AskPat 876 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn, here, and welcome to Episode 876 of Ask Pat. 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.
We have a great question today coming from Hallie, but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks, an awesome company that's serving millions of small business owners including myself with managing our business finances, from keeping track of our income, keeping track of our expenses, and also invoicing. If you do any billing of any kind, what's really cool about FreshBooks is they make it incredibly simple. In less than thirty seconds, you can create a professional-looking invoice that gets sent out. Plus, not only that, you can keep track of how much you're owed, and also who has opened or not opened those invoices to you, which is really handy. If you want to check that out for free for thirty days, all you have to do is go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and make sure to enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section. Here's today's question from Hallie.
Hallie: Hi, Pat. My name is Hallie Sherman and I'm a licensed speech-language pathologist, but I'm also the author of the blog and Teachers Pay Teachers store, Speech Time Fun. I love your show; I listen to every single episode you produce. Your energy and your value that you provide all your listeners is truly amazing. I've been blogging for five years and, as one would hope, my audience is growing tremendously. I'm getting opportunities to speak at conferences and webinars, and doing different marketing events, which is great. My question to you is, how do you deal with the pressures of growing and being out there more, and not just staying humble, but staying focused and okay with being out there and having people know about you? Reaching even more people can be kind of intimidating and scary and I would just love to hear from you how you deal with the growth, and staying focused, and not being overwhelmed by reaching so many people? I would just love to hear your tips and tricks and ideas on this, and how you've dealt with it, and what you know from others. Thank you so much. I hope to be featured on your show. I love it, so I can't wait to see if I am picked. I can't wait to see what you produce next. Take care, bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Hallie. Thank you so much for the question today. Congratulations on all the growth of your business, SpeechTimeFun.com, it sounds really cool. Sounds like you're doing amazing work. You're getting invited to speak, you're growing, and yes, you're absolutely right, it is intimidating. It is scary. There are a lot of pressures that come when you start to grow. When you're just starting out, not everybody knows about you and you can make mistakes and there's room for that. As you grow, not only do other people expect a lot from you, but you expect a lot from you as well. That can put a lot of pressure on you. I remember a time in 2013 when I had so much pressure coming from myself—really trying to make every single blog post as perfect as possible. Because of that, I never published any blog posts for a while. I would delay blog post publishing. I would go weeks in between episodes of the podcast and of the blog. It just wasn't cool.
One thing you come to realize is, you have to remember where you came from and what got you there. There's a lot of things that you do in the beginning that you kind of forget as you begin to grow. You have to be a little bit scrappy, right? Even though as you grow and try to become a CEO and get smarter with your business and as you begin to make money and invest it back in your business: Sometimes you're going to have to go back to those roots that brought you to where you're at today and get a little scrappy sometimes. A lot of times that means that you're not going to be perfect and you can't expect everybody to expect you to be perfect as well. There may be some people who will reach out to you and give you pressures of different kinds, but you have to remember, it's your business and you can take it wherever you want. I think that's important.
In addition to that—just the whole perfectionist thing, I think that just comes in phases, right? When you're just starting out you want to be perfect. Then all of a sudden you just start taking bold actions, and you're not perfect but you start to get a lot of amazing results. As those results come, you realize, “Oh, I don't have to be perfect.” But then something happens again where you get into that phase where you have to feel like you have to be perfect again. Kind of just remember that you don't have to be and that's totally fine.
There are other kinds of pressures. For example, pressure to have more access to you. You're going to get a lot of people who want your time and attention. You're going to have a lot of pressure to say yes to everything. I'll tell you, the more you say yes to those things, the less you're going to say yes to other things that are important to you in your life. Keep that in mind. When you say yes to something, you're also saying no to something else. You only have 24 hours in the day, right? We all do. Pressure to say yes is a hard one. What's kind of cool to realize, too, is that you are allowed to say no. When you're just starting out, you're more likely to say yes because you want to take every opportunity that comes your way. As you continue to grow, if you were to actually say yes to everything, you're either going to burn out or fall behind or you're going to have to hire a team so that you can continue to do everything. I would recommend hiring a team at some point if you haven't already, Hallie. All that to say: Be careful about what you're saying yes to. There are a lot of pressures with that.
Related to just having a ton of people out there following what you do, it is scary because everybody's sort of watching you and making sure that you're taking all the right steps. A couple things help me with that. One, being okay and comfortable with making mistakes; knowing that if I make a mistake, I'm going to be the first one to say it. I think it's really important to be authentic and honest with your audience. If you do make mistakes, try to be the first one to point it out before everybody else does. That relieves a lot of pressure because it kind of a) shows that you're human and b) that it's okay to make mistakes and c) that other people can see that you're right in it like they are too.
Finally, I always come at it with the approach of “Wow.” Not that, “Wow, there's so many people out there, how scary that is,” but, “Wow, there's so many people out there who follow what I do. How awesome is that?” I've worked hard for this and so have you. Realize that that is just a reflection of all the great and amazing value that you're putting into this world. Have that mindset shift of not scary, but awesome. That's your reward for putting all that great work out there and keeping people in your brand.
Hallie, just want to congratulate you one more time. Hopefully, that's helpful. If you want to talk more about this—because I think it's a huge topic—feel free to reach out to me @PatFlynn on Twitter or even send me and email if you'd like. Hallie, I want to send you an AskPat teeshirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show as well, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thank you so much again to FreshBooks for offering a thirty-day free trial to everybody. Again, FreshBooks.com/askpat. Make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section. Finally, here's a quote as always, which I like to finish the show with. This quote comes from Cardinal Newman, and that is, “Let us act on what we have since we have not what we wish.” Make good use of the stuff that you have, guys, and that will help you get what you wish. All right, guys, take care. Thanks so much and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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