Welcome to the first Income Report of 2017!
Here, I’ll be detailing line items from January 2017, including income sources and expenses. As always, I’ll also be sharing what’s been going on internally and what the plans are in the coming months.
If you’d like to get a record of all Monthly Income Reports dating back to October 2008, you can find them right here.
Thanks again, as always, for your support.
Now, let’s get started.
Important Goings-On in January
As with most people, I had a newly found energy and a ton of excitement as the calendar started fresh again. I was a little worried because my family and I had just returned from an Australian Christmas vacation, and usually when I come back from long trips I get jet lagged and don’t want to work for a while. This time, however, I recovered very quickly, and on day one of 2017 I was off to the races.
The first thing I did was realize that with all of the goals I had laid out for the year (nailed down thanks to a goal-setting course I took from Michael Hyatt), it was going to take some major planning to make it all happen, and I wouldn’t be able to do it all on my own.
My team and I decided that it would be beneficial for a few members of Team Flynn to fly to San Diego so we could all meet in person and lay out a detailed plan for the year (more on that later). Ideally this would have happened before the new year started, but we were all on vacation with our respective family and friends for the holiday.
They planned to fly in mid-month, and I was anxious for them to arrive. In the meantime, I started some new habits that would help me support my goals for the year.
First, I started waking up at 4:00 a.m. every single day. I initiate a morning ritual that consists of breakfast, coffee, reading, meditating, and journaling before I start work. When one of the kids wakes up, I stop. I usually get a good two and a half to three hours of uninterrupted work in during this time. It’s glorious. Ever since reading The Miracle Morning and interviewing the book’s author, Hal Elrod, I’ve been a huge fan of waking up earlier instead of staying up later, which is what I used to do.
In 2016, my day typically started at 6 or 6:30 a.m. I’d get through my normal routine and then the kids would usually get up. That shifted to a 4:30 a.m. wake up time when I started playing 5-on-5 basketball on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with a bunch of other dads in the area who were also eager to get some exercise before the day starts. Now it’s 4:00 a.m. every day, no matter what day it is. Having these extra hours for myself and my work in the morning has been huge, and I’ve never felt so productive.
Within the first week, I was able to outline and record a brand new six-video “how to start an email list” tutorial (akin to my popular Podcasting Tutorial), which would set the tone for some heavy duty tutorial-style content that will be published more frequently this year.
That tutorial went live just last week.
Additionally, I was able to complete the rough outline for my new book during these morning hours. I’ll be starting the writing process very soon!
Another habit that I’ve been incorporating into my life since the start of the new year has been reading more consistently.
I typically read a book a month, but it was kind of random when I read. So, I’ve traded my T.V. and “random social media” time for reading, and I feel like I’m much better off for it! Now that I’ve been giving myself more specific times of the day to read, I’ve been reading a lot more, a lot faster, and, as a nice byproduct, writing better too!
Specifically, I’ve been diving into biographies.
In addition to the usual nonfiction, how to, and business books that I read, I made it a goal to read one biography per month in 2017. Currently we are within two weeks of February, and I’m already halfway through my fourth one.
I’ve already completed Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog (which I finished in two days; it was a super fun read!), then Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, both by Walter Isaacson. I’ve found biographies to be extremely interesting, and I even got my seven-year-old boy to start reading the ones for kids, like this one. That way, we can talk about them together!
With the early morning hours working in my favor, as well as a change in the kids’ schedule that gives me even more time to work during the afternoons, I’ve set a goal to avoid work on both Saturday and Sunday to keep the weekend completely open for family time, and rewarding myself.
I used to let myself work on the weekends if I had to. The only consistent weekend work I’d do would be on Sunday night, which was dedicated to recording a batch of AskPat episodes. This year, I’ve cleared out my weekends entirely. This frees my brain and allows me to become more fully present with the kids. It makes me work harder during the week, too, because I know that I want to keep my weekends clear.
Beyond family time, I’ve allowed myself to earn a little reward if I do good work during the week, mostly in the form of playing video games. I love playing video games, and I’d stick that time in randomly during the week if I had some downtime. Now, I use the weekends for that specifically, and it’s been a nice break in between work weeks to cool down, and get some “me time” in.
And in case you’re curious about what game I’m playing, it’s typically one of two games: Star Wars Battlefield or a fun indie game called Rocket League.
The Team Arrives!
On Thursday, January 19, part of Team Flynn flew into a rainy San Diego for our planning session. We sought out shelter in an awesome conference room named “The Think Tank” in the brand new WeWork co-working space in downtown San Diego. Armed with Post-It notes and markers, we got to work.
We started with an annual review, as we always do. First, it was about what we accomplished and what worked really well in 2016. Then, we talked about the things that didn’t go well, including a few key moments during the year when “someone dropped the ball.” We reviewed those situations and made sure there were systems in put into place so that didn’t happen again. It was a great and honest conversation, and made me remember why I loved working with this team.
After that, we dove into planning for 2017.
We covered everything from ongoing content for the blog, podcast, and YouTube, to courses that we want to launch and even new affiliate promotions.. Plus, we also covered our upcoming physical product, which I’ve teased quite a bit over the past few months. I’ll be talking monthly about that project when we kick it off next month.
Every major project with a launch date had its own Post-It note color, and on a timeline from January to December marked on one of the walls (each wall, except the glass wall with the entrance, was covered with whiteboard material with a grid overlay), and we started placing these Post-It notes down based on when they would be launching.
We were able to make sure nothing was overlapping and there was enough breathing room between each, and then we worked backwards from the launch date to determine when we were going to start work on those projects, and what milestones we needed to achieve along the way.
This was a brilliant exercise that allowed us to make sure that at all times during the year we had things on the board. But, at the same time, making sure that it wasn’t too much work so that we could stay focused. We shifted a number of projects around and even removed a few based on what we felt was possible.
After two and a half days, we had our plan for the year, and it really fired us up going into February, starting with preparing and launching a brand new course that’s been in beta since October called Smart From Scratch®.
After 2 days, 100s of post-it notes & many cups of coffee later, Team Flynn has finished planning out our entire year! We have a clear vision on projects, content and launches for the rest of 2017. ????? I feel so grateful to be working with this incredible team, and we only wish the rest of Team Flynn were here to celebrate this milestone with us. Here's to great things to come!
A photo posted by Pat Flynn (@patflynn) on
Smart From Scratch®
The big focus of January was the upcoming February re-release of my new course for beginners, Smart From Scratch. More than 100 students have already gone through the course, so it’s a big deal now that it’s coming out of beta and will be launched publicly this month on February 27.
The team and I worked hard to take all of the suggestions from the previous set of founding students and put them into action. We went through the entire course with a fine-tooth comb and refined as much as possible to ensure that the material was exactly what it needed to be for this launch.
And I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!
I published a piece last week related to the course and why it was built the way it is, including some of the hard lessons I learned from a previous products that failed. Here are The 7 Lessons I Learned While Testing & Launching My First Online Course.
I look forward to seeing how Smart From Scratch performs. But for now, let’s dive into the income breakdown for this past month.
Full Disclosure: Some of the items in the list below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase through that link, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Lessons Learned in January
After reading about all the greats that I’ve read in biographies so far this year, I came out of those books inspired, energized, and determined. But, on the other side of things, also very concerned.
I posted about this concern on Facebook the other day and it started a great discussion about what it takes to be one of the greats, and if it’s even worth it, and I wanted to embed that thought here for you as well, as I feel it’s definitely something that needs to be talked about.
Here’s that post below:
At this point in my life, at age thirty-four, with the success I’ve had so far, I know I can go bigger and deeper. There’s so much I want to fight for and so much I want to still do, but I wouldn’t want to do it at the expense of the relationships I have with my children.
I feel I’m doing well so far as far as keeping them involved, loving them every day, and being a great example for them as a present and caring father, but when I think about what would be written in my own biography (if that would be something worth reading), would I be willing to sacrifice my family for that? I hope not, and I hope there’s a way to have both. Maybe that’s what I become known for.
What do you think about this? I would love to hear your thoughts below.
Cheers, and as always, thank you so much for your support! Here’s to an amazing 2017 for all of us. I appreciate you!