AskPat 599 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 599 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. One more to the big 6-0-0. Before that, we have this one. I'm excited because I'm here, as always, to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
We have a great question today from Eric, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, an awesome site that is there to help us with our business finances, keeping track of everything, all the books, everything, all the money coming in, all the money going out, all the invoicing that you do.
It automates that process as much as possible for you. It allows you to see clearly what is going on in your business, so you can make wise decisions. Plus, especially during tax season, you have all these forms. They're all ready to go for you, that you can hand off to your CPA, or just take yourself and do your taxes. Yeah, it's awesome. You gotta check it out, and you can check it out for 30 days for free by going to FreshBooks.com/askpat. Make sure you enter, “Ask Pat,” in the How Did You Hear About Us? section. Thank you, FreshBooks. I appreciate your support, and all of you listening, too.
All right, now here's today's question from Eric.
Eric: Okay. Hey, Pat, this is Eric Martin, and I just wanted to let you know that I'm really enjoying your podcast. I started listening to the first one and decided to listen to your last one and work my way back. Lotta great content. I do have a question for you. I'm hoping that maybe you can answer it, or if you want to put it on the show. I have very little time, and I know you've kinda maybe touched on this in maybe one of your podcasts. But I have two hours to spare each day. I'm an Uber driver, a Lyft driver, and I'm also doing some other things. I have about two hours to spare each day.
My question to you is, knowing what you know now and all you've done, how would you spend the two hours that you have available to build an online business? What would you work on? Would you work on creating content for a blog? Would you spend those two hours learning HTML? How would you spend those two hours if you only had two hours to spare to build an online business? That's my question. So anyway, keep up the great work. Thank you so much for providing a platform for teaching us how to make an income online. Take care.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Eric, what's up? Thank you so much for the question today.
If I only had two hours to spare during the day, which is quite a bit of time actually. I know a lot of people who only have a half hour, yet are still crushing it because they are doing what exactly you are asking to figure out, which is to prioritize. How do you know what to do? These people who only have a little bit of time during the day, I think they benefit from having only a little bit of time during the day, because they make sure that they make that time worthwhile, and actually move the needle. That's the first thing.
Before anything, you want to make sure that in those hours, or those minutes that you have to spare each day towards your online business, that you're actually making good use of them. A lot of us get caught and trapped, where we might be on Twitter all the time, or Facebook. Because it's related to our business, we think that we might be moving the needle, when really we're just wasting time and procrastinating, because it feels good to see people click “Like” or “Share,” or click that little heart or whatever. But no, you need to make some bold moves.
So Eric, if I only had two hours, which like I said is quite a bit of time, I would do it in phases. I've talked about this before in the past. I wrote a book about some of these phases, and Will It Fly? is the name of the book. You can check it out at WillItFlyBook.com, but essentially the first part, which I talk about in the book, and really is just to understand that market that you're serving. Try to find a problem that really needs a solution, a solution that you can provide a solution for. It starts with market research, and discovering where or who out there in the world can use your help. What is underserved right now? It doesn't necessarily mean you have to go into something completely new that is not being served at all. “Underserved” is really the key word there. Finding a position in a space that is already successful, that is unlike other ones that are out there.
I haven't even mentioned anything about setting up a website or HTML, which I think would be a waste of time to try and figure out, how to do all that stuff first. But again, to many people, they think that's the first thing they need to do, because setting up a website is something that all businesses have, right? It's really clear and easy to—not necessarily easy, easy to set up a website, but it's easy to know what the end result is. It's a website that you could visit when you put the URL in the search bar or your web address field. There you go, boom, you have a website. You have a business! No, not really, because a business is simply a solution to people's problems.
So you've got to really hone in on what that problem is. It's gonna take some time, some market research. I recommend, highly recommend, going through the Market Map exercise in your Will It Fly? book, if you have it already. Again, this is why I wrote this book, because it's the stuff that has to happen. It's kind of the unsexy stuff that I wanted to make sure that people got through, that I hopefully made step by step and really easy and clear for people. I know it has, because I've gotten a lot of testimonials from people who have already used the strategies in the book.
But I'm not here to pitch my book. I'm just here to pitch the fact that, initially those two hours every day is gonna be spent calling people, talking to people, having conversations with certain groups or small businesses or types of people or markets to just understand what their biggest problems are. Then start to prioritize what those problems are and understanding which one has the deepest need that I could provide a solution for.
Then it's gonna go into validation. Spending hours to actually come up with a solution, and then actually getting people to potentially pay for those things upfront. It's gonna be working on getting those first few customers in the door, even before you create that product. Again, I haven't even created a website yet. I haven't even created an email list yet. You just want to see out there what needs help, and that's really where all businesses should start.
A lot of people think, like I talked about earlier, that it's about setting up a blog and then finding a solution from there for a particular problem that you don't even know about yet. That's okay, but that's super long-term, and I think you could much faster slice through that amount of time by actually starting with the problem, and then building your business off that. So that's about what I would start with.
Then it comes into, okay, the building phase after that. You have a business. You've validated it. You have customers or potential customers. Then it's about actually creating that product. That's what those hours will be spent on. You can see here how it's coming in chunks. The big struggle for a lot of entrepreneurs when they're just starting out is you want to try to do all of those things. You might spend 30 minutes doing this thing, and then 30 minutes doing this thing, and then 30 minutes doing this thing, and then 30 minutes doing this thing. So you've completed two hours of work, you've worked on four things, but guess what? Nothing has been done yet.
You want to work on one thing at a time, that next task. All your time and energy should be focused on that. All your learning, all your doing, all the things that you are doing related to your online business are related to that next task. Once you complete that and move on to the next step, then everything you do, everything you learn about, everything you think about is related to that. Everything you do within those two hours is related to that thing, helping you get to that next milestone.
Then later on, then it's gonna be about growth and marketing. Then it's gonna be about the relationship building, and going into JV partnerships. I mean, this is way down the road. I think initially, the first thing you want to do is just that market research.
So you're an Uber driver or a Lyft driver, which is great. Hopefully you're utilizing your time in between calls from pick-ups to either listen to podcasts or do something. But you could also utilize that time, or the two hours you have—I don't know if that is also included in that—to make some calls, and talk to people. Start to extract ideas. That's really where I would start. Two hours is plenty of time to do that. Hopefully that helps.
I want to thank you, Eric, for your question today. I want to send you an “Ask Pat” t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to askpat.com. You can ask right there on that page. Thanks again, also to FreshBooks.com for sponsoring this episode. If you want to go and get a free trial, head on over to FreshBooks.com/askpat. Make sure you enter, “Ask Pat” in the How Did You Hear About Us? section.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Here's a quote from Og Mandino. “Always do your best. What you plant now you will harvest later.” Amen to that. Cheers! Take care, and I'll see you the next episode of “AskPat.” Bye.
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