AskPat 212 Episode Transcript
Note: All book links in this transcript are Amazon links.
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 212 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
Before we get to today's questions from Matt, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is MusicRadioCreative.com. Not only do they produce high-quality podcast intros and outros and jingles and things like that, they also help with podcast production. So if you find the process of producing a podcast time-intensive and you can be using your time for effectively, Music Radio Creative will take care of everything for you. So all you have to do is hit record, save, and send, and they will do the rest. Guess what? You can get this amazing service half the price right now through, or up until November 30, by going to MusicRadioCreative.com/AskPat and simply type in “AskPat” at checkout. Again, this is only valid until the 30th of November. So check them out, MusicRadioCreative.com/AskPat and type “AskPat” in checkout.
Awesome, now let's get to today's question from Matt.
Matt: Hey Pat. This is Matt Peyton, and I blog at IntrovertImpact.com. I’ve got a question about books. There's tons of great business books out there, but I want to ask your recommendations for books that teach the actual skills needed for running an online business. So whether it's marketing, or writing, or the technical end of writing code. What are your recommendations for the books that teach the skills required for running an online business? I look forward to your answer, and I love the show! Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Matt, what's up? Thank you so much for the question. I love business books, and personal development books, and marketing books. This question is right up my alley, and I'm always getting advice for what books to read, and I'm also giving advice based on what I read on what books my audience should read as well, so I'm really excited to talk about this. And I really like the way you framed your question. Because there are a lot of great books out there, and a lot of them aren't necessarily about learning a particular skill.
Now, the thing that we have to understand is that these books, and the reason why I love books is, it's almost like The Matrix, when Keanu Reeves was sitting in that chair and he needed to learn Kung Fu, they just sort of uploaded a chip into the back of his head and all of a sudden he had learned Kung Fu. Or how to fly a helicopter, or all these cool things.
And that's sort of what a book is like, because after reading a book, you learn based off somebody else's years of experience, something that only takes you the length of the time it takes to read a book.
Now of course you have to put these things into action, you have to practice. Just because you read a book doesn't mean you're necessarily going to gain that skill, but you'll at least know about it. And if you put that into practice and take action on it and use it in your business, it will work for you. And I've read a lot of books that have helped and worked for me.
And I want to share six of those books with you right now. And these aren't in any particular order. These are just the . . . I wanted to use this question, Matt, as an exercise to see which books would pop into my head first in terms of the skills out there. And the first one that came to my head, and this is probably because he's one of my best friends, Chris Ducker's book, Virtual Freedom.
You got to check this out, because this is all about, not just outsourcing, but delegating and building a team, and understanding what it is that you should be doing as the business owner. And understanding what things you shouldn't be doing. Because we all go through this thing called “Superhero Syndrome,” where we feel like we can do everything.
This was a big problem for me, and it's a skill, to understand first that this is who we are, but beyond that it's a skill to figure out, okay, what is it that we should be handing off to other people and what is it that we should only be doing and spending our time doing ourselves?
So, again that book is called Virtual Freedom, a bestseller on Amazon. And I want to thank Chris for writing it, and also being an awesome friend throughout this whole thing. I was there since the moment he had the idea to write this book to the day he signed his first copy. Maybe not his first copy, but I was in the Philippines with him when he signed copies of it, which was one of the first times and the look on his face was priceless. And so it made me very jealous because I want to start writing my own book. Which I will be doing very soon.
So, hopefully in later episodes, somebody will ask this same question and I can recommend my own book out there. Now I do have a book called Let Go. You can find it on Amazon or on the Snippet app. And I think it's great. A lot of people think it's great. But it's not necessarily something that's going to help you teach a skill, or not help you learn a skill.
Okay, second book. This one came to mind because one of the best skills to have online, especially if you're doing content marketing, is writing. For SEO, for building relationships, emails, books, content, blog posts, ebooks, things like that. Bird by Bird. This is the name of the book. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. And this book saved me when I was writing Let Go because I went through a major, major writer's block period, where I just was not writing very much. And I would spend hours on the computer only to probably write thousands and thousands of words, but I deleted most of them. Mostly right after I wrote them, because I was just too afraid, and I was in edit mode while I was in creative mode, which doesn't work. You can only be in one or the other.
And so this book taught me a lot about just how to be a great idea-thinker, and a creative type, and having those things come out on paper or on a screen. So this is a big skill that you have to learn because, obviously writing is a skill, but I didn't want to give you a dictionary or something like that. I wanted to give you something that would help you apply to a lot of the problems that you're going to face as a writer, and how you can break through those things. So, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
Third is a great marketing book, and I recently had this person on the Smart Passive Income podcast, Michael Port. Michael Port's book, Book Yourself Solid, a classic in online business and just business in general, so I would definitely recommend that. A bestseller. Again that's Book Yourself Solid. All about marketing and pitching and pricing and positioning and anchoring and all the skills that you need to learn to be able to sell what it is that you have to offer your audience.
This is a big one. Now, I will mention that if you're going to play the audio version of this, you probably shouldn't have this next book I'm going to mention. You shouldn't have the kids in the car with you, because there are some . . . language in there that might not be appropriate for them. But this book is definitely appropriate for anybody who's going to become an entrepreneur because one of the skills that we need to learn is how to suppress those feelings inside of us that make us want to give up, that make us want to stop, that resistance that seems to keep popping up every time we do something new and fun and exciting. That doubt that starts to creep in to hold us back from what we should be doing.
Some of you might know what this book is already from that description, but this is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, which is going to teach you, and yes it is a mindset thing, and some might argue that that's not necessarily a skill, but it is a skill. Meditation is a skill. And that's something I'm still trying to learn how to do, and have been actively practicing. And it's going better than it was in the past. I’ve mentioned that in a few past episodes of Smart Passive Income that meditation is something I've wanted to do. And I'm doing it, I'm slowly getting into it. But this thing, the resistance, this is huge. This is make or break for a lot of people. So, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Now one of the best things you could do as an entrepreneur is to learn. Not just from reading these books, but from situations that arise, and from learning how to adapt to things that are going right or wrong in your business, and learning from other people in and around your space. So learning how to learn is a fantastic skill.
How do you understand what it is about something that you could take that would give you the most benefit? What is it from these books that you read that you can actually implement? There's a thousand things to do. What are the top things you should do that'll give you the best results?
Learning what that is is going to help you move forward and help you from wasting time. So this book is a book about learning. And this book is The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss. This is a big, fat, thick book, and it is a cookbook. And the way that Tim sort of teaches the power of learning, and this sort of goes along the lines of the 80-20 rule. What is the 20 percent that you could do to get 80 percent of the results? That sort of thing. But this kind of puts it in a fun way, through Tim's learning of being a chef. But beyond that there's a lot of skills and things you can learn in the book to help you become a better learner, and understand what things you should be focusing on to help you move forward.
And then the last book I want to mention, and this is probably one of the most important things, in terms of skills for anybody who's running a business, is the relationship building that you do with people who are not only customers, but in and around your space, and just being likable. And using that to help deliver and offer value to your audience. And this is none other than the great, amazing book that I have read a few times now, and I will probably read again, either on a plane ride or in a car ride soon. This is ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie.
And a fun, interesting fact about this book, not really a fact but, one fun thing about this book relate to me is oftentimes I'll get haters or people who just come on the blog or leave comments that are just rude. And maybe they're trying to help out but the way they approach it is just not really good etiquette. And oftentimes I will passive-aggressively respond by saying, “Hey, you should read this book. It will help you as you move forward.” This is How to Win Friends and Influence People, and people who are following these conversations on social media actually get a good kick out of that.
It's my go-to in terms of, okay, you obviously don't know how to relate and you don't know how to share your message in a way that you know is going get across because you're just rude right now. But it's more than just how to be nice. There's a lot of specific skills and tactics in this book that's going to help you win over friends and influence people so that you can share you message and be valuable to them and also make more money in the long run, and grow your business. So again, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
So, just to go over that list one more time for all of you, Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss, and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Now, I hope that list was a little different than what you might have expected, because there are a lot of great books out there. But I wanted to give you something a little bit different. So I hope that this list is at least going to have one or two books that those of you listening, especially you, Matt, haven't read before.
So I'd love to know what you all think, and if you have a book that you'd recommend to Matt or everybody else out there following along, use the hashtag on Twitter: #AskPat212, and share your book recommendation. I'll be following along, I always love getting book recommendations and I'm sure Matt's going to follow along too. Again, keeping in mind that we're talking about books that can help teach us the skills to run a business. So, yeah. #AskPat212.
Matt, thank you so much for your question today. I really appreciate it. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page. You can even ask on your mobile phone, just like John did in the last episode.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is MusicRadioCreative.com. A lot of people know them. Isabella and Mike over there are fantastic. Two of the nicest people I know. They do great work in terms of providing value for us podcasters, for jingles and intros and outros, but they also help with podcast production as well. And they have a special promo code for you, for all of you AskPat listeners. You can try this now, you can get it half the price. You can get podcast production service for half the price by simply typing in “AskPat” at checkout. Again, that offer's only valid until the 30th of November. So head on over to MusicRadioCreative.com/AskPat for that.
And, as always, I love to end with a quote. And today's quote is from Caterina Fake, who is the co-founder of Flickr.com. She says, “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” Awesome. Take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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