Over the past few years, the business has become more and more like a machine. Although I’m definitely keeping myself busy with new projects, more parts of the business become automated. This is thanks to the team that I’ve built, the software we’re using, and the rules and procedures we have in place.
The blog, the podcast, the emails—a lot of it is automated, which is great. I can serve more and offer even more value since the hard work was put in up front.
But . . .
Since growing the team and getting more hands-off, I’ve noticed I’ve had a thirst for something new to get excited about—something that would allow me creative freedom and also allow me to re-experience the journey of trying to “figure something out again,” like it was at the start of my podcast and blog.
And I think I’ve found it, and it’s coming in full force in 2018.
November was dedicated to planning for this new era of SPI, and I’m stoked to share more about that with you here in this report, along with the usual income numbers and lessons I learned this month.
Welcome to my November 2017 Monthly Income Report!
Important Goings-On in November
Several big events and important milestones happened right at the beginning of the month.
To start, it was the Business Boutique live event in Nashville, hosted by Christy Wright. It’s put on by the Dave Ramsey team and it was not only one of the most professionally produced events I’ve been to, but also the biggest crowd I’ve ever spoken in front of.
With about 3,000 people in the audience, the energy levels were unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I had the time of my life!
But, the lead up to the event was a little stressful. I’m not going to lie. I typically get very nervous before I speak anyway, but with this crowd size, and the caliber of other speakers, such as Don Miller, Nicole Walters, and Molly Pittman from Digital Marketer, I think I got a little too much in my own head.
I had never been this nervous in my life.
One thing I do when I get nervous before I speak at events is try to speak to as many attendees as I can. This helps me get to know the audience better, and allows me to begin to establish a rapport with them. Even though it’s usually a small percentage of the crowd (and even more so with this size of an event), it really calms my nerves, and helps me to understand that I do have a ton of value to offer them when I am on stage, which is motivating.
This isn’t easy for me to do, though, because I am introverted, but this totally works for me, so I force myself to do it anyway.
I spoke twice, once for a “smaller” breakout session of 800 people, and then once again for the entire audience.
The crowd was amazing! The energy was infectious, and seriously when you can get an audience of 3000 to be pin-drop quiet a times . . . there’s nothing like it.
Plus, I received not one, but two standing ovations! I must have said the right things. 🙂
I couldn’t help but ride the high that I get after a successful presentation, until I got back to my hotel room that evening and crashed. Thanks again to Christy Wright for inviting me to speak at your amazing event!
After speaking in Nashville, I had a bit of time back home with the family before one more final trip of the year, the one that I feel the entire year was leading up to:
Chris and I have been long-time friends, and it was in my home office a few years ago that the idea for Youpreneur was born, which is Chris’s community of like-minded entrepreneurs from all over the world.
I followed his progress since the beginning, from building the sales page to launching the membership site, and over the past year, updates each week about this ambitious event.
There are so many great business-related, content-driven events in the US, but nothing like that existed in the UK and in Europe, which is why this was so important to Chris. He was able to sell out 320 seats in London, and I was to be the closing keynote, which was an honor.
Unfortunately for me, things didn’t exactly go according to plan. After some buddy time with Chris and exploring chilly London a bit, I got back to my hotel room only to discover my voice seemed to be leaving me, fast. And then, it quickly disappeared.
Not good when you’re supposed to be going on stage in a couple of days!
To get the full experience of this trip, and learn exactly what happened, I recommend you watch these two vlogs on my YouTube channel from the trip which document this entire story.
If you’d like to skip the videos, no worries. Spoiler alert below:
I was able to keep my mouth shut and not use my voice long enough just to make it all the way through my keynote.
Additionally, a special moment happened on stage that had me and much of the audience crying. I met Michal Szafranski for the first time, after five years of email correspondence.
Michal, from Poland, is an SPI fan and is the main reason why the SPI podcast still exists today, because just about a week before I was about to give up on my podcast in 2012, he had sent me an email letting me know how the podcast saved his life.
Meeting him in person in London was so awesome, and I’m thankful it was at an event where I could share the story out loud. If you’re intrigued now after reading this, you can get the full story in the second video embedded above, or you can go directly to that video on YouTube here.
Congratulations to Chris on a job well done. I heard nothing but amazing feedback about the event, and I’m sure next year’s Youpreneur Summit will be even better!
Back Home . . . and Sick
Immediately after my closing keynote was the networking party, which killed my voice completely. The next day, my voice was barely audible, and it hurt like crazy. I took some time to explore some of the museums in London and shop for souvenirs, but I was ready to get back home to recover.
I had spent five straight weeks speaking all around the world. I made quick trips back to San Diego each week, but I think my body was telling me it was time to rest. Plus, it was now time for me to give April back some time to herself without the kids, which she sacrificed while I was out speaking. She’s amazing.
I knew I’d be out and down for the count for a while, which isn’t good when you plan to come home and begin podcasting and shooting videos too.
After I flew back home, it was another six days until I finally had the range back in my voice. By that time, it was Thanksgiving, and I was getting things ready for a big push into December.
Getting Things Ready for 2018
Much of the rest of November was focused on planning and getting ready for what’s coming in 2018.
If you remember from last month’s report, I’m about to go pretty heavy in the YouTube space. I’ve been creating weekly videos, practicing certain styles and methods so I can begin getting into a flow and rhythm with how things are filmed and edited, and I have to say, I’m having such a blast!
YouTube is an interesting platform, far different than anything I’m used to. I have had a channel since 2009, but I’ve never tried to optimize it. It’s always sort of been there as a fallback for when it just made sense to have video content, but most of the videos were related to stuff that was originally posted on the blog and the videos were there mainly for support.
I attended an amazing conference called VidSummit in October, which is a video creator-centric event started by a guy named Derral Eves. I met a TON of amazing people in the YouTube space who were super encouraging as I shared my plan for next year, and even Derral himself was excited about it too.
In fact, he was so excited that in November he flew down to San Diego to spend an entire day with me and my videographer, Caleb, and give us the run down of what to do and what not to do.
Caleb and I had previously created a plan for my YouTube channel. We presented it to Derral in the meeting, and he essentially ripped it apart.
It was great though, and exactly what we needed.
I’ll be talking more specifically about what he instructed us to do— and not do—in a case study post once things get rolling, but the biggest outcomes of the meeting were:
- We need to post more often, and stay consistent. We may end up going five days a week with various types of content.
- Use the platform not just to give information, but to also engage and build a community. By taking advantage of the fact that it’s very easy for a person on video to share their personality and style, I can more easily stand out from others who are mainly just giving info. Taking what I do on stage (in terms of how I engage the crowd and make it entertaining), and having that be done on video, was a great way to frame it.
- He taught me how important it is to consider what’s happening in the world at the time the videos go out. Meaning, are there any important events or other things going on that I can use to start how the content is created. For example, we’re coming up on the end of the year here—creating videos that relate to that would make sense and provide context and get more people more likely not just to watch, but to share too.
There was a LOT more that we dove deep into, but I was thankful Derral took the time, because I’m already starting to see the results, and we haven’t even really put the entire plan into action yet.
Like I said, I’m in practice mode right now, but I am warming up my audience a bit on YouTube and the views and subscriber counts are indeed growing.
Below, you’ll find a video I filmed the day after the meeting with Derral. I’ve never gotten such positive feedback from a video, or as much engagement (there are 500+ comments at the time of this posting) ever:
Make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, because lots of experimentation will be happening, and I promise you won’t be disappointed with what’s coming. It’s going to be a ton of fun!
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.
Note: Items with an empty difference percentage were not present on the previous month's income report.
AskPat Hits Episode 1,000!
And finally, a huge milestone to share with you. The AskPat Podcast, which started in February 2014, just crossed the 1,000 episode threshold!
It’s incredible to think I’ve recorded and published that many podcast episodes, plus the nearly 300 from Smart Passive Income. (Episode 300 will be published the second week of January! Make sure to subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already. It’s going to be a great celebration episode!)
Episode 1,000 was actually super important, not just because of the number, but because of the important announcement, which related to the new direction of the show.
I recommend you spend a few minutes, if you have the time, to listen to it below:
To sum it up, we’re on a little bit of a break with AskPat as we gear up and prepare for a new era of AskPat, which is called AskPat 2.0.
After answering 1,000 questions, I began to notice that a lot of the questions coming in were the same as ones I’ve answered before. Not only that, I knew that in order to best help people, I had to go deeper with them, and although I was answering voicemail questions from the audience, they were, of course, just the tip of the iceberg in most cases for what the real problems or pains were in their business.
So, the new show, which will live on the same feed (there’s no need to re-subscribe to another new show), comes back in February, but this time once a week. But here’s the big difference:
Instead of five episodes that are each 5-12 minutes long, now they will be 20-25 minutes in length, and a real conversation with people who need help and coaching through a specific problem in their business!
Yes, a live call, recorded, that you can all listen to. This is going to be massively helpful, not just for that person, but for everyone else listening in too. Plus, it’s a great format that allows me to also practice my coaching and hone in on my skills for helping people live, which everyone can always improve upon.
I’m super excited about this new era of AskPat, and if you’d like to submit an application to potentially become a guest on one of these episodes of AskPat 2.0, head to AskPat.com and fill out the application on that page!
We’ve already begun recording for February, and it’s going to be amazing!
Make sure you subscribe to the AskPat podcast too, so you can listen in on these conversations once they go live.
Thanks again for your support, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s income report!