Welcome to my October 2016 Monthly Income Report!
As we come closer to the end of 2016, I can definitely say that October was one of the busier months of the year. I traveled to speak, met some amazing people, and took my first set of test students through a brand new course that I launched.
This, and more, along with the usual line-by-line itemization of my income streams, are featured in this month’s report, so let’s get right to it!
Important Goings-On in October
One of the most important things that happened in October was that on October 1, tickets for the Backstreet Boys in Vegas went on sale. I wanted to buy tickets for my wife, who is a hardcore BSB fan. She literally has action figures of each of the members, among other types of random BSB paraphernalia.
You might think that I share this jokingly, because how can BSB tickets be THAT important? I mean, it’s for a boy band, and it’s not even N’Sync, which was my favorite boy band growing up. But this is no joke.
You see, part of my role as husband is to make sure my wife knows she’s appreciated. She is a part of Team Flynn, and although she doesn’t have a hand directly in the businesses I run, without her support, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, and we wouldn’t have come across the kind of success we have had.
She is, as I like to say, the most underrated member of Team Flynn, and I have to show appreciation for what she does, because as a stay-at-home mom, she doesn’t get much recognition anywhere else. Not that she wants it. She does it for the kids, and I love her for that. Most of the time I do my best to show my appreciation with my words, and the actions I take around her. But, every once and awhile, things like this make complete sense.
No matter who is around you, if they show support for you in any way, it’s important to recognize that and show your appreciation for them too, because those are the people who will keep pushing you forward into new realms and into new heights, and they are the ones who you can rely on for help if you need it.
Finally, before we move on, this is for Everybody: Take a moment to tell someone important to you that you appreciate them. That small gesture can be Larger Than Life to them. Especially with all of the negative vibes during the lead-up to election day last week, the world could use some more positive vibes, right? I Want It That Way.
Anyway, it’s time to Quit Playing Games, let’s keep going with the rest of October.
On October 8, I spoke at a small event here in San Diego for Amy Porterfield, a fellow San Diego native, who put together this event as an affiliate bonus for those who purchased an offer she made to her tribe earlier in the year. With about sixty people in the room, I was excited to share an overview of the Will It Fly? process, and even give people time to complete some of the exercises right there in the room with me. I love the smaller, more intimate presentations just as much as I love the larger ones in front of hundreds of people. [This link leads to Amazon. Full disclosure: I receive affiliate commission if you purchase from this link.]
Before I left for the event, which was only going to take a few hours of my day, I had a soccer game with my son. After the soccer game, I was on my way out and my six-year-old son asked me if he could come along. I checked with Amy’s assistant really quick, and she said it would be awesome! Yay! He’d never seen me speak before, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to show him a little bit of what I do when I’m traveling.
So, we got him dressed really fast, and went downtown to the event. In the car, I asked my son if he wanted to come on stage with me for a moment during my talk, and he immediately became really nervous. I don’t blame him, because I still get nervous before I speak, even after doing it now for almost six years.
The plan was to have him in the back room, adjacent to the stage, and then after I share a story about him, which is in the beginning of my presentation, I’d bring him out and surprise the audience. He eventually agreed, but only under one condition: “I don’t want to give a presentation. I haven’t had time to prepare for this.”
Hah! I laughed, and was super excited to hear this.
He was a complete champ. Though nervous, he came out when I waved him on stage. He had a huge applause on his entrance, and I could see the smile light up on his face, but his hands were still tight in his pockets. I grabbed a mic and asked him to share his name, and then I asked him what a business does, and he said, “A business is something that solves problems.”
I was so proud of him. On the way home he couldn’t stop talking about the experience. He said he wanted to do it again, which brought tears to my eyes. I was so happy he was able to do that, and a big thanks to Amy Porterfield and her team, and the audience who was there for making that happen!
October is typically speaking season. I keep the summer off so the family can spend all summer together and go on a trip or two. But during the fall after school starts, I’m usually booked for four to five different gigs within the span of a couple of months.
Amy’s event kicked it off, and after that, I headed to Minneapolis for Converted, one of my favorites of the year. Converted is a conference put on by the crew at LeadPages. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] I love this event for a few different reasons:
- I love traveling to gorgeous cities like Minneapolis, especially around this time of year, before it gets too cold for my San Diego attitude. LOL!
- Many of my team members live in the area, including Mindy, Jessica, and Eric (Lead Developer for The Smart Podcast Player).
- There are always amazing influencers who attend this event that I enjoy seeing and spending time with.
- The content during the event is some of the best I can get, so I actually learn a lot.
- I enjoy seeing the LeadPages office and meeting the massive team (around 130 people) behind one of my favorite products!
And this year was even more special. Since LeadPages recently acquired Drip.io, a marketing automation tool that is comparable to Infusionsoft in function but much better in terms of ease of use and design, I got to meet the team and learn more about that product too. The event did not disappoint. Plus, I had the pleasure of delivering brand new content on stage, which is one of my favorite things to do.
I spoke about my “Being Everywhere” strategy, which I’ve mentioned once before back in 2010, but things have obviously changed since then. Plus, I really wanted to make sure I got the point across that being everywhere doesn’t actually mean putting yourself on every platform and social media network right from the start. Rather, it’s a more strategic approach to choosing which platforms and channels are right for you, largely based on the research you do about your target market.
Before the event started, I hosted a meetup at Dunn Bros. Coffee with some SPI fans who were in the area! For about two and a half hours, each person shared what they were up to and also what they needed help with. It was like a mini-mastermind session! So fun! Here’s a picture of the group. Big thanks to everyone who came by!
And here’s a picture from our team dinner too!
From there, I traveled directly to New York, not for a speaking gig, but for a press conference related to self-publishing on the Amazon Kindle platform! I was honored to join authors such as Guy Kawasaki, James Altucher, Hal Elrod, and Honoree Corder on a panel that discussed our experience with self-publishing on Kindle. Representatives from Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur magazine, and several other brands were there to ask questions. It was a blast!
Stoked to have been invited to the Kindle Direct Publishing Business Author Roundtable this morning in NY! Lots of media and reporters asking questions about self-publishing. Super fun, and I have all of you who picked up #WillItFly to thank for these amazing opportunities! ?? Here with @hal_elrod, @guykawasaki, @altucher, @honoree, @habitsguy members from KDP and CreateSpace. Also got to meet @kevinauthor and @jennyblakenyc too! ????
That event was in the morning, but after that I had some time to kill before an early morning flight back to San Diego, so I tried to meet up with as many people as I could!
First, I decided to buy some cookies and drop them at the Pencils of Promise office because I knew they were working hard preparing for their annual gala the week after. Immediately after that, I dropped by the Teachable office in Brooklyn to say hi and grab a coffee with Ankur, their CEO.
From there, I went back to the hotel to change because I had a dinner planned at 6:30 p.m. with Selena Soo from S2Groupe and a few other entrepreneurs in the area, including Ramit Sethi, Kimra Luna, Todd Herman, Ryan Lee, Chris Winfield, Dan Meredith, Jenn Scalia, Laura Belgray, and Luisa Zhou.
These kinds of dinners are one of my favorite things to do, and it was the perfect way to finish off a busy, but super fun trip.
But, it wasn’t quite the end of the night yet. After the dinner, Kimra told me that Derek Halpern was up and about, and I couldn’t leave New York without seeing him, so we all met up at a local lounge and just chatted until closing time! Here’s a fun pic from the evening with Kimra and Derek.
I hadn’t seen Derek in a long time. He’s looking really good (he lost a lot of weight and has been focusing on fitness and diet lately), and still crushing it over at Zippy Courses.
An early flight the next morning, and I was right back in San Diego. A super productive and worthwhile trip!
After getting home, I spent a couple of days off so that I could just focus on family before I headed back to New York for the Pencils of Promise Gala, which is an annual event they put together to raise money for the organization.
I was there and back within 24 hours, traveling (air and car) as much as I was actually in the city, but the event was their best yet! I attended last year, which was a lot of fun, but this year they raised about $1.5 million dollars, and I got to meet even more amazing people, and see some old friends once again. Here’s a picture of me and the founder of Pencils of Promise, Adam Braun, whose interview on SPI in Session #102 inspired me to start working with the organization and start building schools with them:
So incredibly grateful to be in NY this evening for the annual Pencils of Promise Gala! So thankful my family is able to contribute to this amazing organization, all started by @itsadambraun who I interviewed in Session #102 of the SPI podcast. It was that podcast that started it all, and I look forward to continuing to support PoP and other organizations like it as SPI continues to grow. Thank you all for your support! #gobigger #servefirst
A photo posted by Pat Flynn (@patflynn) on
I continue to be inspired by this organization, and am happy to announce that I will be on the advisory board again this coming year! Yay!
And finally (phew!), to round out the month, I finished up speaking at an awesome event that was (thankfully) here in San Diego. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to go because I was already gone and away from family for several days during the month, but I’m so glad things worked out because this event was sure to be a highlight for me during the year, and it absolutely did not disappoint.
The event was called Thrive – Make Money Matter put on by Cole Hatter, and it perfectly aligned with Pencils of Promise. PoP was at the event, of course, but it perfectly aligned because Thrive is not just about how to make money. It’s about how to make more money for a larger, philanthropic purpose.
That’s what was really cool about this particular conference, as each speaker talked about the greater good and thinking beyond just your own business. I had the pleasure to speak on a topic I’ve spoken about before, Building Raving Fans, but also tying that into the bigger picture was a lot of fun and made the presentation even more meaningful to me.
I was able to tie in Pencils of Promise and my trip to Ghana into the presentation, and also, most importantly, talk about how many of you helped to make that happen. Here’s a screenshot from our campaign we did together back for my birthday in 2014:
At the time, we set the record at Pencils of Promise for the most number of backers for a campaign. Thank you all again for that. It’s been an invaluable experience for me, my kids who followed the journey, and hopefully for many of you as well.
If you’d like to check out what it was like when I went to Ghana, I was able to film the experience for you:
Thanks again to the entire team behind Thrive. It was definitely an amazing event!
Thankful for the opportunity to speak at #thrive2016 today in front of an amazing crowd of people here in San Diego! I appreciate your time and attention, and all the kind words about my presentation afterwards! And big ups to @colehatter for putting on a great event that supports @pencilsofpromise too! Woot! ?????? Photo credit to @tostistudios / @davidtosti
So that was my October. . . lots of great experiences, new relationships formed, and old ones rekindled, but beyond that, there was one thing that happened in October that was always on my mind:
The test students for my brand new course, Smart From Scratch.
Smart From Scratch, a course that helps those starting from ground zero discover a proven idea that they can test and build a business around, was offered in September to a specific segment of my email list (those who self selected as not having a business yet), and was limited to just 100 students. The idea was to validate the course, test the content, and collect feedback along the way to make it even better before a main launch in February of next year. So far everything is going according to plan.
Within a month of having access to the first of three stages of content, many of the students had already told me that it’s been a great experience so far. In holding office hours with the students, I’m able to hear directly from them what they like, and what could be improved.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, I recommend getting on the waitlist as soon as possible. I’m still deciding whether or not it makes sense to have this always open after it launches, or go through it in groups and have it closed throughout the year, but either way when it launches again, the waitlist will be the first to know.
One more big lesson learned related to this course, but I’ll save that until after the income breakdown, which we’ll get into right now.
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.
Note: Items with an empty difference percentage were not present on the previous month's income report.
Big Lesson Learned in October
October was a down month in terms of income, but it was an up month for many other reasons. Beyond the speaking and the connections I made while on travel, the Smart From Scratch course rollout was a success. To finally have my own course available (to a select group of Founding Members now, and a full launch in February 2017) is a huge step forward for SPI.
In terms of income, it’s a shift from an affiliate-based income, to more of my own products, which means more profits. More than that, it’s about security, because they are products that I can control and I’m not 100 percent reliant on other people’s products and my own audience’s experience through them.
More importantly, though, is that I get to keep my audience in the SPI eco-system, which means I can better serve them in the end. Instead of sending people off elsewhere, I can begin to keep the conversation and education happening here within my brand, which is so important if I truly want to serve my audience in the best way possible. With this course, and a few others planned for next year, I can help striving business owners get better results. Already, students in the current course have made more progress related to their business journey than they’ve ever made in their life before, and that’s huge.
It goes to show you that even though you may already have all of the information freely available for people to consume, there are many who need training in a course-like fashion. And, because they’ve paid to get access to something, they are more likely to follow through and take action.
I used to be so afraid of selling, but if you know what you have to offer is something that will help people achieve their goals, then you must not be afraid of selling, but rather be afraid of never launching.
I can’t wait to see how these students progress through the course, and I look forward to sharing some of their success stories with you in the future. Here’s to a fantastic home stretch here at the end of the year, and I look forward to the next report for you next month—the final one of the year!