’s just a different world now. And so. So now I’m writing and I’m like, three quarters of the way down, it will probably announce it at the end of this year. And I’ll come out early next. But that’s where you can find me. I thank you guys for taking the time to talk to me and everything. And I really, really appreciate it.
Tim Lyons  48:44
Awesome. Well, we’ll have all that in the show notes for our listeners. And as always, we thank you for being with us this week, and we look forward to serving you again next week. Thanks, guys. Thank you for listening to another episode of the passive income brothers podcast. We would be grateful for your support of our podcast by giving our show a five star rating and review and subscribing to our show on your favorite podcast platform. Don’t forget to take inspired action after listening to this show, so that you can start building out your passive income streams. Finally, head on over to cityside to connect with us and find out more information about how to get started passively investing in real estate