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AP 1035: How Can I Create Something Online to Support My Offline Practice?

AP 1035: How Can I Create Something Online to Support My Offline Practice?

By Pat Flynn on

About This Episode

Tarun has a successful dentistry business but he also has a passion for teaching other dentists. How can he create something online that serves those efforts while he keeps his chair-side practice going in the meantime?

We start by evaluating Tarun’s work so far to find out what might be holding him back from taking action. We dig deep to find the roots of this issue. Next, we identify some of his hangups about getting started with his recorded content, and I help him develop a strong mindset for driving past any mental hurdles. In the end, Tarun gains clarity for his next steps towards his goals.

What You’ll Learn:
Learn strategies and mindsets for pushing past hangups and perfectionism and serving your audience online.

AskPat 1035 Episode Transcript

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Pat Flynn: What’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here, thank you so much for joining me in Episode 1035 of AskPat 2.0. This is a show where I invite entrepreneurs from all different ares of their business and levels of their business and coach them. I coach them through a pain or a problem that they’re having in their business, and likely you might have that same problem too or might come across that problem in the future. The point of this is to help you move forward in your business through real life situations.

I’m so glad you’re here, and actually you can apply to get featured here on AskPat, just like Tarun today, who’s going to be talking about his dentistry. He has a passion for dentistry, he has been doing it in person chair-side for so many years and wants to start expanding into a lot of things online. We’re going to talk him through how to make that happen in the simplest way possible, because there are many ways that one might be able to do that. But if we were to keep it easy, what would it look like? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

But like I said, you can apply to get coached just like Tarun today. If you go to you can also see a number of the other shows in the archive here across one-thousand-plus episodes, and this is just one of my favorite things to do, by the way. Thank you to everybody who has left a review recently on iTunes for AskPat, super helpful and I just appreciate you so much. So,, that’s where you go to apply. I cannot select everybody of course, but we do keep track of them all, and I do go back sometimes into the past to look for new people to bring on the show, and maybe one day it’ll be you. So

Also, before we get to the content here, I do want to talk today’s sponsor, which is, one of my favorite companies. You know, one of the biggest problems related to running your own business is all the paperwork. What if you could just, almost with the snap of the fingers—can you hear that? Maybe not—make it all go away? What’s really cool is we have these tools available now to do a lot of this stuff.

For the financial stuff, I would highly recommend FreshBooks, because I use them myself. They’ve helped me save so much in terms of headaches and time, they help you keep track of your income, your expenses, and especially invoicing can be such a headache; you don’t need that right now in your business. Check them out, they even have a proposal feature. If you are somebody who needs to get clients, or wants to get clients, or do work for others who have these—what are they called, RFPs—request for proposals, this would help you take care of that too. If you want to check it out—FreshBooks for thirty days for a free unrestricted free trial—all you have to do is go to and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. That’s it. All right, let’s get to today’s episode with Tarun. Here we go.

Hey, Tarun, welcome to AskPat 2.0. Thank you for being here today. How are you?

Tarun: Good. I’m great, Pat, thank you for having me on. It’s an honor and a pleasure.

Pat Flynn: Absolutely. We’re going to help you out today as best as we can, and everybody is listening in too and hopefully we can give them some good stuff as well. Why don’t we start by having you tell us, Tarun, what do you do and kind of what you’re up to?

Tarun: I’m a dentist by trade and a lot of my area of expertise has led me to doing a lot of training and speaking and educating other dentists throughout the country. With social media, obviously, throughout the world at this point. My biggest challenge is, is how do I balance and transition from being a chair-side practicing dentist to doing more of the stuff that I truly love, which is educating and teaching and sharing with others?

Pat Flynn: Awesome. How long have you been doing this sort of online social stuff related to dentistry?

Tarun: I’ve been online since 2000, 2001, when there were like basically forums and things. Obviously in the last seven, eight years, more in the traditional social media that we know today.

Pat Flynn: Very cool. I’d love to ask you what your ultimate goal is. Is it to break free totally from the practice that you have? Or, I’d just love to know where your head is at in terms of goals.

Tarun: I don’t want to break free totally. Number one, the practice is a guaranteed steady job that I’ll probably be able to have the rest of my life. You never know with online and all of these things. But no, it’s to strike a balance and maybe do two days of each, or somewhere half-half is where I want to be, or a more reasonable half-half. Right now it’s half-half but it’s not a reasonable half-half.

Pat Flynn: Sure. So are you speaking in terms of income or time, or what would mean success to you if you were able to snap your fingers and have it be the way you would want it to be? What would that look like? How would that feel to you?

Tarun: Yeah. I’m very, very fortunate to have a fantastic income, so that’s not the issue. I would like to make more of it without having to work chair-side, and without having to go around speaking and doing things like that. I really haven’t found a way to enter the online training and things like that. I think that’s where most of my significant frustration is. But to answer the question more directly, success wouldn’t be more money necessarily, it would be just not revolving so much of my time to earn the income that I earn.

Pat Flynn: Okay, great. That helps frame it quite nicely for me, I appreciate that. What have you tried so far or have attempted to do, or are in the process of doing to help you get there, so far?

Tarun: I think I suffer from paralysis, to be quite honest with you.

Pat Flynn: Don’t we all?

Tarun: Well, it’s overthinking it, and part of it is a little bit of complacency. Balancing three kids, very busy practice, and all the other things I have going on, it’s just hard to sometimes motivate myself to make it happen. Then, when I do sit down to plan things out, I have this perfectionism mentality that I’m just trying to create something unbelievably great, which eventually creates nothing at all.

Pat Flynn: I can definitely relate too, on that. I’ve coached a lot of people who have suffered from the paralysis, or the analysis paralysis, and the perfectionism. But we all have kind of different reasons for that. I’m curious to know from your perspective, why do you think you try to be perfect at these things that you’re putting together? Which obviously you know it’s holding you back, but I’m just curious if we can dig deep and perhaps find the roots of why is perfection so important to you?

Tarun: I think it’s part of my industry. It’s what makes me a relatively pretty good dentist, and I just always try to do everything at a very high level. And I want to deliver unbelievably exception value to people and I think that’s really what is part of what holds me back, is this belief that I have to create exceptional value. And to be completely truthful, it’s also some fear of failure. It’s probably a little bit more of that than anything else.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, the industry you’re in, obviously, people want perfect teeth, and that’s what you give them. Like, “Hey, all your teeth are straight, except for that one, it’s super crooked, but you know, we got 99 percent of them.” That doesn’t really fly in the industry.

Tarun: No, it doesn’t.

Pat Flynn: But with the online stuff, I’m curious to unpack the fear of failure. What do you worry about?

Tarun: I’ve been successful in most things I’ve done, on nearly everything I’ve done. I don’t want to create something and not have it do well, not have . . . part of it, it’s the fear, right now. So much of my education in terms of what I share online is free; we certainly do a lot of live education and that’s not free, and that’s a pretty good premium for that. It’s just the fear of maybe not delivering the same value and the same level of enthusiasm via online education as we do in a personal setting.

Pat Flynn: Do you think that you have some of the best content out there that could actually help people?

Tarun: I firmly believe we have content that can help you. I have a hard time saying best to anything, but we certainly can help a lot of people as it is.

Pat Flynn: You can help a lot of people. Do you feel like the fear getting in the way is fair to those people who you know you can help, even if that stuff wasn’t 100 percent perfect?

Tarun: Yeah, I would say what’s unfair to them is right now they can get so much from me in a randomized, unorganized way. But to be able to put things into a logical pattern will effect greater change and make a bigger impact on people, and that’s what keeps pushing me to do this. Plus, there’s something nice about having something that you make once or twice and support people and have a recurring revenue from that. There’s something that really obviously appeals to me on that.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s the passive income part, that’s the removing yourself from the actual work but still being able to help people. How can I help you get there?

Tarun: Good question. Part of it is the tech, part of it is, am I holding myself back by trying to do it all myself? What are good resources to people that have done it before? Even if I start, honestly, even if I start and it’s not exactly what I want, just getting started will be the biggest thing in moving me forward, is doing it … I started writing a book and hired somebody to help me with that, and I never finished that up. I have this—I just constantly do this; I don’t completely finish up so many good things that will help me achieve my goals. But it’s more about having resources and people that’ll help me hold me accountable that I can sit with a little bit more regularly and, you know, something like that.

Pat Flynn: I mean, you know those people exist and they’re out there. If you really wanted to accomplish something, you would be able to find those people. You have connections, and obviously I know a lot of people that I can help you with if you have certain things that you want to get done. But I think what’s most important is determining what that top, number one next thing that you need to do is and just following through with that. Part of that is realizing that follow through doesn’t necessarily mean ‘to perfection,’ it means to a point of completion such that you’ll be able to collect information to then make that thing even better. This is what I talk about in my book Will It Fly? It’s the whole validation process, and perfection is sometimes failure, because that teaches you what you can do to improve whatever that product might be or what that thing is.

If I were to ask you, or almost force you to select one thing that you needed to work on to help you with schools and creating something, whether it’s a book or an online course or whatever it might be, what would you say that one thing would be?

Tarun: I think the first thing would be to create an outline of what . . . listen, as I sit here and talk to you, this is stupid to me, because I can have a group of twenty, thirty people come into my training center and I can hold their attention for two or three days, and here I am struggling to put together the outline of an online course. I mean, it’s illogical to me.

Pat Flynn: It’s not stupid though, this is natural.

Tarun: On top of that, I have five different live education courses I do. So there’s five natural online versions of that, that I just haven’t . . . and our courses sell out and they do very well, it’s just—

Pat Flynn: That’s amazing. That’s really great, I mean, you’re set up for success here. You know that, right?

Tarun: No, I am, 1000 percent. I’m not afraid of work, that’s never been my issue, and I’m not afraid of investing the finances and the resources into it, it’s just getting started. Part of it is also, I’ve got to choose to step backwards for a little bit of time. I’ve got to say, “Okay, I’m not going to go out and speak eighteen times this year because that’s not just eighteen dates, that’s eighteen plus day-and-a-half on each end of it for the travel part of it,” you know. I’ve got to say, “You know what? I’ve got to say no to that so I can buy the time to put into this, because as it is I’m working six days a week.” Look, I’m not complaining about work, and I don’t want to come across that way.

Pat Flynn: You seem to enjoy it a lot, which is a good thing.

Tarun: I love it. It’s passionate. I’ve been fortunate to be able to do this as a profession.

Pat Flynn: That’s so cool, Tarun. I’m curious, the things that you would be putting together, this outline that you were talking about, which would then become whatever it is, how similar is it to what you already teach in a live setting?

Tarun: It could be almost exactly the same. Obviously, there’s things that have to be different, because so much of what we do with dentistry, and certainly with my training, so much of it is with your hands, and doing things on a practice basis. But being able to do that through an online course is obviously not impossible. I’ve actually thought through that too, but a little bit more difficult. I think that’s where some of it becomes a little bit of a challenge.

Pat Flynn: If I were learning from you, and I could not attend a live event, would I still get value from watching a recording of that live event? Or having it chopped up into pieces that I could then absorb later?

Tarun: Of course, absolutely, because . . . yeah, absolutely. That’s an option. But I would tell you that seems like the cheesy, and cheating way to do it to me, is to just record it and put that out there. I want to do it better than that.

Pat Flynn: Tell me why you think that’s cheesy, if you know it can help me.

Tarun: It’s a good point, sorry about that.

Pat Flynn: No, it’s okay.

Tarun: It’s a good point. It’s just this mental, again, back to that mental hurdle I have. If you want me to make it even worse for you, I have a full-time videographer that I employed to help document a lot of the content I create on a personal branding level. So it’s not like I don’t have the resources to do that.

Pat Flynn: This stuff is already there. Sgain, for me as a person who would love to learn from you but I possibly cannot make the live events, or it’s too expensive for me to go to those, I would imagine that I’d be more than happy to pay for access to that information. Likely, it might even be more interesting because it’s an actual setting where you’re with other people, it almost makes it more real instead of less cheesy because of that, I think.

Tarun: Yeah, I guess I almost have to say, “You know what? I’ve got nothing to lose in recording it, let the beauty of the videographer find a way to tell the story a little better and set up multiple cameras maybe, if that’s what it takes,” maybe that’s not a bad choice, to just start by filming it.

Pat Flynn: It could be cheesy. Right. I know where you’re coming from when you say cheesy, like you could literally have one camera set up in the back of the room where you can hardly see you, and it’s just the exact same thing, and there’s no addressing the person who actually took the course. But if I took that course for example, and I saw your face there and this was filmed perhaps later, this is like the face to production part, you go, “Hey, my name is Tarun. What you’re about to see is a live presentation that I’ve had people pay thousands of dollars to attend, and you’re getting it for X amount of dollars, and it’s going to be very valuable to you for this reason, et cetera, et cetera.” You’re setting it up, and then I go in and I’m at this event without having to actually go to this event and it’s on demand.

The on demand aspect is very attractive now. This is a term that we now know because of Netflix, because on demand through AT&T and Time Warner. These are conveniences, and that’s what you’re selling here.

Tarun: Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of the ways I learned, for goodness sakes. I guess really I’m stuck, and what I’m hearing from you is I’m stuck in just overthinking this and I just need to get it started and try something. Worst case scenario, if it’s not exactly what I want, at least I’ll have a starting point of at least knowing what I don’t like.

Pat Flynn: Are you at all afraid of people not wanting this, or is it more just your own standard of production and level of—

Tarun: I think it’s more my own standard, to be honest.

Pat Flynn: Okay. Then you know that that’s kind of just silly then.

Tarun: Yeah. I mean, listen, there’s always a little bit of fear that somebody doesn’t want it, right?

Pat Flynn: Of course.

Tarun: But I don’t think that’ll be the issue for me at all.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, no. I don’t think so. If you really wanted to make sure, you could pre-sell. “Hey guys, we’re selling the recordings of the latest presentation,” you know. You obviously set up the sales page, or whatever, and you get people to buy it before it comes out. You can even add a few extra things based on those initial buyers’ feedback, just to make sure it has everything they need if it’s not already included in there.

Tarun: Yeah, we’ve had people ask for recordings, because that way it allows the team members, when they get back to the office, to virtually attend without having to bring the team members.

Pat Flynn: Oh man, that’s huge. You could even give that away for free for the live attendees. “Hey guys, we sell this afterwards, but we’ll give it to you as a recording,” or on demand you do sell this thing. If anything, that adds more value even to the live thing. It kind of works hand in hand there. Here’s the thing for me: you’re exactly where I was a while back when I was creating my own online courses. “First of all, why would I need to do it?” But also I wanted to be the high level of standard that I normally have with all my other stuff. It was Tim Ferriss—you know who Tim Ferriss is?

Tarun: Mm-hmm, The 4-Hour Workweek.

Pat Flynn: Right. He says this, and this has kind of been my mantra and what I teach now: “If this were easy, what would it look like?” Because I think we, entrepreneurs, we always try to make things way more complicated than they need to be, especially because we’re all perfectionists. But if it were simple, what would it look like? I think we’ve already kind of unpacked that.

Tarun: Yeah. But then there’s the communication part, and selling it, and that overwhelms me a little bit too. But I guess I got to get started somewhere, and the content is the first step to being able to sell something. You can’t sell something you don’t have.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, it’s really funny the way you said that. You’re like, “Yeah, but the communication”—which you likely would master, because this is your passion, so there would be no problem there, in my opinion. Then you’re like, “Oh, that’s selling,” and you’re already telling me that people want it. It’s funny how we just use these things in our brain on the surface level as excuses when really they’re there already, they’re going to happen.

Tarun: Yeah. I mean, people pay me thousands of dollars to attend one of my two or three day training programs, so it’s not like they don’t value it.

Pat Flynn: This has been a really fun discussion, Tarun. I’d love to hear from you kind of your summary of what your next steps might be. Start with that.

Tarun: I think to me the biggest thing I’m going to take away is I just need to start by recording what I’m doing already.

Pat Flynn: It’s such high value that it’s almost a waste not to, right?

Tarun: Yeah. I’ve got nothing to lose. One, I already employed the person, and we already have all the tech and equipment, and what it’ll do is it’ll get me started down this road of seeing what the easy way of doing it is. Then I can fine-tune and say, “Okay, next time we do the course let’s record this a little bit closer,” or I can start having what I don’t like and then I can recreate those particular parts of it, and then catch some of the interaction. Quite honestly, part of recording it live is some of the questions that people ask in the audience will be the same questions the students online would have. That way they could get those questions and answers as well. I think that’s probably the most logical place to start, for me.

Pat Flynn: I love it, man. I think the plan is laid out perfectly. Tarun, you’re amazing, man. Can we follow up with you down the road to kind of catch up and see how things go?

Tarun: Yeah, I would love that.

Pat Flynn: Cool. Hey man, thank you for your time today, best of luck, and keep changing lives and helping us have clean mouths and teeth.

Tarun: That’s other people’s jobs, but yeah, no problem.

Pat Flynn: Thanks, man. I appreciate you.

Tarun: No problem.

Pat Flynn: All right, take care.

All right, I hope you enjoyed that episode with Tarun. Tarun, if you’re listening to this, thank you so much for coming on and sharing. I’m so excited to connect with you again in the near future, because you already have all the things—you already have all the things, you just need to put it together. You have the videographer, you have the content, and you’re already helping people. Now you can do it in a different way for those who can’t attend live or just can’t afford to do that. This is going to be great; you’re going to help so many more people.

I think the big lesson here is that oftentimes we, entrepreneurs, we like to make things a lot more complicated than they need to be. Often we see a lot of people doing things, and we try to follow their footsteps, when maybe they took the long way around. What if there was a short way to do it, and we can just keep it easy? Maybe we’re already doing what we need to do, we just need to add one more thing on top of it to really make things happen. Think about that for yourself too.

Again, I just want to thank you for listening to this episode and make sure you hit subscribe if you haven’t already. We do this every single week, and they’re some of my favorite experiences when I get on these calls, and we have a lot of great content coming your way. Subscribe to AskPat, leave a review if you haven’t already.

By the way, if you want to check out some of the live trainings that I have for things like affiliate marketing and podcasting, if you want to get started with some of those things all you have to do is go to You’ll see buttons to register for my next live trainings. You can see them there,

Cheers, thanks so much, and we’ll see you in the next episode. Bye.

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