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AP 0922: Can I Provide Services in My Field without Certification?

AP 0922: Can I Provide Services in My Field without Certification?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 922 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: What’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 922 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.

We have a great question coming in today from Joe, but before we get to that I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks. One of my favorite companies, because not only do they help me manage my business finances, and also the finances of millions of other small businesses, but they also help me with invoicing too. In less than thirty seconds I can create a professional looking invoice that gets sent out, and not only can I see who still owes me money, but I can also see who has even yet to open that invoice, which is super handy. It’s actually been super handy since that feature’s come out. They’re always adding new features, which is why I love them. They’re great, and if you want to check them out for thirty days for free, all you have to do is go to, and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the, “How did you hear about us?” Section. Sweet, all right now here’s today’s question from Joe.

Joe: Hi Pat, this is Joe from London UK and I’m at I’m recently pivoting off a business idea that didn’t quite work out, and I’m instead focusing on building up my own personal brand to offer real value to people, and to create products and services based on that. I’m moving into wellbeing coaching, in topics . . . Relatable topics such as self improvement, mental health, and that kind of thing. I’d like to be able to create products in that service area eventually in the longer term, but right now I’m still finding my craft so I’m planning on doing coaching, and in order to do that I’m doing a coaching class that has got a good accreditation governing body. My question is, if I don’t really have that accreditation yet in the field I want to work in, can I still provide these services and create products in this area I do know a lot about? And how do you get around being confident about your specialization if you don’t necessarily have the piece of paper to prove it? Thanks Pat for everything you do, it’s appreciated. Bye.

Pat Flynn: Hey Joe, thanks for the question. To quickly counter your statement, or your question of, “Hey, do you . . . Am I going to be qualified to do this if I don’t have a piece of paper?” I know a lot of people who have those pieces of paper who are still not yet qualified to do what it is that they do. I don’t think the piece of paper matters very much, especially when you’re building a personal brand, and you can make a real connection with people. The help that you offer others, and the service that you offer others based on your experience, based on trust, based on authority, and based on honesty—that last one’s really important, because you don’t want to pretend like you’re somebody who knows more than what you know, and then offer services related to that. You want to be very real and authentic, and honest with people on the way. It’s that trust, and authenticity, and knowledge, and experience that you have personally that can help and serve others. No, you don’t need a piece of paper to do that, in most cases.

There are some cases, at least in the US, where you have to have certification of some kind in order to train for certain things. If what it is that you are training about—you just want to make sure obviously that’s not what you’re doing. Or if it is, you want to make sure you get that training. I know especially related to health and fitness, there’s certain things that you need before you can actually start teaching people stuff in a legit way. That makes sense, because a lot of those things, you can really injure people. Just like architecture, right? In order to literally help design a building for somebody, and have plans drawn up that then get built out by a contractor and engineers—I mean you have to have an architecture license, or you have to have somebody on the project who has a license. Because a building, if not built correctly, or designed correctly, can fall down and hurt people, and kill people. That’s why you need an architecture license. In many cases you need that license. But in others, you don’t.

I didn’t go to business school, I don’t have an MBA, and yet I’ve helped tens of thousands of people start a side job or full-time job, or help quit their jobs and now spend more time with their family, or be able to go on vacations when they couldn’t before, or supplement their income in a way that they never thought was possible, right? I didn’t have qualifications, quote “qualifications,” to do that. But my qualification was I had my own experience building my own business, that I was able to then share those experiences with others. Both the wins and failures, the mistakes made along the way so that others wouldn’t experience those same things.

Now Joe, when you help other people I think the testimonials you get, and the proof of what it is that you have to offer is going to be your best bet, and your best use of how you can help others realize that you have something to offer. What I would do in the beginning is, if this is something you’re starting out with, I would try and reach out to people. Yes, you can experiment and see if you can get validation through having them pay you for some services, or things that you can offer them, or work, or coaching. Even if not, doing it for free can be a great way to just get in, and hone in on your skills for one, but also get people under your belt who you know you’ve helped, who can then be ambassadors for you and what you have to offer.

Joe, thank you so much for the question, I appreciate you. I want to wish you the best of luck, and thank you so much for the question. I want to send you an AskPat teeshirt as well for having your question featured here on the show. For all of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show as well, all you have to do is head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Thank you so much, I appreciate you. Here’s a quote to finish off the day. This is actually a Spanish proverb. That is, “Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the year.” Should it be though? I think we should work to try and have tomorrow be the not busiest day of the year, or the most relaxed day of the year. Now, not always possible, and I’m in the middle of a launch right now—maybe this Spanish proverb is true for me at this very moment. But after the launch is over, I hope to flip that around and say, “Tomorrow will be the most relaxed day ever.” Anyway, thanks guys, I appreciate you. I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye for now.

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