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64: Work the System

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In the second vlog episode, Danny talks about working the system to better run his real estate investing system. Don’t forget, these episodes are all available on the Flipping Junkie YouTube Channel at

Knowing how to run a business and making it successful has to do with how you work the system and react to things in a professional way. Danny talks about the ‘homework’ (because you never stop learning, even when you’re done with school) that he and his team have: reading.

The book Work the System, by Sam Carpenter, talks about how to manage a business with an emotionally detached point of view. Which really isn’t heartless, it’s objective for running a business efficiently. One of the best quotes that has helped Danny run his business is about looking at the work from above. The analogy goes something like this:

There are a lot of workers cutting down trees in a forest. They’re working really hard all day for weeks, and then the leader climbs up on of the trees to see their progress and finds out that they’ve been working in the wrong forest all this time. Danny keeps this in mind when working on his business instead of in it.


play podcast icon Recommended Books

Work the System, by Sam Carpenter

The book  talks about how to manage a business with an emotionally detached point of view.

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Work the system for more deals with my free training!

FlippingJunkie Youtube channel

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Danny Johnson: This is the Flipping Junkie podcast episode 64. [music] Welcome to the Flipping Junkie podcast. My name is Danny Johnson; former software developer turned house flipper, flipping hundreds of houses. Each week, we bring you interviews, strategies, stories, and motivation to help you get started flipping houses and on your way to becoming your own boss and achieving financial freedom. Thanks for spending time with me today. Now, let’s get to it.

Hey everybody! Welcome back. I’m headed to the office, about 7:30 in the morning. It’s a typical routine. Get up at 5:00 and I’ve got my morning rituals kind of thing. I’ll go over it in another episode of this. But, you know, basically got up at 5:00 and exercised, lift some weights. Again, it’s been a little over a week because in kickboxing I kind of tweaked my wrist and didn’t want that to – I don’t remember really what happened, but I didn’t want to injure that further so I didn’t really lift weights for about a week a little bit more. And so I finally did this morning. It’s always weird how after just one week even it’s kind of a little bit harder mentally to get yourself back out there and start exercising like that. But anyway, and then after you get going it’s great and you feel much better.

But then I went ahead to rush a little bit to finish my assignment. So we have homework for our flipping business where we have the team reading a book called Work the System by Sam Carpenter. It’s an excellent book. It’s about building systems for your business and working the systems and seeing everything from an elevated perspective. So Sam has a call center type business that was killing him for years. He had this sort of major collapse or whatever and an epiphany where he saw everything that was done in the company as a self-contained system, sort of as a machine and realized that he could set up processes inside the machine and then get it finetuned and kind of be apart from it. The biggest part of that is sort of having that elevated perspective. And this is what everybody talks about when they talk about working on your business and not so much in your business all the time.

The one analogy that I tend to always go back to is the one of some foresters are going through and chopping out trees in the forest and they’re working hard day in and day out, working really hard. Feeling like they’re kicking butt and everything. Then the leader goes and climbs a tree and looks around and says “Oh, crap. We’re in the wrong forest.” So they do all that work but it wasn’t the correct forest, so working on the wrong things. So you got to have somebody with an elevated perspective seeing and directing the company and seeing what’s working and what’s not, creating the systems and then always working on tweaking those. And so it’s just a good way to look at things and especially if you’re new in this business, to kind of see that and run everything and set up everything with that perspective, you know. And then one thing that he was talking about that kind of resonated with the homework assignment part of the chapters, those two chapters that were having everybody read every week and then our Monday morning meeting we discuss what we got out of it. It’s a good way to include everybody in the discussion because really, everybody is going to be creating the processes, not just one person but the whole team. So it’s good to have everybody onboard with it and with the discussion and everything, so it’s a really cool way to run things. But like one thing that really resonated with me in this chapter that he talked about was sort of detaching yourself emotionally whenever you have the elevated perspective. So it’s looking at things as they are, and this sort of goes the whole system and all that kind of stuff, he doesn’t mention that but I’ve been reading about some of that stuff, Marcus Aurelius writings and stuff. But looking at everything detached in an objective way so that you can fix them, so you can see exactly what it is without any kind of emotional attachment or reasoning or justifications or excuses really so you can see what’s broken, what needs to be fixed and fix, that kind of stuff. And that gets into a lot of the self-awareness and stuff that I’ve also been reading.

So, an excellent book that I’ve finished about that is called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It’s an excellent book. You should get that too if you want to find out more about self-awareness and sort of having an elevated perspective or an outside perspective. I think he calls it like the witness, so you witness how you’re reacting to things. In this business, like you know that we have stuff that comes up and that you’ve got to deal with, and so it looks easy to people maybe if they have success, it looks easy to them. Maybe it’s because they’ve just learned how to handle all the situations, come up and make it look easy. But everybody’s got problems, everybody’s got things that come up and cause them stress and problems. But it’s more about how you deal with it obviously. And having that detached outside perspective of how you’re reacting can change the way that you handle everything. So, it’s hard work. It’s not something you decide to do and all of a sudden start doing. So those are some things that are going on.

So I just want to share with you the book Work the System by Sam Carpenter, you should check it out. I really like the way he wrote the book too because he talks about his story. And he’s sort of was like a person that felt like, you know, to be happy you have to be carefree, like you just have to find a way to be carefree and not care about things and let things worry you and stuff like that. You just have to not be so strict and you have to be just like laidback. Then he find out like that’s not really a way to be happy, it’s not a good way because there’s no structure. So what he found out, and that was part of his epiphany, was just that even in his life all the things that he’s doing personally even are all systems and processes. And sort of being, you know, realizing that just finding ways to make those more efficient. You hear a lot these days about hacking stuff, you know. It’s about like life hacking. And really, a lot of that really mimics that or follows that sort of line of thinking. So it’s pretty cool. It’s a good way to look at things because if you understand that everything that you do, the way you spend your time and what you accomplish and what you want to do, figuring out what you want to do, what you’re doing, what you want to do and how you’re feeling about all of it. You’re stressed, changing what you’re doing or what you’re involved in, that’s the way to be happy. And that was the epiphany he had.

So I like the way he started the book that way because it kind of shows you instead of just being real dry and like to the point of you got to create processes, you got to document everything in your business is real. Like that’s the end product but the reasoning and the epiphany of getting there because it allows you to have that epiphany. So it’s pretty cool. Check it out and hope you enjoyed this episode. Obviously, I’m at the office. It takes me about 2 minutes to get from my house to the office, so that’s a luxury of being a boss and deciding where the office is. But anyway, have a great day! Talk to you soon.


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