Often we create excuses for ourselves to mask the fear that’s actually holding us back. We’re great at it! In fact, most of the time, we don’t even realize what’s happening.
Azreer Gill lives in Cambridge Bay, Canada. He’s within the Arctic Circle, and, as you can imagine, that comes with some challenges. But are these obstacles a legitimate reason not to start a business that could literally save lives?
In this coaching session, I learn about Azreer’s incredible mission and give him the push he needs to get started. Like many people in his community, Azreer has struggled with addiction. He is now seven years sober and wants to help people by sharing his recovery story.
We talk about why podcasting is the perfect medium to start with and how you can use it to build a targeted audience. Azreer does stand-up, so he’s already a great storyteller. When we use our experiences and define a problem better than our listeners, it’s natural for them to come to us for solutions.
This episode is a great reminder to look under the hood and understand the source of your limiting beliefs. Join us today for this powerful chat!
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter, Unstuck, to get tips, tools, and my best advice for creating a thriving online business.
AP 1243: How Can I Actually Create Content When It’s Difficult to Do So?
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to episode 1243 of AskPat 2.0. You're about to listen to a conversation between myself and an entrepreneur just like you. Or at least somebody who really wants to get started in entrepreneurship and has a few hurdles in the way.
Namely, they literally live like in the Arctic region, the high Arctic circle. So internet connection's not super great and, and that kind of thing. And upload speeds are, are very, very slow. And, and it was kind of a miracle that we were able to get on a call. But Azreer Gill, who you can find on Instagram at @Azreer. He doesn't have a website yet or a podcast, but he wants to start one. And he's also a standup performer and he wants to represent his culture and talk about some of these things that are very difficult in the culture that he's in using a podcast, but isn't quite sure how to do that with the little things he has access to as far as creation.
So I dive specifically into a lot of limiting beliefs here in this episode. And this, this might be an episode that you can relate to as well, even though you're not necessarily living in the high Arctic and, and serving the public in, in the way that he has. I mean, he's doing some amazingly noteworthy work up there, but I think we all can relate to finding things that we believe are in our way, or excuses, if you will, to not do certain things. Things that would be, that would make it very difficult to do the things that perhaps are where we wanna go. And I dive into that today and kind of uncover a lot of those limiting beliefs for Azreer and, and hopefully for you too.
So I hope you enjoy this episode. And again, thanks to Azreer for taking the time and you know, he's in four months straight of sunlight right now. It just, I'm sure, messes with the head a little bit as it would with mine. But thank you again, Azreer, and, and here he is. Enjoy.
Pat Flynn: Azreer, welcome to AskPat thanks for taking the time to join me today.
Azreer Gill: Thanks for having me.
Pat Flynn: Now, you just told me before I hit record that you were located in a very interesting part of the world. Tell us kind of where you're at right now and and what you're up to.
Azreer Gill: Definitely. So I, I live in the high Arctic Circle. It's part of Canada and the community is called Cambridge Bay and the territory is Nunavut, so your state equivalent, there's about 2000 people up here, in this community. Fly in, fly out only, and I, I work up here for public health. I'm one of the health officers for the region where we work with pandemic messaging and outbreak management when it comes to infectious diseases and, and things like that. Yeah.
Pat Flynn: Oh, wow. Well, thank you for, for what you're doing up there to, to help out.
I know it's summer here in the US. Is like the sun up all day over there for you right now? Like what's the, what's that like?
Azreer Gill: Definitely. So it's this time of the year we have 24/7 of sunlight and sun's beaming through my Windows 3:00 AM in the morning. I can't tell between 3:00 AM or 3:00 PM I've been here for four years.
It was definitely a bit of an adjustment when I first showed up and I, someone, an individual has to go through it for at least a year. We only really have two seasons. We have summer, well, we have spring and winter, let's, let's say, and in the winter it transitions to 24 hours of darkness. So let's say, yeah, four months of darkness followed by about two months of transition period, where it's about half and half.
And then it it goes back to 24 hours of come the end of September it'll start to darken again.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. That's so, that's so trippy. Well anyway, thank you for taking the time to, to join today as we're tell us a little bit about what you're thinking in terms of online business and, and let's just jam for a little bit.
Azreer Gill: Yeah, definitely. Goal is, two or three things come to mind. I am East Indian. I was born in Canada, and my mom and dad are from India. And the culture we follow is Punjabi. And the idea is alcohol and substance abuse is very prevalent in, in our culture, whether they're people are in India or whether they're here in Canada.
I've personally been through addiction and being sober seven years now. I wanna somehow reach out to my people and how letting them know that, you know, we can all find resources to hide what's truly going on and alcohol being one. And how can we let alcohol aside, leave it aside and just really focus on our true identity to help live in society rather than masking it with something that's extremely toxic.
And so my business idea would be, It's more of a message than anything, and I, I, I'm not entirely sure where to start. And one of the things I thought about was maybe a podcast entitled, like Punjabi Alcoholics, and that was an idea that that came to mind.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. Well, first of all, I mean, we've have had people on the show before in fact, there's a member of our community, her name is Jillian, and she has a podcast called Sober Powered. So she helps people who have gone through addiction and substance abuse as as well. And I know a few other people who have created content and, and have really stepped up to help people. And I love the idea that you wanna do that, but not just like that in general, but that you wanna speak to a specific culture about it.
Cuz I'm sure in that culture, there's different, you know, the, the, the language that you can share with each other, the experiences that you share with each other can, can make it that much more meaningful, right? Because a person can see themselves than you and you can see them and you can kind of affect each other more greatly there.
And whenever anybody comes to me and says, Pat, like I just have this message to share, Like, I don't. Know exactly how I'm going to make money yet, and I don't like have a course in mind yet. I just know I want to help people. I think a podcast is an amazing way to do that. Podcasting is growing faster than ever.
There are more people listening to podcasts than ever before. And yes, there's YouTube as well, which could help you get in front of specific audiences, and that could be a discussion that we could have too. But a podcast is definitely gonna be easier to start with, and you could always pivot and shift from there.
But I think what I love about the podcast too is you don't have to worry about the video quality. You don't have to worry about those kinds of things. It's just about the message and whether it's you talking to them and you're having a conversation one to one with the audience, or you invite somebody on to come on and you have a conversation with them and you kind of can unpack those stories cuz in these worlds where, where we're talking about these very heavy things, the most relatable things that a person can listen to are stories. Stories that make them feel like they're not alone. Right. Stories that make them feel like there's hope. Stories that show them that there is another side to this.
And on a podcast where a person is, is in private parts of their life and they have those headphones on, I mean, that can be so powerful and so impactful. So I, I'm in agreement with you. I definitely think that would be a great idea. And again, to make it niche specific to that culture, I think is going to, to favor you very, very well.
Right? Cause you could create a, a podcast about just substance abuse in general, but then you lose out on. oh my gosh, Azreer is, is like me, and he's gone through stuff similar to me, so I, I'm going to really connect much faster with you as a result of that. So, hearing my response to that, how does that make you feel?
Azreer Gill: Thank you for that response, Pat. That was initially my thought process as well. When I did a scan of all the podcasts that were out there around addiction and rehab and therapy, they were quite generalized. And so my thought was, Well, let's just think simple. Like why was one of the reasons why I started drinking was fitting in.
And so it's not just my people that go through that, or there's people in this country today that are currently going through that, that are from my background, whether they showed up here yesterday or whether they've been here for 40, 50 years. And so I thought, let's, let's focus on that and, and if I can make it niche and, and I am attracted to that idea.
Pat Flynn: Good. What, what also is beautiful about this is when we talk not just who we're creating this for, but how are we gonna spread the word out there? A people who are within that culture who hear that episode are gonna, are usually hanging around other people like them in in many regards, right? So they're going to share it just by word of mouth with other people like them.
You have the opportunity to by nitching down in this way, going to other podcast that are targeting the same culture. They're not specifically, or might not have even anything to do with substance abuse. But because that target audience exists there and you have something of value to share, you have stories internally from your own history that you can bring on the show to empower, to give hope, to bring awareness to those communities, well then that's gonna spread the message even more.
It's so much easier to find those audiences, even though it's a smaller audience than a bigger general one. Your audience is gonna grow much faster because it's that honed in. So for example, you could go on a Punjabi Culture podcast or a Punjabi even entertainment show to again, bring awareness and that's of value to those podcasters as well because they know that their audience is going to resonate with your story.
And that's where I would really recommend you hone in on right now, which is craft your story in a way tells the story that creates that relatable moment with people who are going to listen to that, whether they're listening to your show or somebody else's show.
When I started my business, I maybe accidentally found this out, but when I told my story about how I got let go from my architecture job and then I, I became an entrepreneur, but that was very hard and like it was going against anything that was sort of natural to me.
That story was so relatable to people. That's why people gravitated toward me because I told the story that I went through that everybody else was going through as well. And if I just kind of breezed over that story, if I just said, Oh yeah, I got laid off and then, and then I found entrepreneurship. So let me tell you about like what I did.
It's not as impactful, but now I'm telling the story in major detail. I'm telling the story about when my boss invited me into his office, and he sat me down in his chair and he's never done that before. So I knew something was up and then he leans in and he whispers like, you see how I'm like describing those moments?
Those are moments that people can relate to because it's like a movie playing in their head. Even if they're just listening, then they can then see themselves in that. And when you can describe the problem almost better than they can, they're gonna come to you for the solution. That's a quote from a guy named Jay Abraham who said, If you can define the problem better than your target customer, they're gonna automatically assume you have the solution.
Now, these aren't customers per se at first, but these are your people and, and this is how you can attract them, and then the business part comes later. I wouldn't even worry about, well, how am I gonna make money from this right away? How like, am I gonna sell a course? Am I gonna write a book? Am I gonna do coaching?
Who knows? All you need to know is you need to build this audience. You need to hone in on your story, and those opportunities will come. I mean, your audience will tell you what they need and you can kind of build an experiment and, and micro test from there.
Azreer Gill: Thank you, Pat, for that. I love the idea of how, if I've been through it and I share my story or my experiences, others project their experiences onto mine. And I'm not asking everyone to relate to everything I have to say, but sometimes it's literally 30 seconds or a couple minutes of what I have to share that they can maybe take home and use and, and that's kind of what I go for.
You've also reminded me like later down the line I have, and you're absolutely right, I'm, I'm not, I'm not focusing on the whole business money side of things at the start. More so get formulating that message and that story and, and having that story sharing between two individuals. But I, I, I do do stand up, I do storytelling on a stage. I belong to a group where we write and when we do get the chance, we get up on stage and we share seven minute stories.
And a lot of my stories are to do with somewhat addiction or a base stories. And that was my other idea, is that one day down the line, maybe I could formulate those stories into an audiobook or that can be available that I can potentially promote on this platform. It's just an idea of mine.
Pat Flynn: I love that so much. I mean, you could take the compilation of your best parts of your podcast and turn them into an audio book and absolutely. And then the audio book can turn into a coaching program down the road or, or what have you. I mean, who, who knows? But I absolutely love that you're thinking about that already.
Man, you already have experience telling story. Like bring that onto now a microphone that is recording and now can get into other places on Apple and Spotify, et cetera. And people can start talking and sharing about this cuz that seven minutes on stage is, is just for that audience typically. And then after that it's like, okay, it's done.
Versus you create this audio however long it is and it's there forever now. I mean even 10 years down the road people can still listen to that. They can still get value from it and that's really, really empowering and hopefully should be inspiring to you and get you like excited about, about getting going on this.
You had mentioned, you said stand up. And I was thinking of like comedy. Do you do comedy or like that kind of thing on stage too?
Azreer Gill: I do. I, I've been doing storytelling longer and I've been doing standup for about three years. It's, it's different writing structure, without getting into detail on that, but I am quite limited and I, I was only planning on staying up in the Arctic for two years and pandemic hit. Now it's been four years and my very first step is to get outta here and just go someplace in Canada where there's high speed internet, and that's my very first step because yeah, these ideas are great, but I keep holding 'em off and, and one of the biggest things is leaving a job I've been working at for about 12 years in the country and just leaving that whole pension side behind and starting over. Not, not starting over. I, I would be good for two, three years if I didn't work, but it's the fear of leaving, I think is, is where what I'm trying to get at.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean that's a, that's a big decision. Obviously you don't wanna take that lightly. But at the same time, those are the, the big, bold decisions that create big, bold results, right? If you were to do the same thing that you've been doing, you're gonna get the same results that you've been getting and it sounds like you, you don't want to continue to just do the same thing that you have been doing. You know, sometimes there are ways to, with people leaving their jobs to compromise. I mean, sometimes people go from full-time to part-time. Now, like you said, the location specifically of where you're at is an issue and potentially holding you back.
But I mean, our connection right here on Squadcast is actually pretty good. And for an audio only situation, I can still imagine you, is it true that you would be unable to record an audio file and post it onto a, a podcast host? Is it true that that's impossible to do in the location you're in right now?
Azreer Gill: It's not impossible. I think in volume would might be impossible and, not impossible, but it, it's a lot slower to upload larger files, is what I'm getting at.
Pat Flynn: Right. I think that, I feel like, and I, I don't want you to take offense of this, but I feel like you're looking for excuses to not do this. What do you say about that?
Azreer Gill: Definitely, a valid reason. I'm, I'm going to, I'm gonna agree to that. I do wanna say that data up here is quite limited as well, so we're on a gigabyte per use basis and that. That. I mean, that's still not an excuse. I'm, I'm looking for excuses and I think maybe if I look, think deeper, I think it's time for me to go.
And I'm, I'm kind of using this as a venue or an avenue to, to get outta here. Maybe that's what it is. Yeah.
Pat Flynn: I mean, I feel like if you were to leave, there's just gonna be this renewed energy in you and this drive because you now have access to all those things that. In your head, yes, you were using an excuse and maybe weren't totally valid, but now that's not even on the plate anymore.
And boom, you would just be zooming in on that and, and I love that. I think that you could, at least for right now, just get started on it. And the nice thing about a podcast is pretty low barrier to get started versus like, If we were talking YouTube then yeah, that would definitely take up a ton of megabits and probably you would be right about that.
But for a podcast specifically, which is the thing that you brought up, like that was your suggestion. I, I definitely think that you could do it. And this is gonna be a interesting. Picture that I'm gonna paint for you here, but imagine that there was a person who needed your help and they just needed to hear your story, and, and they were feeling lonely.
You meet them and you say, I, I could help you. I've been through this before, but you know what, I'm not gonna tell you because my internet's slow. Like, that would be ridiculous, right? Like, you wouldn't, you wouldn't say that, but that's kind of what's happening here. So, Don't let that hold you back if it's truly not something that's holding you back, cuz these people need you.
I mean, they don't care that maybe the audio won't be best quality. They're suffering. You know what they're going through and they need you. So that's my paint. A real picture for Azreer today sort of moment.
Azreer Gill: It's a, it's well put. And I, I needed to hear that cause I, I I need people to call me out from time to time that, that,
Pat Flynn: Oh, me too. My friend dude. Me too. And, and it's what's great about being a part of these communities and, and online, you know, and there are people out there who are not so nice too. But at the same time, when you find those people who help support you, like stick with them and have them call you out. I mean, we need that in our lives sometimes.
And maybe, maybe that's exactly what I just did, but I want you to, Here's the other thing I'm gonna do for you. When you create this podcast, you email me, you let me know, I'll share some stuff on social media to help bring some awareness to it. Cuz I think it's that important. So there's a little bit of accountability for you as well.
So I, I, I look forward to that whenever it might happen. If you can get it sooner, awesome. If it does require you to move and get away, okay. Whatever, I will be there to support it. And and so I, I look forward to hearing from you again.
Azreer Gill: Pat, I I really do appreciate your time and and thank you. Thank you for, for your words today.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, of course. You know, typically we end this show by telling people like, Hey, go visit this website or go to these, Like, we don't have that yet, so we have to have you back on at some point to, to mention what those things are. So and anyway, is there any place that a person can go to, like, follow, Like do you have any social medias or like places you wanna drive people to follow up or, or not yet.
Azreer Gill: If anything, my Instagram page, it's just @Azreer.
Pat Flynn: Okay. Cool, dude. Thanks, man. I hope this was what you needed and, and I'm happy to, to have been a part of it today with you.
Azreer Gill: Thanks again, Pat. I appreciate you.
Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoy that conversation with Azreer. You know, I could tell just from the conversation that he's such a genuine guy and he really wants to help and really wants to put himself out there.
And hopefully this helped remove a lot of the excuses that not just Azreer puts in his way, but that we put in our way when it comes to creation. And I think that. Trying to keep it simple and trying to work with what you got is really important. There's a lot of talk about this phrase, first principles that you hear from people like Elon Musk and whatnot.
I mean, it's how he was able to build rockets that get sent into the air and then come back when nobody thought that was possible. So thinking about first principles, bringing things back down to, well, what is possible, what might be the only thing needed to, to make this happen. And then starting there and building back up from there to, to create something amazing.
Azreer, thank you for what you're doing. Thank you, the listener, for listening all the way through. I hope you enjoy this episode. And if you'd like to get coached here on AskPat just like Azreer today, head on over to AskPat.com. You can fill out an application there. I'd love to hear from you and see if it's the right fit and might reach out to you and schedule a call.
So thank you again to everybody who's been on the show, I look forward to serving you next week. Until then, peace out and as always, Team Flynn for the win. Thanks.
Thanks for listening to AskPat at AskPat.com. I'm your host Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sarah Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.