Big Money Energy
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Big Money Energy

How to Rule at Work, Dominate at Life, and Make Millions

Ryan Serhant

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eBook - ePub

Big Money Energy

How to Rule at Work, Dominate at Life, and Make Millions

Ryan Serhant

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HOW TO DOMINATE, MAKE MILLIONS, AND GET ANYTHING YOU WANT "Serhant shows us it's not enough to just have goals, but to chase our dreams with a verve and joyous energy. Highly practical and infectiously fun." M ark Manson, NYT bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Everything is F*cked "In Big Money Energy, Ryan Serhant shows readers that when positive energy is mixed with self-confidence and topped off with a heavy dose of hustle... anything can be achieved." Sophia Amoruso, NYT bestselling author of #GIRLBOSS Big Money Energy is the feeling you get when you encounter someone who is massively succeeding at life. They're the ultimate picture of self-confidence. There's no bravado, no bragging - they know they have BME and so does everyone else. You get Big Money Energy by being 100% committed to making your vision a reality... and that vision has to be BIG. Ten years ago, Ryan Serhant, billion dollar broker and co-star of Million Dollar Listing New York was living paycheque-to-paycheque and didn't even own a suit. He realized that while he couldn't change his circumstances or the balance of his bank account, there was one thing he could change - his energy. The energy you give off impacts every area of your life, from how much money you earn and how much power you have, to who you socialize with and the jobs you get. Determined to leave his low-rent lifestyle behind forever, Serhant took life-changing steps that resulted in his getting cast on television and doubling his income every year for the next decade. He is now the CEO and Founder of SERHANT., a multi-dimensional property brokerage and media company, and averages a billion dollars in sales every year. Big Money Energy shows you how he tapped into his Big Money Energy to crush his goals and achieve huge success, earning his first million before he turned thirty. Whether you're a self-made entrepreneur, a corporate executive or barista, Serhant will teach you how to climb the ladder to success better and faster than anyone else. If you want Big Money Energy, this is your blueprint. This book is an inspirational, lively guide for anyone who is ambitious enough to dream big and is committed to doing whatever it takes to conquer their goals.

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Money might not be everything, but you know it plays a major role in your life. Being alive can be expensive. On the most basic level, money represents survival and freedom, but you don’t want to live a basic life. You work hard and crave a great life and all the accoutrements that come along with it. For you, more money means that you get to be free to live your life however you want.



Right after I closed that seven-figure deal with June Shen I thought I was the shit. So, I convinced my friend Matt who works in commercial real estate to get me a meeting with a big-time real estate developer named Gordon Murray, who owned buildings all over Manhattan and South America. Even though I had only made one big sale, I honestly believed I could be a huge asset to him. “Surely, I can handle a 200-unit sell-out on the Upper West Side, Gordy boy!”
As I was riding the subway uptown, packed in with the rush hour crowd, I imagined that I could soon kiss the subway goodbye forever. When I arrived at Gordon’s office in Times Square, I sat in an expensive-looking chair, buzzing with excitement about all the great opportunities this meeting could bring. When Gordon’s assistant told me he was ready for me, I took a deep breath and said to myself, You are awesome.
When I entered Gordon’s office, I shook his hand and he gestured to a chair across from him. He was tapping his pen on a legal pad. “So, Ryan, what do you think about the plans for Hudson Yards? Think Related will be able to pull it off given the current state of the retail market?”
I felt my complexion start to shift from white to bright pink. Shit. I have no idea what you are talking about, I thought. “It sounds really cool and I think they’ll do great,” I said.
Gordon pushed his legal pad and pen to the side. “How about HFZ’s planned conversion of 344 West 72nd? And what do you think about the rezoning challenges in Hudson Square and Gowanus—what are your thoughts on how the lobbyists’ efforts will affect the resi landscape in the next five to ten?” Fuckity Fuckerstein. I still didn’t know what he was talking about, so I launched into a super-enthusiastic, passionate speech all about my one big sale to June Shen. I didn’t stop to think about how I didn’t really answer any of his questions, or that being unprepared would now mean that I’d have nothing to really talk about, which led me to go on and on about myself. Thinking back on this meeting makes me want to throw up. Gordon looked at his watch. “Okay, I have another meeting in a second. Thanks for coming in, kid.”
Despite my total lack of preparation and Gordon’s obvious disinterest in an arrogant “kid” who had made one deal, I somehow left that meeting thinking I had nailed it. I don’t know why, but as I walked back to my office I had visions of depositing even bigger checks due to my newfound awesome connection with mega-developer Gordon Murray—$50,000 checks? Shit, $75,000, $100,000 … That’s huge!
A few days later, I connected with my friend Matt who had gotten me the meeting. “Like, tell me what he said about me, man,” I said. I was anxious to hear what Gordon thought. But then there was an awkward silence before Matt spoke: “Sorry, man. He said you seemed like a nice kid, but you have a long way to go.” What?????
Is it possible it didn’t go as well as I thought it did?!1 I had walked into Gordon Murray’s office thinking I was the best real estate broker in the universe … and to hear that I didn’t come off well was soul crushing. And “a long way to go”? Oh my God, I couldn’t imagine spending the next five, ten years renting and selling cheap apartments. How could I land those bigger projects and make millions if I came off as amateurish? The meeting only lasted fifteen minutes or so—and in that short of a time he assessed that I had no idea what I was doing. I felt like such a JERK.
In the brutal lens that retrospect provides, I can see that I was all swagger and no substance, and those qualities were not going to get me access to higher-paying jobs.
I walked into Gordon Murray’s office unprepared and made the conversation all about me—that is disrespectful and basically screams that I’m not ready to graduate to bigger gigs. I was oozing BULLSHIT MONEY ENERGY out of every single pore, and there is nothing that makes a person less likeable. Why would someone with BME like Gordon want to work with a snotty little fuck like me?


We’ve all encountered someone with Bullshit Money Energy—they are ego-driven, self-centered name droppers who do things like bark out ridiculous demands and think that acting like a dick makes them powerful. This is the polar opposite of BME. If you are NOT a certified genius on the level of Steve Jobs—who has reinvented the entire world and so it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re enjoyable to be around—then you can’t act horribly and still experience great success. If you want to make a lot of money, people actually have to like working with you.
I was twenty-six years old when I was cast on Million Dollar Listing New York, and I had not yet learned the lesson that being authentic, kind, and likeable is an important component to success. I wasn’t a barbarian by any means; my parents raised us to have manners and to be polite, but I was on a TV show watched by millions of people where acting crazy, loud, and outrageous (and frankly, some of my behavior was downright disrespectful) brought more attention. I will never, ever forget the first time I was recognized by someone for being on TV. I was rushing to the subway one morning when I heard a woman say, “Hey, are you the guy on that show?” I was in a hurry, but I stopped because after an entire year of being on MDLNY, no one had ever said anything! I couldn’t believe it! When I turned to say, “Yes! It’s me!” the woman looked at me like I had kidnapped her little sister and burned down her grandmother’s home. Disgust radiated from her eyes like laser beams, and that’s when she shouted out: “YOU’RE SUCH A JERK!”
At the time that stung, a lot, but now I understand why she said it. I might not have been a total jerk in real life (I swear I wasn’t! ask my friends! ask my mom!), but the qualities I projected in the early seasons of the show didn’t exactly make me seem like the kind of guy you’d want to invite to your birthday party.2 If you want to really hear the honest truth about what you’re like as a person, try going on TV to be judged by millions of people around the globe. And those millions of people made it very clear to me: I was full of Bullshit Money Energy.
Being on reality TV is like living your life under a powerful microscope. I AM NOT COMPLAINING! Being on MDLNY has been great for my career and it’s really fun! But imagine what it would be like if an entire year of your life was edited down towards your most dramatic (and sometimes ugliest) moments, and then broadcast to the world. Like that time you flipped out because you burned your grilled cheese, or when you lost your temper and cussed like a sailor on the street because you spilled coffee all over yourself on the way to an important meeting. Or that time you were on a date and got a li’l drunk. If that was shown as the story of your life, you might end up looking bananas. I agreed to have my life filmed (and potentially look bananas on TV), so I was definitely opening myself up to being called a jerk by a total stranger. But after that encounter I started getting noticed in public more often, and then before I knew it, it felt like every other person on the street knew who I was. I had no idea how many people watched the show, and it was pretty weird! It felt like half of the population really liked me and the other half really, really didn’t. Random guys would shout out to me on the street: “Hey, Ryan! You’re the man!” Me? Oh, I assure you I am not THE MAN. But this made me think—how did people see me? And was this how I really wanted to be seen? It’s one thing to be disliked for being on a reality television show, but it’s another to be disliked in real life. Was what I believed to be a charming Ryan Reynolds–style banter actually making me seem like an asshole? When Million Dollar Listing New York started, I wasn’t thinking about being liked—I wanted to be a successful broker with a big personality. I didn’t understand that those two things were very closely related. How could I make a lot of money in my field if people hated me? You don’t hire someone you think is a jerk to sell your home or find you a new place to raise your children! If I wanted to be the best real estate broker in the universe, and make millions doing that, I needed to care more about how I came off to people. I needed to be more comfortable showing my real self and get rid of the overdramatized cartoon of a twenty-something bachelor who acts like it’s funny to forget the names of women he dated, or to take off his shirt and jump in the pool at his colleague’s open house.
Bullshit Audit
Aside from a handful of exceptions (mainly geniuses), you will not experience massive success if you aren’t self-aware. Now that I’m in a position to build a company and hire people, I can tell you I’ve seen some things. I’ve had brokers who mistakenly think that over-the-top saccharine sweetness or empty invites to their home in the Hamptons is how you endear yourself to a client and land the expensive listings.
It comes off as fake and people see right through that kind of insincerity.
There was a really smart member of my team who had a lot to contribute who had no idea that his colleagues viewed him as standoffish and unhelpful. This definitely could have prevented him from getting ahead and increasing his earning potential.
I’ve interviewed people for positions who walk into my office with bravado, only to throw themselves in a chair and sit there slumped over and looking sad. If I’m thinking, Are you going to cry? I’m definitely not going to hire you. There’s no way you’re going to earn big if you’re spending all your time searching for tissues to dab away at your tears.
Then there are the people who can’t make eye contact. They’re staring at the space right above my left shoulder. What are they looking at? Is there a ghost standing behind me?
There are the quiet talkers, the loud talkers (I admit I fell into this category). There’s the limp handshake and its reverse, the vice-like death grip (a red flag for BSME, by the way).
You need to know how you come off to others if you want to succeed. Until I was broadcasted to 25 million people, I thought I knew myself, but I was very, very wrong. But I’m about to tell you something very important, so listen closely. If you’re not getting what you want from life, if you’re not making as much money as you think you should, it’s entirely possible that it’s because of SOMETHING YOU ARE DOING THAT YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU DO.
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Insist on brutally honest feedback. Demand it! And appreciate how the short-term pain will promote long-term growth in YOU.
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Figuring out whether or not you are likeable starts with being open to criticism. Criticism can be your very best friend. As someone who has opened themselves up to constant criticism by being on television and social media—I say bring it. If I’m doing something that is off-putting, offends people, makes me sound dumb, or just drives people crazy, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT. If I’ve been running around Manhattan all day in the July heat and I come back to the office and someone tells me that I smell, my reaction is not going to be “Why are you so mean?” It’s going to be “Oh my God. I had no idea I was so pungent today. Thank you for bringing this to my attention before I went to my next listing pitch!” To be truly successful, you can’t respond to feedback and criticism by being defensive. That’s what people with Bullshit Money Energy do. Be open to areas where you can be even better! And how will you really know what those are if you DON’T LISTEN TO CRITICISM?
After my failed meeting with Gordon Murray, I asked one of my good (and very honest) friends to give me a quick bullshit audit. How did I come off to people? What did people see when I walked into a room? Scott said, “Ryan, your posture is terrible. It’s like you don’t even know that being tall is a good thing. You sit slouched over and that makes you look bored.” Really? I did not know this! But wait, he wasn’t finished. Lucky me! “And you don’t always look people in the eye when you talk to them either. You look at the ground. Why do you do that? It’s strange.” I slowly sat up straight, growing about six inches in the process. Wow, he’s right. I had no idea that I was a sloucher who didn’t make eye contact! I’d never get the opportunity to work with big developers (where the potential to earn money was huge) if I looked bored, slouched over, and couldn’t make eye contact. The picture I was presenting was not I WILL SELL THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR BUILDING AND MAKE YOU TONS OF MONEY; apparently it was I’m bored and I want to go home—and that’s bullshit.
The best thing about a bullshit audit is that it can show you things about yourself that can easily be corrected. Ask a few people you trust what your best and worst qualities are. You can take it! What if you eat like an animal? What if you’re a loud chewer? Wouldn’t you want to know about this before your next business lunch? You do not want to be THAT GIRL WHO CHEWS LOUD. These are small changes that can make a massive difference and greatly improve how you come off to people.
The feedback you get from a bullshit audit are directions for how to transform the raw material that is you into a better, more successful, richer version of yourself! I LOVE feedback and criticism, especially at work. I think of it as my customers literally telling me how I can make more money! Yes, tell me what I can do better!
People with BME pay attention to all of the feedback we get, and it goes into one of two categories. First, there are Valid Points—these are comments that cause us to sit up and pay attention because we want to preserve our bottom line. When customers bring up valid points, we seriously consider if we need to change or alter our practices. For example, do you forget to do things your clients ask you to do? Do you come to meetings unprepared? Do you exaggerate? Do you bring negative energy into the office because it makes YO...

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