After all of the build-up and anticipation, we’ve finally reached four hundred episodes. To celebrate, I’ve decided to look back and reflect on the top ten lessons I’ve learned since I started the Smart Passive Income Podcast in July 2010. When I started back then, I’m not sure I really anticipated getting to this point, and this episode was a great opportunity to look back and reflect on everything that helped get where I am today.
Behind SPI, there is a great team helping me every step of the way. I think back to when I attended and spoke at Michael Hyatt’s conference, Platform, back in 2013. It was a great conference with a ton of amazing speakers. I’m not talking about myself here, but as people like Cliff Ravenscraft, Jeff Goins, Carrie Wilkerson, and little old me took the stage, I couldn’t help but notice that Michael was sitting in the audience and learning from us the entire time. Why? Because he had an amazing team behind him and he knew that the entire event would go off without a hitch. It was a real object lesson in how to delegate effectively, and today I can’t even imagine where I’d be without Team SPI here to support me every step of the way.
Another really big thing I’ve been thinking about recently is how we think about making mistakes. In the world of online entrepreneurship, you come across so many success stories. People who played their cards right and were able to hit the ground running flawlessly. What you don’t hear about are the mistakes, but I think the missteps are just as important as the times you got it right. Sometimes, you need to get it wrong so you know how to get it right.
Mistakes are only failures if we don’t learn anything from them. So wherever you are on your journey, whether you’re starting out and are unsure of what the right next steps are or if you’re in the “messy middle,” trying to figure out how to fit your business into the life you want to live, this episode’s for you. I couldn’t make four hundred episodes of SPI without you there along with me, every step of the way. Team Flynn, thanks for the amazing support and encouragement you’ve given me over the course of this wild ride. I’m so happy you’ve been there along with me, and here’s to Episode 500.
- What I’ve learned from four hundred episodes of SPI.
- How relationships led to the creation of the SwitchPod.
- Why my relationships saved me when I thought I was going to get sued.
- Why success comes after grit and perseverance.
- How to deal with negativity.
- Why you need to allow ideas to come instead of remaining complacent.
- Why it only takes one thing to change everything.
- The amazing lessons I’ve learned from Ramit Sethi.
- Why it’s OK and even essential to change your goals.
- The importance of building a team around you.
- How saying no can mean saying yes to other opportunities.
- Why mistakes are different than failures if we learn from them.
Note: Some of the resources below may be affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.
- FlynnCon2 Tickets
- The Epic Success Podcast
- Entrepreneur's Journey
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich
- Pencils of Promise
- Platform by Michael Hyatt (Amazon link)
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast Episode 002: Late Night Internet Marketing with Mark Mason from masonworld.comThe Smart Passive Income Podcast Episode 222: The Right Products at the Right Price Point with Ramit Sethi
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast Episode 372: Why People Really Hate Us Online The Smart Passive Income Podcast Episode 374: The Psychology of Money and Wealth with Ramit Sethi
Pat Flynn: We did it. We got to Episode 400. Thank you so much, Team Flynn. This is an amazing feat. I can't remember doing anything four hundred times other than like breathing or blinking. Wow. Just thank you so much for all of your support. And in this session, I wanted to do something a little special. I wanted to share with you my top four hundred moments since recording four hundred episodes.
That's right. This is a seven-and-a-half-hour episode and I hope you're ready because that's not actually true because that would be ridiculous and you have way more important things to do. So what I want to do is just narrow this down to the top ten for you. Is that okay? We're going to do top ten lessons learned, which are more important than any of the moments that I found. These are the lessons learned from those four-hundred-plus moments that I was talking about. And for now, let's just start with the intro. Let's go.
Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast where it's all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he thought Hawkeye from Marvel was actually called “Hot Guy” for over a year, Pat Flynn.
Pat: Hey, welcome to Session 400 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. My name is Pat Flynn, here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people, too. So let's start the countdown at lesson number ten. And that is, in terms of success, in terms of fulfillment, in terms of awareness, authority, increasing your impact, here's the thing: it's all about relationships.
Every successful moment that I've had in my business, every successful moment that I've helped coach another student into has been the result of relationships that have happened and have been built, through conferences and meetings that have happened there, through collaborations and partnerships that have been made online. Every successful moment that I've had has been a result of a relationship or more. And some specific examples I can give you are very recently with the SwitchPod, for example. This entire story of an invention, an idea started in 2017 at VidSummit, between myself and Caleb. It was our relationship in doing work together as a team that led to this idea for a better tripod for vloggers. And then it was the relationship with Richie over at Prouduct, the engineering and manufacturing team that helped actually put this together. And it was the relationship with Darryl Eaves, the founder of VidSummit, who allowed us to come to a VidSummit to share our story in 2019 and see a load of sales and a massive amount of support for the SwitchPod, very recently here at the end of 2019 in Los Angeles. It was a relationship with Peter McKinnon, a very, very well known videographer and vlogger in the YouTube space who created a video for us because we wanted to develop a relationship with him.
It's the relationship that we have had with our customers and this is just one business out of several that I've had, but it just shows you the extent at which success comes. It comes from the relationships that you build. And I believe that your success is proportional to the quality of the relationships that you have and the ability for you to serve them as well. Because when I discuss these relationships, it's not . . . I don't want you to just go, “Okay, well, how many names can I check off? How many names could I put on a list? Because the more relationships I have, the better.” Now, obviously, the more relationships you have, the more opportunities you might have, but I think it's because there's more opportunities to serve those people and when you serve them when you give to them, they will find, likely, a way to give back to you. Just like how when we offered a lot of service to Darrell Eaves and the crew over at VidSummit, he was very, very thankful for that and gave us the introduction to Peter McKinnon.
Even on the same story, that same timeline of the SwitchPod, it was the relationship that I had with Nathan Barry, who is the founder of ConvertKit who allowed for an introduction between myself and Caleb with Casey Neistat, another bigtime vlogger at the Craft and Commerce event in Boise in 2018. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] And this was while we still had our prototypes and it was that relationship with Casey that led to some amazing suggestions from him for the shape, and the size, and the color of the SwitchPod and eventually what it became.
Let's get into another example. A lot of you may have forgotten how I got started online back in 2008. This is about twelve years ago and it was a relationship with the crew over at Internet Business Mastery that was formed that led to a relationship with many other people who were in that community as well. Like Mark Mason, for one, who became the first guest on the Smart Passive Income Podcast. I was deathly afraid of ever recording any interviews, but it was because I had that relationship, it led to a little bit easier of a time because he and I already had formed a bond and a partnership through that community there, which was amazing. It was Jeremy from Internet Business Mastery, along with Jason, who supported me as I was starting my internet business in the architecture space, helping people pass an exam at greenexamacademy.com.
But of course, many of you also know the story that in 2009 I got a letter from the United States Green Building Council, and it was that letter that scared me to death and almost had me quit online business because I thought I was going to get sued. And the reason was because I was using a trademark in the domain name and I didn't know what to do. I had no connections with anybody in the space of legal work in the online business space and law, but it was a relationship, again, with a person in the community who led me to an attorney who helped me understand all that was going on and realize that, whoa, I was not actually getting sued. I was just going to have to shut down unless I changed my domain name. So I changed my domain from intheleed.com to greenexamacademy.com and it was a relationship, again, in that same community that led to somebody sharing, “Hey, when you make this domain change, make sure you do a 301 redirect.” I didn't know what a 301 redirect was, but this is a thing that you do when you're changing domain names so that Google doesn't penalize you or it knows that your new site is the new site and your old site's going away. And I had done that and thankfully that was done and I’m so glad I had that connection because I was able to keep all my search engine rankings and all the traffic that was coming over to my blog at the time. And again, relationships.
So the more relationships you have the better, yes. But the quality of those relationships and how you serve those people can mean more opportunities for you and the success that you have in your business as well. If you are a podcaster, for example, the more relationships you have with other podcasters, the more likely it is for you to collab. I mean it just makes sense. So if you are scared, if you are an introvert like me, if you are just trying to hide behind your keyboard, don't. You have people in this world who you need to serve through your business and in order for your business to grow and for you to make a deeper impact, you have to get out of your comfort zone and you have to meet people and no better way than to meet people in person.
And if you haven't done so already, I would love to invite you to FlynnCon in San Diego. If you just go to FlynnCon2, this is a second go-round for us in San Diego, bringing entrepreneurs together in a networking, fun, family-friendly set up. I promise you it'll be awesome. So if you haven't gotten your ticket yet, FlynnCon2.com, check that out.
Alright, let's keep the countdown going. Number nine, success comes after grit and perseverance. And I think this is an obvious one, but I think a lot of us need to hear this and even I need to hear this at times, too, because if you give up, obviously you fail. But if you don't give up, even if you had failed, well, you're actually doing good because as long as you're falling forward, you're still making progress. And any entrepreneurial story that you hear involves grit and perseverance because it is hard. It is not easy building a business, doing anything online, offline, physical product, digital product, coaching, mentorship program, it doesn't matter. It's hard and you're going to have to figure things out along the way and you're going to stumble and you're going to fall.
But I want you to think about a baby. A baby, when it falls, once it starts to try to walk. I mean, what if a baby fell and was like, “Nope, I'm done. I didn't like how that felt and I'm just going to keep crawling.” Well, we'd all be crawling around on the floor, our computers and our desks would look very different. I don't know why I thought about that, but of course, a baby gets up, tries again, and gets a little bit of support. Going back to number ten, the relationships, with the parents who are there to help, the caretakers. But it's that grit and perseverance that really make the difference between those successful entrepreneurs and the ones who just remain wantrepreneurs.
Now, success comes at different rates and some people maybe get lucky or opportunities come their way a little bit more quicker. But if you keep going, you're eventually going to get to the point where you will succeed. I promise you. But a lot of us give up right before that inflection point. It's called the dip, right? Seth Godin, the dip, that very bottom, the messy middle. And that I feel is the universe's filter for, “Hey, who's going to be successful or not? We put everybody through the dip and whoever comes out on the other end through grit and perseverance, well, they're going to get the success.” So number nine, success can only come after grit and perseverance, which also means after hard times, after failures, after mistakes.
Alright, number eight, this is the big one. I got this and learned this lesson from a good friend of mine and she's been a guest on this podcast a couple times. Her name is Dr. Shannon Irvine from Epic Success Podcast. And she once told me, and you've heard me say this before, ever since I learned this, “Hurt people, hurt people.” I did an episode of the podcast not too long ago about why people get upset at us. Why is there hate? Why is there a negativity toward us? And oftentimes it's because those people who are giving this negativity to us, well, they're hurt too. And I told a story on a podcast episode, I'll put a link to the episode in the show notes because it was one of the most impactful podcast episodes I had, once done, and it was supported by some amazing editing from my team and some music to really, really drive in the impact of just how hateful people can be, and why.
And on that podcast episode, I told a story about how my son got a hateful comment on a YouTube video of his, one that said, “Kill yourself.” And the beauty of this situation was just how he handled it because, April and I, we kind of prepared him for the negativity that is YouTube comments sometimes, and he came back and in return when I asked him, “How did this make you feel?” He said, “Well, I hope this person is okay.”
And I only wish I learned these lessons personally at a younger age myself because I went through a lot of tough times, especially in middle school and high school. I was a short kid, I got picked on all the time, I was bullied, and luckily I had some really good friends to help support me and I could sort of just be with and be happy with. But I often got very down on myself because of how others treated me. And if only I was as wise as my son is now, and hopefully, you can learn from him and the lessons that we taught him in this world that we're all trying to build together. Because as we try harder, as we go bigger, go bolder, we're going to be met with even more brick walls and people who are just hurt and are potentially trying to defend themselves from something that they are afraid of, from something that maybe they're not as courageous as you to do. And oftentimes, we just hear some very, very negative words as a result of just how hard and how big we're trying. So don't let that stop you and remember that hurt people, hurt people. And again, thank you for that Dr. Shannon because that was truly life-changing for me and my son and hopefully for those listening too. Thank you.
Number seven, let's keep the countdown going. There are endless opportunities but only if you let them come. There are endless opportunities, but only if you let them come. I think it was Richard Branson who said, “Business ideas are like buses.” As soon as one goes, another one's going to come at you. And I agree with that. I totally agree with that. But you have to be at the bus stop and look out for those buses in order for you to take advantage of when those doors open. And there are opportunities all around us, but you have to let them come. Or you have to, in other words, open your eyes, open your ears, and give yourself the gift of opportunity by doing that, by challenging what's normal, by getting a little bit uncomfortable. That's how you let them come. And by challenging yourself, you open your doors, that's for sure.
But if you remain complacent, if you just stay in your safe zone, then why would anything be different? So I think you really need to know, of course, why you're doing what you're doing and why you want these opportunities to exist. And it wasn't until I got laid off that I saw with my eyes and I heard with my ears the opportunities that were there. And I guarantee you, and I get asked this all the time, “Pat, if you didn't get laid off, would you be doing entrepreneurship today?”
I guarantee my answer would be no. I would be in architecture. I'd probably be doing sixty to eighty hours of work a week. I wouldn't be able to see my family as often. And again, very, very thankful for that layoff because that's what gave me the opportunity to let new ideas come in, to let new opportunities enter my brain. Because I was just on that one track and I was not even looking for anything else. And maybe you, on the surface, say you're looking for things, but are you letting yourself see and take advantage of those opportunities? In most cases, unless there is a big reason for you to change, it's all talk and I don't want it to be all talk because I know deep down there's deep, deep reasons why you want to, I don't know, quit your job or start something on the side. And I think the more focused that you are on that, the more it is likely for you to take advantage of those opportunities that come your way.
Number six, sometimes it just takes one to really make a difference. Sometimes it just takes one to really make a difference. One what? What am I talking about? Well, this can mean a number of things. If you are a content creator and you're consistent and you’re putting information out there, perhaps on YouTube, for example—I mean it doesn't really matter, podcast, blog, whatever. It just takes that one video that really resonates and connects with people and the algorithm to just explode and put yourself out there in a place where people can then finally start to find you. And a lot of times we don't let that opportunity come, right? We just kind of stay safe and we just do what we've been doing. But sometimes it takes—going back to number seven—that one random video that you wouldn't think of doing that's a little bit bolder, that's a little bit scary to actually put yourself on the map. One that might actually ruffle a few feathers, for example, and perhaps invite some of those hurt people to speak up and say their defense, if you will.
But sometimes it just takes one. I remember when I was first starting out with Smart Passive Income, it was kind of slowly growing. And then I invited Darren Rouse for a conversation one day, Darren Rowse from ProBlogger, and he was so kind enough to invite me to be on his show. And then I saw a massive spike in my downloads and I never saw it go down since. The same thing happened when I was on Yaro Stark's podcast, Entrepreneur's Journey. This was way back in 2009, 2010, and again, same thing. That one opportunity created a load of exposure and traffic and invitation to my website for people. And I haven't looked back since.
The same thing with my podcast. I remember there were a few podcast episodes early on when I started in 2010 that really took off and invited people and I think spread sort of just through word of mouth and conversation. I saw a lot of those episodes linked to on websites that I had never seen before and those helped things move forward. And so, it could just take one relationship, it could take one opportunity, one piece of content, it might be the next person you meet that could make the big difference. It could just be that one big ask of help for somebody that you've been waiting to just figure out how to do. Sometimes it just takes one and that opportunity you have to grow and to expand and to succeed is just right on the other side of that. But you'll never know unless you take action, obviously, and you'll never know unless you try. But the big thing is just don't stop, right? Just don't stop because sometimes it just takes one. So keep going.
Number five, we're halfway there and I learned this from Ramit Sethi. I had him on a number of times here on the show to talk about a number of different things. The psychology of money, which we recently talked about in an episode where we walked around the streets of New York, which a lot of you have said that was your favorite episode of the year, which was really amazing and took a little bit of coordination to do. That was also in twenty-degree weather, freezing my butt off, but it was a lot of fun to walk around the streets and hear the sounds of New York and hopefully have you visualize where we were walking as a result. And he was talking about the psychology of money. He's also been on the show to talk about pricing and selling strategies, which were just incredible.
But he was also once on the show to talk about what it was like to really be the CEO of your company versus just kind of being a scrappy entrepreneur. And a couple of years back I really took hold of that advice to think about running your business like a CEO. That means not necessarily touching all the parts of your business and letting your team, or software, or automation do a lot of that work for you. You only allow yourself to do the things that only you can do, eventually.
In addition to that, planning for the future. I was an entrepreneur who when I first started for the first seven years of business, since the Smart Passive Income blog was created, I was kind of taking it day by day and week by week. I wasn't really thinking about the next quarter, or the next half-year, or year, or three years in advance and a good CEO, a great CEO will do that. Because those plans, those future states of the business, that's what informs what gets done, who gets hired, what projects we start working on now. And he taught me, when it came to being a CEO, that what gets you here won't get you there.
You have to do things differently because you are upgrading your business, your life, your team, your work, your projects, and so the way it was done before cannot be the way to continue to where you want to grow to. What got you here won't get you there. So the big strategy here is to remember that, okay, it's important to be grateful about where you came from. It's important to think about the strategies that had worked, but it's also important to think about the future, number one, and number two, behind that, think about the strategies that it will take. And I love the exercises that my team does every time we meet to talk about the plans moving forward and we do a Stop, Start, Continue exercise. That's where we consider: okay, of all the things that we've been doing, what must we stop doing because it's just not viable anymore or it's not a part of our business plan? It's not part of where we're going. It worked before, but it's not going to be anything that's useful for us moving forward.
Start means, okay, we're in this new era now, we're planning for the future. What's something that we hadn't been doing but something that we could start doing that supports our vision and our goals? And then finally, Continue, hey, these are the things that did work and we better continue doing them because they are definitely in support of where we want to go. Stop, Start, Continue exercise can be a great one to do, especially now that we're at the end of 2019 here if you're listening to this when it comes out. If not, you're listening to this in the future and it doesn't really matter. You can use any moment in time to think about the future, right? But now that we're coming into the year 2020, this is a good excuse to start thinking about the future and the things that we're going to stop, start and continue doing. And remember, what got you here won't get you there. Big thanks to Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich, and also congrats on the New York Times bestseller, man. Ramit’s been a big inspiration and mentor to me for how to take things moving forward and it's definitely added to the growth and the exposure that SPI has found and just where things have been going. Thank you, Ramit, I can't thank you enough.
Number four, your goals will and have to change. This relates to what we just talked about, but in terms of not just the strategies that you're going to do, but the goal, the actual goals that you have must change. I've seen it time and time again, and I almost fell into this myself a few years back. Complacency, just being satisfied with how things are. Now, I'm not saying you have to grow all the time. Growing is not always the answer. Perhaps optimization can be the answer, but just being satisfied with where things are can lead to a dangerous place in business because, especially with how quickly things are changing, because of how many great other entrepreneurs there are out there who are coming up and creating better things that can and will compete with what you're creating, your goals will and they have to change, but not just in business as well, but also in life.
When I started this journey back in 2008, I had just gotten laid off and my goal was to just survive and I did whatever I could. I couldn't afford a team at the time, but I did whatever I could to build a business and succeed. I was spending fourteen to sixteen hours a day building my website at intheleed.com, which again, changed its name later, but I was involved in forums and groups. That's how I got known. There was no social media at the time. Twitter had just come out. I didn't even know what it was and how to use it. But I was very active in forums and groups when I was building my business there and then I created products and I started to just feel like, okay, I think I could survive, and that's what I was building for. My goals were to just match what I had when I was in architecture before I got laid off.
Now, if that remained my goal, I wouldn't have built Smart Passive Income. I wouldn't have built the other businesses. I wouldn't have put automation behind what I was creating so that I could actually get more time back. I would have kept it the same and likely would have burned out, but I needed to do the sixteen to eighteen hours a day to build a business from scratch and in a short period of time, relatively, build something that was successful to help people pass that exam and it worked.
But then after that, my goals were to then, okay, well now that I see this working, I want to build something and get a little bit of time back. That was my goal. How can I keep this momentum going while not driving myself to the ground? And so I started to get involved with learning how to build automation to take myself out of the equation of serving my audience and growing my traffic at the same time. I also started smartpassiveincome.com around the end of 2008 and my goals there were to just simply share how I was building that business and what I would have done differently and the new businesses I was creating. I was creating an iPhone app business at the time. I was one of the first iPhone app companies to be up on there, which was a huge advantage, but my goals changed and I had to get rid of that business because I really wanted to focus on SPI.
And when SPI started to thrive, I wanted to change those goals because I knew that I had a lot more to offer. If I had remained the same, I probably would have gotten bored. And so I changed my goals to include new types of businesses. I started the niche site duals and started my food truck business on the side there and I started to openly share that along the way. I started to do some philanthropic work that was really exciting to me and I shared that along the way too with Pencils of Promise. And my goals became much bigger than me. They became world-changing, potentially, and now my goals are way beyond SPI and this is largely why you've seen patflynn.com come up out of the woodwork earlier this year. I get to start talking about things that are important to me like education, and technology, and parenting because my goals are now to bring along people for the ride of me wanting to make a change and be an agent of change in the world of education. I want to bring entrepreneurship into schools and this is a goal that wouldn't have even been something that would have crossed my mind back in 2008 when I was just trying to survive.
So your goals will change and they will have to change. You have to change your goals and considering every quarter where you're at and if things have changed, if you've opened up new doors, new opportunities, been amazing, and it's okay for your goals to change. Sometimes your goals will have to be removed in order to make room for other things. And I think just staying in your lane and kind of breezing through and just remaining complacent is a mistake. I think it's important to be happy, but I think it's important to reassess, well, what would make you happy a year from now? Because that's likely going to change all the time.
Alright, we're on the home stretch here. We're down to number three, the top three—three, two, one—lessons I've learned since recording four hundred episodes of the SPI podcast. Number three, you can do it alone and succeed, but when you build a team, you unlock new potential. I want to take you back to 2013. I had traveled to Tennessee. I'd never been there before. Fun story. I was wearing three layers of sweaters because it was sixty degrees. By the way, I'm from San Diego and that's why. And I was walking around and everybody was coming up to me saying, “Hey, you're not from around here, aren't you?” And they were all wearing shorts and a T-shirt in sixty-degree weather. I thought they were crazy, but I think they thought I was crazy because they could see that this guy from San Diego was wearing three layers and was cold in sixty-degree weather. Anyway, we get really spoiled over here. But I was in Tennessee not to enjoy the weather or not enjoy the weather. I was there to attend a conference called Platform. This was after Michael Hyatt wrote his book Platform (Amazon link) and this was a conference to go along with it and I was there to speak, which was amazing. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
But the most amazing thing to me, beyond the amazing speakers who were up on stage like Cliff Ravenscraft, Jeff Goins, Carrie Wilkerson, several others, the most amazing thing was that Michael Hyatt was sitting in the audience learning from us the entire time and the entire event was flawless, and why? Because he had worked with his team to get everything up and ready and he was just there to learn like all of us. And it really made an impact on my life because that was when I noticed that, wow, he had a team behind him doing all the work for him to make this amazing experience for people like me. And it was at that point I knew I always wanted a team to help support me, too. But I didn't know how to do it and I didn't want a giant team and I didn't know the size of Mike's team, but I was inspired.
And I thank him even today for that because now I have a team and the team was grown slowly over time since 2014. It started with a book and an editor, which then led to a project manager and then hiring a person to help edit my podcast, which then led to somebody who helped me with my email, which then led to somebody to help me with design and development and my servers and things like that. And now I have a team of eight people who are now full time. They weren't full time until earlier this year, but it's just been amazing to see how much we've been able to grow and scale and how much work we've been able to get done together with people who are in it for the same reason.
And yes, I became a successful entrepreneur all on my own. I did it without anybody helping me, but I only wish I had people supporting me sooner. Because I had so much more that I could do because I burned myself out quite a bit doing a lot of the busywork, including web development, including graphic design, including editing my podcast. I'm so thankful and grateful I had the opportunity to do those things on my own, but I was so scared of handing things off to others that I kept doing everything myself.
And as a result, I feel like I didn't serve as many people as I could. I feel like I took time away from my family. I feel like I didn't do as good of work that I could've done because—and I want you to think about this—there's only things that you can do that nobody else can do, but you're likely doing stuff that other people can too. Are you doing more of what you can do and only you can do, or are you doing more of what other people can do too? If it's the latter, then I would encourage you to start thinking about finding help in some way, shape or form. And yes, there's a lot of software and automation tools out there that can help take a lot of that work off your plate too. There's a lot of great companies and agencies that could help you too, and I would start there, but even just one person who could help and support you in any way, shape or form, it'll unlock so much more time. It'll unlock so much more brain space and it'll allow you to reach your goals, whether it's to grow bigger or to become more efficient, or to get more time back much faster.
So yeah, you can do it alone. You can. You really can. I've done it too, but eventually, you're going to get to that point where you're going to have to make a decision to remain the same, to burn out because you're putting even more effort into it, or to hire a team to help support you.
Number two, big lesson learned: it's okay to say no. It is totally okay and it's beneficial to say no to opportunities that are out there. We talked about the fact that there are many opportunities out there, so saying no to one doesn't mean that one will never come around or a better one won't ever come around. But this lesson here is meant for those of you who are overworked because you're saying yes to everything. And I can't remember who said this, it might've been Cliff Ravenscraft, or Michael Hyatt, or Dan Miller even, I can't remember. But I once heard that when you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else. And all the opportunities you're saying yes to, all the potential speaking opportunities or opportunities to guest post, or opportunities to collaborate, yes, those are great and amazing opportunities. But when you say yes to those, are you saying no to something that is on your plate that you should be doing, that you're responsible for?
You have to think about these decisions instead of just saying yes or no right away. I wish there was a way for me to freeze my answers before I offer them. Much like how I know a strategy in personal finances to literally put your credit card in water and freeze it because if you really, really wanted to pay for something, you would wait for it to thaw and you would allow yourself time to think about it. But a lot of us make these snap decisions and we make these decisions to say yes because number one, we're worried these opportunities won't come. Number two, we're also worried about hurting other people's feelings.
If a friend asks us for a favor or to come to their conference to speak, it's hard to say no. You want to help them, but I think if you're always authentic and honest with them, especially if you can also back that up with, well, I can't because of this and because I have to do this, or because this is important to me and I hope you don't take offense to that. In most cases, if they are your friend, they will understand. So it is okay to say no, but here's the thing, when you say no, you're saying yes to that thing that you chose to say yes to earlier.
And I have been saying no more recently because I know there are many other things that are important for me to do. I've been saying no to more speaking opportunities. I've been saying no to more guest podcast opportunities and it hurts. It's hard. It's sad because I want to do them all, but I also know that there are some things that I've said yes to that I have to do. I also know that I would get burnt out if I said yes to everything. And I also know that by choosing yes when it makes sense, I'm dedicating more to those yeses. So if I do say yes to a speaking opportunity, I am going to give it my all because I know that that is selected as one of the few that I will say yes to. So hopefully if you see me speak in person one day, you'll know that I've put a lot of time and effort into that decision to attend that conference.
Hopefully, you can come attend FlynnCon and that's a big decision that we made because that is where we are putting a lot of effort into a lot of my public speaking and presentations. A lot of the care for the Team Flynn community and the SPI audience. So FlynnCon2.com, that's where you want to go.
And then finally to wrap up this episode here, thank you so much for being a part of this by the way. But this is another big one and I learned this really early on because if I didn't believe this, I definitely wouldn't be even six months into the process of being an entrepreneur without giving up already. And that is, it is okay to make mistakes and it's actually required. You have to make mistakes. I'm not saying you should try to make mistakes, but it's going to be a part of the process of becoming an entrepreneur, of becoming successful.
It would be a miracle for any of us to build a business from scratch and get it all right on the first go. That is nearly impossible. And yes, we hear a lot of these success stories and they always highlight the good parts but you never hear the bad parts. And I think that's why a lot of people gravitate towards Smart Passive Income and what you hear here on the show because we do highlight those mistakes and we do offer them as part of the process because they absolutely are. Because mistakes aren't failures. Giving up after a mistake is complete failure, but a mistake is a lesson. It's a moment in time where you get to collect information, gather it, analyze it and then move forward from there. Mistakes are learning opportunities and they are required because they teach you things. When you are building a business and you create a product based on conversations you've had, if nobody buys it, it's not because you're a failure, it's because there was a mistake made along the way and you can figure out what that is so that the next time you could have a better chance of succeeding.
And there you go. Top ten lessons I've learned since 2010. July 2010 is when episode one came out. Thank you for joining me here. Some of you have listened to all four hundred episodes and there have been a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but honestly, if you're in a down right now know that hey, I'm here for you and hopefully we can come up together. You might be in that messy middle and hopefully, this episode inspires you in some way. Maybe things are going well for you and this just gives you inspiration to lean into what you're doing even more and to potentially find somebody to help you because you've got even more, bigger things to do or more time that you want for other things.
And I hope that more than anything you'll continue to use me as inspiration, as motivation, as somebody who is there in your corner. You are a member of Team Flynn and yes, I'm the team captain, but you are just as important because sometimes I'm going to pass you the ball and you're going to score and we're all going to celebrate together. So hey, Team Flynn, you're amazing. Thank you so much. I appreciate you.
And before you go, make sure you hit subscribe if you haven't already. You can check out the show notes for Episode 400 here. Mentioned a few other episodes in the past that will be linked to there. Smartpassiveincome.com/session400 and here's to the next hundred. I hope we'll do something fun in Episode 500 but for now, just keep going. I appreciate you. Team Flynn for the win. All the best.
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