Home Real Estate ‘Bar Rescue’ Host Jon Taffer on the “Secret Recipe” for a Successful Business

‘Bar Rescue’ Host Jon Taffer on the “Secret Recipe” for a Successful Business

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Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer has spent more than a decade finding the most disgusting, poorly-run, money-hemorrhaging bars in America and turning debt-ridden dumps into successful money-making businesses. How does he do it? In today’s show, this hospitality, restaurant, and bar legend will uncover the ONLY reason why businesses fail and the “secret recipe” for a successful entrepreneur.

And even if you don’t own a business or don’t plan on owning one, Jon drops some knowledge that cannot be missed and could turn WHATEVER you’re struggling with in life into a smooth path to success. Jon talks about the over two hundred bars and businesses he’s saved, the biggest mistake the owners are making, and how to get out of business debt if your business is in WAY too deep.

Lastly, Jon talks about what makes a successful entrepreneur and gives his most crucial advice for those who are about to launch or have plans to launch a business. Trust us, Jon’s advice could save your entire business!

Mindy:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. We have a great show for you today. We are interviewing Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue and talk about failing businesses, being an entrepreneur, and cutting the excuses. Hello, hello, hello. My name is Mindy Jensen, and joining me today is our senior producer, Kailyn Bennett.

Kailyn:
Hi, Mindy. So happy to be here.

Mindy:
So excited that you’re here, Kailyn. Sorry, Scott, but I think Kailyn is my new favorite.

Kailyn:
Oh, yikes. Sorry, Scott. We’ll have to battle it out with constructive confrontation like Jon talks about on the show after this. Just kidding. We don’t do that on this show ever. We all love each other so much.

Mindy:
All right, so Kailyn and I are here to make financial independence less scary, less just for somebody else, to introduce you to every money story because we truly believe financial freedom is attainable for everyone, no matter when or where you are starting.

Kailyn:
That’s right, Mindy. Whether you want to retire early and travel the world, go on to make big time investments and assets like real estate, start your own business, or cut the excuses and be the best entrepreneur you can be, we’ll help you reach your financial goals and get money out of the way so you can launch yourself towards your dreams.

Mindy:
All right, it’s time for the money moment where we share a money hack, tip, or trick to help you on your financial journey. Today’s money moment is install a water heater timer or go tankless. This device, which can range from as low as $7 up to $90, activates and deactivates your water heater when you’re not using it. You do have to program the device, but it can save you quite a chunk of change during the year.
Do you have a money tip for us? We’d love to hear it. Email [email protected]. With no further ado, let’s bring in Jon Taffer. Jon Taffer is the host of the Hit TV show Bar Rescue. He’s a renowned bar and restaurant consultant and a bestselling author. Jon, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. I’m so excited to talk to you today.

Jon:
Oh, I’m having equal excitement as you guys are. I’m looking forward to our discussion.

Kailyn:
Oh, us too. And I think we have to wish you a happy birthday. Didn’t you just have a birthday?

Jon:
I did. Yesterday. Don’t ask me how old. That’s not fair.

Kailyn:
We won’t.

Mindy:
40.

Jon:
Yeah, no, I’m teasing. But yeah, yesterday was my birthday and it was fun. I had two dinners last night. The second one was a little tough, two birthday dinners in three hours.

Kailyn:
Oh, good for you. That sounds awesome.

Mindy:
Did you have birthday drinks?

Jon:
Of course. I had some Taffer’s Browned Butter Bourbon espresso martinis, which are my favorites.

Mindy:
Oh, is that recipe on your website?

Jon:
It is.

Mindy:
Okay, because that sounds delicious. Okay, Jon, for those of us who have maybe been living under a rock and haven’t seen the show Bar Rescue, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the show?

Jon:
Sure. I’m a hospitality guy. I came up in the hospitality business. I actually went to college and my major was political science. My minor was cultural anthropology. So I’ve always had this massive fascination and study of human behavior and how do you change human behavior. How do I make you make a left over the right? How do I make it go up to three steps that nobody else will walk up?
In college, I started tending bar, became a bartender, a general manager, a vice president, a food and beverage director at the largest resort in America, and then became manager of that property at a young age, when I was still in my 20s. I had an innate ability to grow revenue wherever I went. And in a hotel business, if you’re at a property and you grow revenues by 25, 30%, it doesn’t take long before they move you to a bigger property, and then a bigger property. So I moved 11 times in five years as a manager.
I got a lot of experience of going into existing operations with each promotion and movement that I made in the industry. Suddenly I had a new property, a new team, a new everything. I had to create new culture, new energy. Often it wasn’t the most successful property, that’s why they sent me there. So I fought a lot of uphill battles in that role. And then from there, I started my own consulting company in 1986 in Chicago. At the time, tax codes had changed and food and beverage operations couldn’t be the write-offs that they were for hotels in the past.
So suddenly the guest amenity restaurant had to become a profit center and hoteliers did not know how to do that. So we created consulting company to do that, worked with hotels globally and created hundreds of hotel operations around the world. Again, hotel restaurants don’t have the credibility of freestanding restaurants. So again, being the underdog trying to build it up, trying to fight a competitive situation that might be stronger than my own. And then did that for a number of years, opened my own operations, won operator of the year.
Somewhere along the way, I created NFL Sunday Ticket and sat on a board of NFL enterprises along that process. One day I was giving a speech in Las Vegas and somebody comes up to me and said, “Jon, you should be on television.” And I thought about that. I went home and I wrote something up called On The Rocks, and it was a cross between Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Mission Impossible.
So the premise was they would drop me into a place and I’d have my files and I would pull out my experts, and I would just like on Mission Impossible put together my team and I would solve it. But I never thought it would be in four days, and I never thought it would be in a format that it wound up being. So I had consulted to Paramount in the past. So I called my friends at Paramount. I said, “Listen, can you do me a favor? Can you put a bunch of people in a room together for me?
Like some of the TV guys? I want to come in and pitch an idea to you and just tell me if I’m crazy or not.” So I go into the room with… And I’ll clean it up a little bit. I walked into the boardroom. I pitched them my idea. And they looked at me, they said, “Jon, you’ll never blank be on television. Never. You’re too old. You’re not good-looking enough. It’ll never happen.” And I’m telling the story for a reason. So I drove through the Paramount gates leaving. I’m guessing 90% of the people in the world, that probably would’ve been a no, but it wasn’t to me.
I said, “Boy, nobody can say no to me but me.” I put together my own sizzle reel. I went to a friend’s bar in Hermosa Beach and I shot it, and Saturday it was empty and Sunday it was full with football fans. And I put a sizzle reel together and I sent it to four companies who I had no previous relationship with, production companies, not networks. Got four out of four offers. Negotiated. I didn’t have an entertainment attorney. I didn’t understand the clauses of entertainment contracts, any of that, and then you go to Hollywood and you find out.
I really need an agent to do this right, but you can’t get an agent without a deal, but you can’t get a deal without an agent. I’m still trying to figure that one out, but I wound up with both somehow. I wound up with the agent and the deal somehow, and then the show launched in less than a year from that meeting that I had where I was told I would never be on television. The show premiered, and that was now almost 13 years ago, 250-ish episodes, and close to a billion dollars in overall revenue, I’m told. It’s amazing what you can turn a no into if one has the tenacity to fight it through.

Kailyn:
I have my background in film and it’s crazy you got four offers. That’s unheard of in the industry. And very selfishly, Bar Rescue is one of my favorite shows. Some people like to meditate at night. I like to wind down with a cocktail and listen to you tell entrepreneurs to be better.
So I’d like to shift to Bar Rescue and to talk about these failing businesses because you really go in, you clean up the act, the operations, the people. You make a whole new concept, a whole new culture. And I just wanted to know, what are the common threads you see in these failing businesses?

Jon:
Boy, that’s one of the best questions I have ever been asked, and it’s amazing to me that it’s not asked more often because it’s really the whole central element to everything that I do. I’ll tell a quick story, and I tell this story when I give public speeches. About 120 episodes in, I was in Detroit, Michigan and I was rescuing a bar in Detroit, Michigan owned by a woman. And I’m looking her in the face and I’m saying… Forgive me, I forget her name. It’s been 200 episodes since. I said, “Why are you failing?”
Now, I ask every owner that question, why are you failing? And I’m 120 episodes in, and she looked at me deeply in the eyes with all the sincerity she had and said to me, “Jon, I’m failing because of the euro in Greece,” in Detroit, Michigan. So I go back to my hotel room that night and I realize 120 episodes, I’ve asked 120 owners why they’re failing, not once has an owner looked at me and said, “I’m failing because of me.” Not one single time. So then I thought to myself, what did they say were the reasons?
Well, they blamed government, they blamed construction. Some of them blame the weather. They blame the pandemic. I mean, the list of excuses was two pages long. And I realized, son of a gun, I found a common denominator of failure, and it’s an excuse. And here’s why. If she wakes up in the morning and blames her failure on the euro in Greece when she’s looking in the mirror that morning, she has no reason to change. But if she looks in that mirror and blames herself for her failure, she’s not going to like that and she’s going to change.
And when you think about it, what is an excuse? An excuse is something that you use when you didn’t do something you should have. You did something you shouldn’t have. You fell short of an objective, or you otherwise failed. So you take this accountability, wrap it up in an excuse blanket and sleep like a baby. I suggest you shouldn’t sleep like a baby. I suggest you should fricking own it and look in the mirror in the morning and change something. They don’t. And when I find the central element of failure, sure, we can pick it apart and say it’s industry knowledge.
They don’t know accounting. They don’t know drinks. But at the end of the day, their excuses froze them. It caused them not to want to learn. It caused them to give up. It caused them not to be as inquisitive as maybe they could have been. Because ownership, if you own failure, I believe you can own success. If you don’t own your failures, you’re just going to keep failing. That’s my belief. So if you would’ve ask me why, the broad sense in a strange way is excuses, but you have to understand what I mean for that word.
That’s why I gave you such a long dissertation. But in every case, I truly believe had they owned it, they would’ve done things differently.

Kailyn:
Yeah, I think that they would’ve probably found a more curious approach and maybe wouldn’t have had to call you. I’ve seen so many episodes and my question is always like, why don’t these people save themselves? Come on, you’re in debt. You’re beaten down. You’ve had the (beep) kicked out of you. And we’re rooting for you. All you got to do is root for yourself.

Jon:
I was in one last week, and I mean, this place was an unbelievable mess. Excuse me. It was a (beep) hole, a deep one, disgusting. I mean, sometimes I have to pour powdered garlic on the tip of my nose and breathe through my mouth when I’m inside. That’s how bad it is. This is one of those, and what’s amazing is these people knew that there was an 80% chance that I was going to be there and they didn’t clean a damn thing. They’re embarrassed on national television.
They’ve seen other people get embarrassed on national television. Obviously I’m going to bust them for this, right? And they do nothing. So it’s just puzzling to me. And why would they do nothing? Because they don’t own it. Why would they do nothing? Because they don’t attach the failure to themselves. Somehow the bar is failing, but they’re not. Isn’t that interesting? And I suggest that every failing business has a failing owner.

Kailyn:
I think that anyone listening to the show, any operator of any business can take something away from that. I think it’s so easy to have a scapegoat, blame your staff, blame your operations, blame the location, blame the economy. But at the end of the day, if you don’t go in and take ownership of the situation, you’re never going to be successful.
And I think that’s what you’re saying here. Jon, before we get into what makes a successful business owner and dig more into the show in general, I’d like to ask you, is there ever a point where a business is too far gone to be saved? At what point should someone throw in the towel, say, “I gave it a good shot?” In your eyes, is it a debt limit? Is it a person limit? When is that point?

Jon:
I think that if I can call it a red line, I think that line sort of exists from a debt level differently for different people. I know people that are very wealthy, these businesses are almost toys to them. So they’ll keep losing money. Sure, they want to turn it around. Sure, they think they’re failing, but they’re not going to close it because they enjoy owning it. Let’s put that person aside because that’s fantasy land for 99% of us. The reality is when I think about the driving factors that cause this internally within them, it is personality to some degree.
I think it’s fear to some degree. I think it’s pride to some degree. They picked blue for that wall. That’s their favorite color, blue. They love that color blue, so much that they named the bar Blue. The Taffer shows up as blue walls, blue sign, blue uniforms, blue drinks. This guy loves blue. And I look at him and say, “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.” He takes it very personally, and there’s a blockage to their success, because to change course means that you have to believe the course you were on was in fact wrong in the first place.
That’s where the blockage happens. And that, again, is that same element of excuses and accountability. We almost always go back to that, but that’s where the blockage happens. So I go into an operation and I’m aggressive. You guys know that. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I’ll go in. I’ll walk you through it real quickly if you want to hear what happens. I get there day one. I show up about an hour before we start shooting. They put me in a makeup chair and I literally get a two-minute briefing.
Jon, John and George are ready to kill each other. They’ve been partners. They’ve been open 10 years. They’re in a whole $400,000. One’s already lost their house. The other one’s going to lose their house. They have enough money to make it three more months. That’s all I know. I don’t want to know anything else. The audience learns when I do. That’s why the show’s so successful. I am never ahead of you. So I go in. If I feel bad for them and it’s that kind of a situation, you’ll notice I’m very soft and very compassionate and supportive.
If I think they’re a jerk for one reason or another, particularly if they’re irresponsible and get people sick, I will be very, very aggressive. People say, “Why do you scream at that guy?” Well, I’m not screaming at him. I’m screaming for him. I’m thinking of his wife and kids at home. I’m thinking of the lost house. I’m thinking of the car he can’t pay for. I’m fighting for that. This is an exercise. So now I go in and I challenge this person. Well, he’s going to resist as we know, and that resisting, I have to break down.
I must break his confidence so his brain opens up a little bit and I can walk in in that moment of doubt. That’s where the ugliness comes in. That’s where I’m going to be relentless. I’m going to beat and beat and beat on you until I see that crack where you start to say, “Son of gun, this guy might be right. Wow, maybe that was a mistake. Wow, maybe I should listen.” Now, I’m saying things people have said before that’s why I say them so loudly.

Kailyn:
So we see that on the show, right? There’s this point of confrontation. The person’s usually really confrontational with you, let’s call it what it is, but then there’s this beautiful moment where you as a leader picks up this person and you inspire them. And you make them get their act together and turn them into the leader they need to be for the bar.

Jon:
Well, knowledge without motivation is nothing to me. Knowledge without incentive doesn’t get us anywhere. Incentive without knowledge is probably better than knowledge without incentive to tell you the truth, because great incentive will find knowledge, right? Knowledge doesn’t always find the incentive. It’s interesting when you ask that question. Let me finish what I was saying. So after that little short briefing, I go in and do recon. What you don’t know is at the end of recon, we put all the employees in vans in the parking lot.
I go in and design the bar that night. I’ve never seen it before. I’ve never met these people before. It’s all fresh. So I look at a demographic report, a psychographic report. I design the bar that night and come up with a concept. We go back to the hotel. Next day you see training and stress test on camera. What you don’t see is we’re picking bar stools, furniture. Every element of the design has to come together, and I have to get everything in 24 hours. If something is great but I can’t get it, then I can’t get it in time.
We’re really under this pressure. By the end of the second day when stress test ends, here’s what you don’t see on camera. The logo has to go to the sign maker. The recipes and food orders have to be in and the drink recipes and orders have to be in. All the furniture has to be designed. All the paints and everything has to be ordered. All the contractors have to be on board. All of that has to happen by the end of day two. And I tell business leaders in every convention I speak at, what the hell takes you guys so long to do everything when we do it in just hours and days?
So at the end of the second day, at the end of stress test, all that stuff is ordered and done. We start construction that night, so the night of day two. We construct on day three. So on TV on day three, you see me training in another location and my experts training in another location because under construction. So we build it tonight of day two, the day of day three and the morning of day four. So we do build it in 36 hours. At the most, 38, 39 hours. On day four, as soon as the sun goes down, the vans pull up with them in blindfolds.
We put them in front of the bar, turn them around, reveal the bar. I spend a couple of hours. We wrap up, take two days off, and do it all again the next week. So when you look at that process, I don’t have a lot of time with them, so I’m really aggressive. There’s a clock ticking in my head every fricking minute. So I get a couple hours with them here, a couple hours with them there. So it’s sort of like Gestalt therapy. If you went to a psychiatrist and said, “Listen, I don’t have a lot of time. What should I do?”
He’s going to say, “Gestalt therapy. I’m going to come at you hard. I’m going to be aggressive. I’m going to break all the (beep) down.” So I look at it as Gestalt therapy. So I am really aggressive. And as a last point, it’s not easy to insult somebody in front of their employees. It’s not easy to degrade another human being. It’s a very hard thing to do. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, especially to do it on national television. So I can’t be there to degrade someone. The only way I can live with myself and do this is to fight for something.
Often, and I mentioned this earlier, the person I’m fighting for isn’t him or her who’s running a bar. It’s the spouse at home. It’s the kids that they’ve said no to every time for six months. It’s the college fund that’s not happening. I find something like that to fight for. Now when I see a picture of their kids and realize those kids are in trouble, their house is on the line, boy, watch how aggressive I suddenly become. That’s the secret to doing something like this is you have to fight for something almost bigger than the business itself, to fight that hard for it and to be so sincere.
That’s why after 250 of them, every time I look in their eyes and see the pictures of their wife or their families or their husbands, I become a maniac to fight to save that.

Mindy:
So a big hurdle for some of the operators on the show is debt. How do you coach them to get out of debt after the rescue? And how do you encourage them to continue to stay out of debt once they get themselves out of debt?

Jon:
I think it depends upon the business situation. But let’s assume for a moment you own 100% of your business and let’s assume from the moment because of pandemic or whatever situations, you’ve been beat to hell and you’re in debt let’s say a quarter of a million dollars just for conversation’s sake. So now a guy named Taffer comes in with his national television show, does a Taffer remodel, puts it on national television. Suddenly it has this endorsement on it, doesn’t it? Suddenly the market is sort of curious about it, isn’t it?
If ever there was a time to bring on an equity partner, that was it. That’s the fricking moment. So at that point, if you know this is happening, surround yourself by potential investors and equity partners. A guy like me comes in, rejuvenates the business. Now, I’m going to give you a scenario where a guy like me doesn’t come in a minute, okay? Comes in and rejuvenates the business. There’s this positive energy. There’s this positive spirit. There’s this momentum. You can feel it.
That’s the time to bring in partnership. Take in equity dollars to retire debt or renegotiate debt, or sometimes if it’s private debt, you can negotiate debt into equity, right? Or a combo package of the two. Let’s say for a moment a guy think Taffer isn’t showing up and this business is old and tired. Well, I still think an equity play is very meaningful. One thing about the hospitality business is a lot of people, and the retail business, there’s a lot of ego in this business. There’s a lot of people out there would love to own a bar, would love to be part of a bar, would love to have a legacy like that.
So I got to tell you, if I own Paul’s Bar, and a guy named Joe came up to me and said, “Hey, Jon, I hear you’re half a million dollars in debt. I’ll write you a check for $400,000. I’ll take 40% of the business. I want it to be Joe’s Bar.” That sign will change in 48 fricking hours as far as I’m concerned, because there’s no ego in the name. There’s no ego in interior. There’s only an ego with a thick wallet. So to me, I would find those local partners, those local businesses that might have an interest in participating in your business, even rebranding it.
Because when you’re rebrand it, there’s all that new excitement and energy and all the things that come with a rebranding package. I think that’s what you sell. Lastly, often, I don’t know where the debt is, if it’s landlord debt, that can typically be extended over the life of the lease and smaller payments for the term of the lease. That can be a pretty effective approach to do it. There are factoring companies out there. I suggest them only as a last resort where you can go out and you can look at your credit card activity for the past year.
They’ll lend you about 80% of your credit card activity. They’ll advance it to you for the year. But to do that, you have to give them the credit card processing and they will reimburse themselves. So they take like 50% of your credit card revenues in real time until they pay themselves back. So I caution people, it’s a pretty good option, but do your economics, do your budgeting, make sure the numbers work, but it could be a nice short-term solution to get your hands on some cash if you’re doing some credit card business.
Again, it’s not cheap and losing that percent… If 80% of your revenue is credit card activity and you’re going to lose half that revenue on a payback, you’re not going to make it. So assess these things very, very carefully. But a local partner who wants to be involved in a business is an interesting option. Another business in town that wants to open another location. If Joe’s Pizza is looking for another location, why not take my bar and put a Joe’s Pizza station in the back and offer Joe’s Pizza in my bar and get an investment out of Joe?
So there’s ways of combining brands, combining experiences to create value and add equity and assets to the business. As you guys could see, I’ve been in this situation more than once or twice.

Kailyn:
Just 250 episodes or something like that, helping people and I’m sure thousands of time at this point. And I’d really like to talk about in your eyes, what makes a successful entrepreneur? What’s the secret recipe that you’ve noticed over the years?

Jon:
I think two things. I think one is passion. You really got to be excited about what you’re doing, because when you don’t… My grandfather used to say, if you don’t have a thick checkbook, you better have a thick idea book with a lot of passion. And most entrepreneurs don’t have a thick checkbook. So passion is what gets you over those hurdles, confidence, belief in your product, singing your own praises, singing the praises of what you believe, et cetera, is the important thing.
The other element that I think makes an entrepreneur successful is, and I could say this with my producer sitting next to me and I bet he would agree with me when I say it, make the people around you successful. I want to say that again. Make the people around you successful. You see, an entrepreneur is made successful typically because of the people around them. Sure, their vision, but they’re often not the executor. Make the people around you successful, focus on their individual growth and success, and that’s how you’ll find your success.
And I don’t think a lot of other entrepreneurs quite say it that way, but I have found that to be very successful. I’m sitting next to my producer. I won’t say his name because I don’t want to make him blush, but we just passed a five-year anniversary together, right? And we almost separated four years ago. There was an incident we almost have, but I made an investment and I committed to his success.
Now, he’s one of the greatest producers I’ve ever worked with in my life, and I love him and he’s like part of the family. But when you make the people around you successful, make no mistake, they know it.

Kailyn:
Jon, what advice would you give to someone trying to start their own business in today’s market?

Jon:
Little shaky times. Budgets are not quite as solid, as predictable as they used to be. Not that they were all that predictable even back then, but they’re certainly less predictable today. We look at the international situation, inflationary aspects, changes in the consumer marketplace. A lot of changes in consumer behavior these days. I was in a meeting today, super premium liquors are suddenly taking a real hit this time of year. They’re not supposed to be. We’re looking at different sectors and different things.
I’m fortunate in my business to be at a level where I get to be exposed at all these high level numbers and trends and stuff and have extra money. Here’s the thing about being an entrepreneur today. It’s going to take longer and it’s going to cost more. Expect that. Here’s the way to do it, expect it’s going to take twice as long and cost twice as much. If you do that, you have the runway to make mistakes. You have the runways. I would say 30% of the bars that go out of business today wouldn’t have gone out of business if they had the money to make it a couple more months.
They were learning. They were getting there. They were about to turn that profit. It was starting to feel right. Out of money. I was building that site. People were starting to… Out of money. How many businesses fail because they ran out of resources more than they had a time to root, to learn, to blossom, to become a vehicle of success? That’s my advice. Money cures all mistakes and all evils. So you don’t have to have it, but have access to it. And I find that people that go at it that way have the resources and time for missteps and can come out of it like a rose.

Mindy:
I love it. That’s such a great answer. It’s kind of a no-brainer. We’re in real estate and I’m a real estate agent. I tell people there is no problem that it’s too big that you can’t throw enough money at it and solve it in real estate, in business, in almost anything.

Jon:
Sure. I’m buying a house now. And it’s interesting today with interest rates, obviously I’m not getting a mortgage in today’s marketplace, but the creative transactional abilities that one has today are remarkable. And if one surrounds themselves by the right people and the right partners, those are the people you lean on when we’re having bumps in the road. And that’s important. So in your business, you have a lot of asset value around you, which makes it a little easier.

Mindy:
So Jon, I assume that you have put all of these things into your book as well.

Jon:
I have my. First book, Raise the Bar, is all about the science of reaction management. The premise of that is you don’t sell real estate. That’s (beep). You sell reactions. You achieve it through real estate. If your client doesn’t react to the real estate, it isn’t sold. If your client doesn’t react to you, it isn’t sold. Make no mistake. You’re not in the film business. You’re in a reaction business. You make a film that establishes zero reactions, it’s a failure. If you establish a film that creates reactions, it’s success.
So understand, the film is not the product. The reaction is the product. The film is the vehicle to that reaction, and he or she who creates the greatest reactions in life succeeds. So I created a whole science around that called reaction management, the principles and the sciences of reaction management, managing the reactions of those around you to achieve more in your business and professional life. And that was my first book, Raise the Bar. My second book was Don’t BS Yourself! Cut the Excuses That Are Holding You Back.
That’s the one all about the excuses and the story and everything that we were talking about. And my third book, which came out just about a year ago, is called The Power of Conflict. And it’s the premise that unfortunately in today’s society, people are conflict adverse. So we keep our ideals to ourselves. We keep the things that are important to ourselves too much because we don’t want to engage in conflict. And I don’t mean wars and guns, I’m talking about personal. Without conflict, we don’t express ourselves.
We don’t grow. We don’t learn. It’s opposing opinions that often make us learn and grow. Without conflict, we wouldn’t have had the Civil Rights Act. Without conflict, we wouldn’t have gone after Hitler. Without conflict, there’s so many things in life that wouldn’t have happened. But there’s destructive conflict and there’s constructive conflict. So if I was going to engage in conflict with you, Mindy, for example, I’m going to do it in a constructive way. I want to say, “Okay, what is my purpose? I’m going to do this.”
I’m going to disagree with her on a few things. Why am I going to do that? How do I make my conflicts constructive so we both are in a better place at the end of it and hug? That’s how I do it in Bar Rescue. I always get my hug in the end, don’t I?

Kailyn:
You do.

Jon:
So that’s the third book is the science and the approach to positive engaging conflict and to not be scared of conflict, but to learn how to make it constructive, not destructive. Unfortunately, we have a lot of destructive conflict around us these days.

Kailyn:
Very much. Unfortunately, we do. Well, Jon, it’s been an ultimate pleasure to talk to you. For our audience, please check out Jon’s book. Please check out Bar Rescue. Like I said, phenomenal show. Jon, if you want people to follow you on social media, is there a good place to do that?

Jon:
Sure. I’m Jon Taffer, J-O-N-T-A-F-F-E-R, everywhere on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram. We’re that everywhere, so we’re very easy to find. You can also learn about my bourbon, my Taffer Browned Butter bourbon, and we have a Taffer Browned Butter Bourbon website as well. And if you haven’t had that, we got to get you guys a bottle.

Kailyn:
Oh yeah, yeah, we definitely need to do that. And Jon, I’m just going to volunteer Mindy and I. If you ever need two people in Denver, Colorado for recon, give us a call. We’ll show up. We volunteer as tribute.

Jon:
As an old DU guy, I don’t know if you knew that.

Mindy:
Oh, I didn’t.

Jon:
I’m a DU guy.

Kailyn:
I didn’t know.

Jon:
I went to University of Denver, so we have that connection. We’ll make that happen.

Kailyn:
Oh my gosh. Yay! I would love it. Well, Jon, thank you so much for your time today. We hope at some point we can have you back on the show.

Jon:
Oh, I’d love to. I enjoyed it. Nice to talk to you both.

Kailyn:
All right, Have a good day, Jon.

Jon:
You too. Bye-Bye.

Mindy:
Holy cow, Kailyn, I loved that episode. I love Jon. I am so excited for all of the great information he shared with our listeners. What did you think of the show?

Kailyn:
I’m trying to find the words. I loved it. I love Jon Taffer. I remember when all of us were in a production meeting talking about this going, I don’t know, I wonder if Jon Taffer would say yes to the show. And we’re so grateful he did. And I think that the big thing about this show that really resonates with me is the advice he gave isn’t just about the bar industry, it’s about being a good operator.
It’s about being a good entrepreneur. It’s about being a good investor at the end of the day. Surround yourself with the right people, have your operational stuff together, cut the excuses and do the best job you can, care and be passionate. And I think that that’s the true takeaway for our audience today at BiggerPockets Money no matter what industry or whatever you’re investing in.

Mindy:
The excuses comment that Jon made was so spot on. And I’m thinking to myself, that’s not just bar and restaurant owners, that’s everything. That’s your financial situation. That’s your life choices. That’s your whole life. If you are making a mistake and you are continuing down the path of mistakes, that’s not because somebody else wronged you or somebody else did something or something happened to affect… The euro in Greece is not affecting your bottom line here in Detroit. I mean, you can make an excuse for anything.

Kailyn:
I think that there has to be that point where you cut the (beep), stick to your guns, and make it happen. And I think that we can all really take that inspiration today from Jon as someone who’s made so many things happen. He’s really taken advantage of this life.

Mindy:
Yeah, and he’s so good at what he does. I can’t imagine being a bar owner and having him walk into my bar. I would be like yay and oh no all at the same time.

Kailyn:
Well, Mindy, if he makes good in his promise, we can get to go to recon and I’ll get see it for ourselves. We’ll be liquored up on his cocktail he mentioned at the top of the show to get through it.

Mindy:
Oh, the Taffer Browned Butter Bourbon Espresso Martini. Yeah, I’ve got to go make one of those as soon as we’re done recording. That’s sounds awesome.

Kailyn:
Let me drive up to Longmont real fast. We’ll do it together.

Mindy:
Okay, well, Kailyn, thank you so much for stepping into Scott’s shoes today and joining me on this show. I really appreciate you.

Kailyn:
Oh, thank you, Mindy. I appreciate you.

Mindy:
So that wraps up this episode of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. She is Kailyn Bennett, our esteemed senior producer, and I am Mindy Jensen saying, see you later, alligator.

Voiceover:
If you enjoyed today’s episode, please give us a five star review on Spotify or Apple. And if you’re looking for even more money content, feel free to visit our YouTube channel at youtube.com/biggerpocketsmoney.

Mindy:
BiggerPockets Money was created by Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench. Produced by Kailyn Bennett. Editing by Exodus Media. Copywriting by Nate Weintraub. Lastly, a big thank you to the BiggerPockets team for making this show possible.

 

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.



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