Book Review: Big Money Energy by Ryan Serhant

First of all, I’ve got to say that the way Ryan promoted this book was incredibly creative. While he was asking people to preorder it, he taped the book to his body for weeks and said it would stay taped to him until it was on the best sellers list. He shared videos on social media of him working out with it taped to his hand and even in the shower. It was funny, eye-catching, sometimes excessive, and most importantly – it worked. On the day it was released, Feb 2 of 2021, I Amazon-Primed it to my house and awaited its delivery like a little Serhant fanboy.

I started reading the book on the evening of February 3 and kept on reading. That night I read to page 114 and there were multiple times when I laughed out loud. Ryan has a great way of telling stories that are humorous as well as insightful. He tells of his early days, when he was trying to be an actor, and then when he got into real estate. He tells stories about how he became successful and the risks and leaps of faith that he took to make it happen. The book covers a large portion of his life and gives a deeper look into how his mind works and what sets him apart. It was fascinating enough that I finished the book in 3 days. In case you’re wondering, it’s 229 pages.

Alright, now let’s move on to my takeaways from this book.

Be the “Big Version of You

Ryan starts by inviting you to think about the “Big” version of you. The most amplified, larger-than-life version of you. The version of you that is not average and accomplishes the goals that you have in life. What does the “Big” version of you look like? For him, it was becoming the best real estate broker in New York City, wearing fashionable clothes, selling million-dollar penthouses, having a wonderful family and an incredible life.

He tells a story of when he was a lowly, new real estate agent peddling small apartments to poor people and how he wanted this to change. One day, out of the blue, a woman from China calls him and said she wants his help to find a $2 to $3 million dollar apartment for her unborn daughter to eventually live in. Ryan can’t believe it and becomes beyond excited about it. He spends the next several weeks preparing for her visit from China. He researches all of the luxury apartment places in town, the tourist spots, and things she would want to know. He buys a new suit and rents a driver and town car. He wanted to look the part of an agent that does million-dollar deals. The Chinese woman comes to the US, she’s pregnant and half-asleep. They look at many apartments and finally, she decides on one. Ryan closes the deal and walks away with a $25,000 commission check. He’s excited and proud and takes his dad with him to deposit it at the bank. His dad is happy for him but tells him not to settle. He points out that Ryan is in a town where million-dollar deals are happening all of the time and that this is just a drop in the bucket of what he could be doing.

He talks about how the “small” version of you will try to hold you back and tell you things like: “you’re not good enough”, “you’re going to fail”, “why try?” etc. He said that Big Energy attracts Big Energy. People won’t look at you as successful or give you big deals if you don’t present yourself in that light.

This story got me thinking about what “Big Justin” looks like. What’s the next level for me? I’m pondering on it and spent about 2 hours yesterday jotting down my thoughts to get clear on it.

Live an Interesting Life

As Ryan wanted to be an actor in his younger days, he talks about how he made his life interesting enough for reality TV. He reviews how he controlled the narrative to even be selected for the show.

It got me thinking, what’s my average day like? Is it interesting enough that people, let alone myself, would want to watch it? Some days it would be, and most days it would not be. Digging deeper, this helped me think about what I can do to live a life that is more fascinating, bold, and adventurous. It’s not for an audience to see, but for me.

Don’t Be Held Hostage

Ryan shares how he let some of his flaws hold him back when he was young. He had bad skin and his hair started turning grey very early. In his mind, these things were holding him back from being the person that he wanted to be. He finally had enough of it and had some procedures done that improved his skin. He would dye his hair to hide the grey but eventually discovered that it wasn’t a flaw at all and stopped dying it.

I connected with this as I was the freckled face, pasty-white, skinny kid growing up. Now I’m the bald, freckled-face, still very pasty white kid. At times, my lack of confidence in my appearance impacts my actions. It does hold me back. Given this insight, I’m going to work on the things I can change and embrace the parts of me that I cannot. I won’t be held hostage from it.

The Thousand Minute Rule

This was probably my most favorite and memorable takeaway from the book. In it, he shares what he calls The Thousand Minute Rule. He said that every person, both billionaires and the homeless, wake up with the same number of minutes in the day to take action. After subtracting time for sleeping and eating, everyone has around 1,000 minutes. He said to think of your minutes as dollars. Would you throw $100 out the window and let it fly away? No, but yet that’s how we sometimes treat our time. We waste time doing things that provide zero value or a return on our investment.

He said that he will often track his time in 15-minute intervals. What did I do during those 15 minutes and did they help me get to where I want to go? He reviews this at the end of the day and makes adjustments when needed. I’ve since started doing this tracking activity too and it’s very insightful.

Build Your Round Table

I enjoyed this perspective as well. Ryan talks about how King Arthur had his round table of key people to help him make decisions and take action. He said what you need at your table is your Reputation, Competition, your Who, and your Task Master. Your reputation is who you are and what people say about you when you are not there. It will help or hinder you. You need a good reputation. Your competition will drive you. You need to choose someone or something that will give you enough anger or drive to do more and be more. Your Who is the person or people that you do everything for. It’s the person you don’t want to let down. It’s what keeps you focused and pushing forward. Your Task Master is what helps you do the things that you need to do, delegate things that someone else can do, and cancel the things that don’t bring you value.

This got me thinking about my reputation, my competition, my Who, and how I go about managing my tasks. Insightful stuff.

Decide Your Future Opportunities

Ryan keeps a folder on his desk labeled “Future Ryan”. When he hears of a good idea, he jots it down and put it in this folder. It’s full of ideas that he can’t do today but will do when the timing is right and he has the resources to do it. When evaluating a future opportunity (or “FO” as he calls it in the book) he considers the following: Is it worth my time? Will it bring me future opportunities? Will it bring me valuable connections? Somethings that don’t seem to be worth your time on their face could end up bringing you more opportunities and connections that would make it worthwhile.

I’m always thinking of things I want to do. Using a Futures Folder to manage and select these opportunities is a great idea.

Should You Read This Book?

Should you read this one? For sure, if you’re wanting more out of life. It was a fun read. Not so much a tactical one. However, it had enough insights mixed throughout to make it a book that I would recommend to others. I appreciate Ryan’s outlook on life, focus on positive energy, and drive. It’s inspiring.

If you’re looking to buy the book, you can find it here.

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