AskPat 343 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 343 of AskPat. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
Here is today's question from Curt.
Curt: Hey Pat, this is Curt Faller at ValuesDrivenResults.com. Love your work. Thanks so much for making it available. Also really love the focus you put on your family and how your business allows you to have the family life you want. Here is my question: How many hours a week do you work? That helps me understand where you are at from balance standpoint and helps me set some goals. Thanks so much for all you do. Keep up the great work.
Pat Flynn: Hey Curt, thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate the kind words, and I love that people notice that I put my family first. I have built this business around what I want to do, which is spend as much time as I can with my family. Instead of me working for my business, my business works for me. You don't want to be working in your business. You want to be working on your business. Those are the delineations that I want to make sure are clear with my goals.
Now, how many hours a week do I work while having the family life that I want? It's not consistent. That is the thing with entrepreneurship: It's never consistent. The cool thing about entrepreneurship and passive income and when you are your own boss is that you can set your own hours and you can do what you want. I will say in the beginning, that there were a lot of hours put into my business and less time put into my family. This was before I had kids, and you might have heard me tell this story before of when my wife and I were first married. My business was taking off, and it was really taking up most of my brain space. My business . . . There were times when I would be talking with my wife and having a conversation with her and her head would be moving, her mouth would be opening and closing because she would be saying words. I wouldn't really be paying attention. Not fully, because I was thinking about my business all of the time. I think a lot of us can relate to that.
I think it is important to talk about this really quick because hours we work on our business, that is important, but how much are we actually thinking about our business? Because when we are thinking about our business, we are not necessarily being with our family 100% in the physical world. In the physical world, yes. Mentally, in your head, you might not be there, and does that count as being with your family? I don't think so. In the beginning, my wife and I would have these quarrels, little fights about me not being fully present with her, when I was present with her. If that makes sense. She called me out on it once, and I was very thankful for that because she told me straight up exactly what I needed to hear, which was, I needed to create a boundaries. I needed to have in my head not just physical boundaries, which was part of the solution, but mental boundaries and things I could put into place to make sure that when I was with my family, that I was with my family. She even said, “What are we going to do when we have kids? Are you going to be there fully playing with them or are you going to be on your phone checking your email all the time and not really being there with them?” That was big.
I'm glad she brought that up before we had kids. Ever since I've had kids, I've always made sure to make time for them. Also just scheduling my business around them. For a while a lot of you know that I would only work when my kids go to sleep. Then I would stay up later and sacrifice a little bit of sleep for that to get the work that I needed to do done. Also, with my priority being my family, to be able to spend all time with them, not mix the two, now I have The Miracle Morning routine, so I am waking up a lot earlier. Doing some exercise, meditation, journaling, things like that but also incorporating a lot of the work I do in the morning before the kids wake up as well. Now that my son is in school, it has changed a little bit because my wife is now able to easily take my daughter out to do whatever errands she needs to do. I have a little bit of time at home in the later morning hours to do some work if I needed to. Although a lot of times I just hang out and go with them.
You might have seen a picture of me on Instagram, Instagram.com/patflynn at Target. It was like 9:15 am on a Thursday morning. I said it's the best time to go to Target because nobody was there and we could get quick parking, check out quickly. Nobody to go around in the aisles. It was nice. Those are the small things that I really appreciate. Really being and having the flexible hours to be with my family, but now that my son is in school, my daughter is close to that age. I can see the hours again shifting. Not necessarily adding more hours. I don't want to do that. Although I will talk about how many hours in a second. Just shifting them around based off my life and my family and when I am spending time with them, having them be the first priority and my business be the second priority and all of you out there are a part of that as well.
In terms of why I do what I do, in terms of an average, I would say that an average work week would consist of between 20 to 25 hours. Again, a lot of that is done at night after the kids are asleep or in the morning before they wake up. The other times during the day. I will get some time in during nap time, which is about 1:45 to 3 or 3:30 p.m. During that time I typically will do an interview or two. I don't want to have to force people to stay up super late to be able to do an interview with me, whether they are coming on my show or I am going on their show. I get a little bit of time in the afternoon for that. Again, like I said, when the kid's schedule change, that is probably going to change too. Just being flexible. That is the cool thing about being an entrepreneur and being your own boss is flexible hours.
Speaking of flexible hours, that is the coolest part. I can take a lot of time off. For example, in June, my family and I are going to Hawaii. I am going to take a whole week off. I'm not going to be doing any work. I'm going to try and actually unplug completely. I am putting a lot of things in place. Putting a lot of content upfront to schedule. Also, having my team on board to make sure that if there are any emergencies, that they will be able to take care of it and only contact me in emergencies during that time. It's going to be cool because I'll have a whole week, but my business will continue to run. I will still continue to make money. I will still continue to provide value through the content that I've already done previously ahead of time that I've scheduled for during that time. It is going to be awesome.
During that week I am going to work zero hours, hopefully, but during some weeks when there is a launch for example . . . For instance we are getting ready to do a massive relaunch for the Smart Podcast Player, there are some new features that are coming out, we are doing a promotion come later in May. Get ready for that if you are a podcaster. Leading up to that there is going to be more hours. That week might be more like 40 to 50 hours. Again, I am communicating that with my wife. My wife knows that I have these launches coming up and being very honest in planning ahead and making sure not to spring any surprises on her. She knows when I am launching new things and new things are coming up because she knows that then leading up to that I am going to be less available or that she is going to have to take care of the kids a little bit more during hours where normally both of us would be there. Average 20 to 25 hours a week, which is great and I love that. It could be less if I wanted it to be, but I'm putting a lot of time and effort and investing a lot of time for things that are happening in the future. You'll see some of those things come out later this year. I am putting . . . most of my morning hours currently are put for a book that I am working, put toward a book that I am working on. Again, I don't have to do that, but I choose to do that because that is something I want to come out with. So I am investing a little bit of time and that is where a lot of those hours are being spent.
Curt, I hope that answers your question and gives you something to shoot for. Again, you can structure your life in any way that you want, which is the fantastic part. For everybody out there who is still working 9 to 5, I know it is a little bit harder to do that, but I would also think about reverse engineering your end goal. What is your end goal? What is your ideal life like? It's funny because when I ask people that question, they don't really know how to answer. They are kind of just living life day to day, working hard. That's great, but working hard for what? You want to make sure you understand what you are working toward and reverse engineer a business around that. This is the whole lifestyle design thing, I think it is definitely the way to go. I think more people in the future are going to have businesses like this and it is only those people who take action, but also those who realize what they are working for. What's their goal? What's that address you are putting into navigation? If you don't have an address to put in there, if you don't know where you are going. You are just driving around endlessly. Aimlessly. You are going down streets you don't need to. You are losing gas. Don't do that. Understand where you are going and why. Then have everything else based off of that. Again, you might not go down the right roads all the time, but at least you know what direction you are supposed to be headed. North, South, East, West, whatever. Hopefully that analogy works for all of you out there.
Thank you so much, Curt, for sending your question in. I really appreciate it. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way for having your question featured here on the show. Jessica, my executive assistant will email you in the next couple of weeks to collect your information so we can send that over to you. For those of you listening, if you have a question you would like potentially featured here on the show. All you have to do is go to AskPat.com. This is Episode 343. We have given out 343 Ask Pat t-shirts.
It is cool because I am starting to see them in the wild now. Not at the grocery store or anything. That would be awesome. It's going to be cool because anytime I see somebody wearing a shirt I'll be like, “Oh, what question were you?” It's funny because the few people I've seen at conferences, they remember their episode number which is really cool. Again, head on over to AskPat.com. You can get your question featured here on the show and get an AskPat t-shirt sent to you free of charge. Thank you all so much for the questions that are coming in. You are the life blood of this podcast. Without you there would be no AskPat, obviously, because we feature your questions. AskPat.com. You can ask right there thanks to the Speakpipe.com widget.
Thanks so much for your attention and time and love today. Here is a quote to finish off by Alain De Botton. He says, “There's no such thing as a work life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”
Take care, and I will see you in the next episode of AskPat. Thanks so much.