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SPI 470: I Found It!

What is it I’ve found, you ask? Let me tell you: it’s a niche topic that I’m deeply interested in and a creatively rewarding (and challenging) way to share it that’s totally unique.

In session 469, I talked to Nick from PokeRev about Pokémon card collecting and how he’s been able to create a community—and earn money—around his hobby. Over the last few months, he and I have built a friendship around our shared love of Pokémon cards, and I’ve joined a number of his live streams. I even became a moderator for his YouTube community, the PokeCave. Seeing what he’s doing inspired me to create my own Pokémon-centered YouTube channel, Deep Pocket Monster, where I’ve found a love for live streams. There I try to bring positivity and energy to inspire other collectors and create a fun space for families to join. I’ve learned so much doing those live streams and I want to share what’s making them a success. Let’s go!

The PokeCave
Collectible Conversations (PokeRadar Podcast)
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Internet Business Mastery

You’ll Learn

SPI 470: I Found It!

Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now, your host, he was once the lead pan player in a steel drum band, Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn:
I found it. I finally found it, and actually it didn’t even come from me. Other people found it for me. But I’m so glad I found it because this actually changes everything. So, what am I talking about? Well, I’m talking about something related to this past week’s episode, episode 469 with Nick, from PokeRev. If you haven’t listened to that episode, quick rundown: PokeRev is a YouTube channel about Pokémon—Pokémon card collecting, or the Pokémon trading card game. There’s a lot of money being put into this space, by the way, because all these kids in the ’90s, including myself, who grew up with Pokémon, couldn’t really afford much more than just what our allowance could offer. Who now have money, who now at work, who now have a job who are now, especially during the pandemic, going back to nostalgia and getting back into the hobby. It’s huge. It’s huge.

So, huge that Nick, even after just about a year and three months or so has now amassed a YouTube channel of over 300,000 subscribers. I was on a live stream earlier today, in fact, where he was opening several thousand packs for people who had paid for them. And there were 4 or 5,000 people watching concurrently, like live, which is crazy. And so, what’s interesting is that as I reflected more on this interview with Nick, who is somebody who I definitely look up to, who’s inspired me, in fact, to create my own channel and that channel at Deep Pocket Monster just had an epic event this past weekend. At the time of this recording, two days ago, I held my first live event on the channel. I’m going to tell you more about it in just a minute.

But when I think about PokeRev, if you’re at all familiar with Pokémon and you start to dive into who the players are in the YouTube atmosphere, there’s different kinds of people. There’s people who are super knowledgeable about the history of Pokémon and the market prices. People who are more celebrity status, who just collect for fun, but they have a sort of celebrity name to go along with them to attract a large audience, and make money through sponsorships and things like that. PokeRev is somebody who has found his little space within the Pokémon atmosphere. And his space is somebody who is a massive content creator who provides entertainment, high energy pack openings.

And he’s got this rhythm down where on Tuesdays, he opens a very old pack all the way dating back to 1996, some old Japanese stuff that just brings back nostalgia. And he has tens of thousands of people watching live all over the world during those ones, which have very expensive packs, sometimes raging into the thousands of dollars that literally get sold out in 30 seconds, actually. And on Sundays he opened something a little bit more modern in between. He’s discussing and sharing things to help offer tips to the community. And he’s really built this amazing community. And if you’re a part of The PokeCave, which is what he calls his community… I mean, everything I talk about in my book, Superfans, he’s doing.

And it’s just incredible to see and witness from the sidelines. And also as a part of the community, in fact, I’m a mod or a moderator in his live streams. And I’ll tell you trying to moderate a live stream with tens of thousands of people—it’s like another job, but I’m happy to do it. It’s not all the time, but it’s fun. And it’s pretty cool to just be a part of the community in that way, and get recognized by PokeRev every once in a while. But that’s his niche, that’s his space, and that’s his cave, The PokeCave.

But guess what? I found mine. Not a cave, the Pat Cave. No, it’s not the Pat Cave. I would almost feel like if I called my office where I do my Pokémon stuff and my videos, the Pat Cave, it would sound a little weird. Plus he’s The PokeCave, Batcave. Yeah, no, that’s not what it is. Anyway, this past weekend I ran my first live event and this was only a month after the channel started. We had 1.3K concurrent viewers, 1,300 people watching live. We had 400 people, right at the beginning of the stream who were just waiting in the room, waiting for this scheduled live to go up. And what I did was I gave away some packs of a card set that came out in 2016, and it was fun. I put a lot of production effort into it. I had a editor team help me create some hype reels. It was really fun. It was a big event.

But here’s the thing, I’m still, or I had been still, finding my way into the space. A lot of my videos that I have on my channel at Deep Pocket Monster are really experiments. And when you’re starting anything new that’s all it is, it’s an experiment. But you got to put yourself out there and I’ve tried videos that are more story-telly that go into the history of the Pokémon cards. I have videos that are more educational. I have videos kind of across the spectrum. And then, I do this live stream and today, a couple days after, I’m still kind of coming down from that high because I felt like it was a performance, literally, I had like an out-of-body experience. It was incredible. Just the power of live stream and the power of community online. It’s a real thing.

But then I listened to this podcast in the Pokémon space that I always listen to, Collectible Conversations. And the two hosts, John or PokemonRadar, and Shaun from Squeaks Gaming World, they started talking about my live stream and they spent 10 minutes discussing not just why they liked it, but how I’m approaching the space in a very unique way. And it’s interesting because when they said all those things, I was like, “Oh yeah, I guess I am doing that.” And I’m sharing this with you because sometimes you don’t even know what your superpowers are until you just put yourself out there, and you have other people comment on it. Sometimes you don’t know what makes you necessarily unique because you’re so heavily involved in it. It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle.

And then, here I am listening to these two guys who I do look up to. I look up to them, I’ve built relationships with them at the start. And they’re telling me all the things that they are offering to others who want to start a YouTube channel that they think they should do based on kind of how I took the approach. I took a very relationship-first approach. A serve first approach, as I often talk about. Going into PokeRev’s community and seeing what I could do to serve there. Helping John or PokemonRadar with his podcast. Helping Squeaks with his videos. (Squeaks is Shaun.) And it’s amazing what happens when you help people first. And it goes back to that Zig Ziglar quote, which is, “Nobody’s ever gotten poor by helping others get what they want.” And that’s the approach that I took.

It’s very similar to what Tim Ferriss did from The 4-Hour Workweek. If you don’t know this story, it’s a beautiful one. So Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Workweek that came out in 2007 and it came out with a bang, it launched into the number one New York Times bestseller kind of right away. And later on, I discovered his strategy for how he did that, how he launched so quickly. Here’s what he did: he actually went to conferences, he had already written his book, but he was kind of searching around to try and find a publisher… Or I think, at this point, he had found a publisher, but I want to say that his book got denied, I want to say 12 to 15 times by publishers. Isn’t that insane? I think it was Back to the Future was denied from many different production studios, 21 times. Harry Potter was several times. Publishers didn’t want it. And it’s amazing cause these are pop culture sort of icons and property and assets now.

Anyway, Tim Ferriss, he went to these conferences. And here’s what he did, he went around and found all the people that he should be reaching out to, to potentially promote his book. But he didn’t even talk about his book at all. He wanted to know what other people were up to. He wanted to see what he could do to help those other people, those bloggers, those video people. Not anybody was really a YouTuber at the time, kind of. But he just wanted to serve others. He got so interested in what other people were doing, they couldn’t help but ask, “So Tim, what are you up to? What are you doing?”

And now he’s gotten the permission to talk about The 4-Hour Workweek having already built a relationship, having already served people. And I know this story firsthand because one of my mentors, Jeremy from Internet Business Mastery said that he was one person who Tim reached out to and started talking to. And Tim had asked a lot of questions about Internet Business Mastery, and got so excited about it that Jeremy turned around and asked, “Well, what’s this book you got coming out?” And I remember The 4-Hour Workweek, how did I hear about it? I heard about it on the Internet Business Mastery podcast. And so, the butterfly effect happened after that, but only because he was such in service of others first. And, again, that’s the approach I took here in the Pokémon space.

But after this live event, hearing not just Squeaks and PokemonRadar talk about it, but also reading the comments. I went back to watch the live stream on Deep Pocket Monster, and I was watching the chat very closely. I hate watching my old stuff, or as soon as I do it I hate kind of recapping it, but I always do it. I always do it because I want to improve, especially if it’s something that I really, really want to get better at. I did the same thing when I spoke on stages. I filmed myself, even if nobody ever saw it, even if I was never going to publish it, I had somebody film it or I put up a tripod in the corner. It didn’t have to look great. And I just watched it again. And I started to ask myself, “Okay, what could I have done differently? What could I have done better?” And I’m doing the exact same thing right now.

But as I’m looking for ways to improve, I’m also getting confirmation from the audience on what it is that they actually like. From small little tactical things like during the live stream, I often use my voice changer to mimic the voices of certain Pokémon, which was kind of fun. And I didn’t think it would take so well. I sparingly used it, but when I did, I noticed that people really got a laugh out of it. I saw a lot of comments from parents watching with their kids, really enjoying it. I got a very nice comment today from somebody who said, “Hey Pat, my kids and I watched your entire stream, it was two and a half hours. And they typically turn those things off after 10 minutes.” So, that’s a good sign.

So, the way that I approached this live stream was high production value. Just like I did with my videos on the channel. And that’s something that I wanted to bring that I knew was different. But now I got confirmation from the audience that this is something that literally nobody’s doing. I didn’t think nobody was doing it, but here I am bringing it in and they’re noticing it.

I’m also bringing a lot of storytelling into this as well. And that’s something that I’ve noticed, even in my prerecorded videos before this live, that a lot of people loved. They loved the storytelling from even when I was offering tips about how to collect cards. And I actually use a lot of what I learned here as an entrepreneur in that space. I talk about the riches are in the niches here on the podcast, and in the SPI brand quite often.

And I talk about the same thing in the collection space. Because if you’re trying to collect everything, how do you know where to spend your money? How do you know who to look forward to? Who’s knowledgeable? How do you know how to collect what? I mean, there’s just so much out there. Versus if you want to collect all the Pikachus in the world, that’s one out of over 1,000 Pokémon, but yeah, you could do that. Or what about all of a particular set? Or all of a particular kind of card? Like all the gold cards, or all the whatevers. So, collection becomes much easier and you have more goals that you can actually achieve and it just feels better. And it’s easier to do. And you can become known for something in the collection space, which is pretty cool.

So, I tell stories about that. And I told a story about how, when I started collecting Pokémon, a friend came up to me and he was like, “Hey, so what are you collecting?” And I was like, “I just told you, I’m collecting Pokémon.” And he was like, “No, no, no, no. Like what kind of Pokémon?” And that started the lesson, but that story brought context. And it allowed me to open up and to talk about my own experiences as a brand new collector.

So, anyway, the storytelling, the production value. My editor, Dan Patrick Norton, who is a fan of SPI, he’s very much a part of the community, met him in person as well at some meetups in Philadelphia, back at Podcast Movement 2015, was it 2015? I think it was. No, no, no Podcast Movement 2017, I think, we met each other for the first time. And then, I got to see him in New York. And just all around great guy. Anyway, he created a very cinematic intro because it was our first live event we wanted it to be sort of cinematic. And so, we had countdown timer from 2 minutes and 30 seconds down to zero before I’d come live on the stream. But he tuned it up. He had a lot of visuals that I collected as B roll for just my channel in general. And he put them in, in a way with some very cinematic kind of like Michael Bay type music and it was epic. And I just saw the comments, people loved that.

So, guess what? We’re going to continue to do that. And I heard Squeaks talk about how it just felt like he was watching a movie when he was watching the live stream. And how it’s very different from others who kind of just go open, and they do what’s called rip and ship, where they rip open packs and then they ship them. So, it’s just pretty interesting to hear from the outside.

And so, the big lesson here is number one, you got to put yourself out there, you got to try things. I was actually very, very nervous doing this stream. First time going live, actually interacting with the audience in real-time in this brand new space. Again, this is sort of like my new niche site tool. For those of you who don’t know, in 2010, I built a website from scratch in a completely different industry. And I just shared everything about it. What I did to build the website, how I chose the keywords, how I started making money from it, et cetera. Well, I’m doing the same thing on the income stream, on my morning show, on YouTube, as well as here on the podcast. I’m just kind of sharing everything as I go. And we have just now passed 11,000 subscribers on Deep Pocket Monster in about a month. That’s crazy, but it’s also cool because I’m purposefully doing this.

Now, not everything that I’m doing is hitting, but a lot of things are. And what was crazy is at the end of the live stream, YouTube gives you stats and they give you stats of how many comments you’ve had, how long the stream went for, how many concurrent viewers you had, how many overall viewers you had, how much watch time total there was. I think there was over 20,000 hours of watch time or something like that. It’s just ridiculous. And that that’s all the people put together, or maybe it was 2000. We had over 1300 people concurrently at one time, 15,000 comments. At one point, there were over 1,000 comments within a two minute period. And that was when, in the middle of the live stream, I pretended to have the internet cutout, but we had a little video ready where it cut out and then it made a big announcement for next week’s box that I’m giving away. And it was just super cool.

And the other thing was I saw the super chats. Super chats are donations that a viewer on YouTube can offer their creator that they’re watching live. We had earned $512 within that two-hour period. So, in just a month and about two weeks, I’ve been able to build a YouTube channel with over 11,000 subscribers, go live in front of thousands of people, and generate over $500, as well as another 500 from the ads that have now opened up on the channel. And I plan to give that money back to the community to try and grow the brand even more.

And I wanted to share a comment with you that I got earlier today that makes us all worth it. Because you might be like, “Okay, well what’s your end game here?” Well, as you know if you’ve known me for a while, you know that I’m in this to help others. And this is just another medium. The medium is the Pokémon space. And it’s really cool because I’ve had a lot of people, quite a few in fact, come from the Pokémon channel over to SPI. They’re now binge listening to the podcast. They’re watching me every morning on YouTube. So, there is a little bit of crossover here.

But I wanted to read this comment from Lee Preston on my live stream, in fact, this was after he wasn’t able to watch it live. But he said, “Just wanted to say, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this stream. Had no idea this channel existed, so I didn’t get to see it live. Nonetheless, it was pretty cool. I’ve never owned a Pokémon card, let alone opened a pack. Yet, I find this whole thing fascinating. And I’ve watched many other Pokémon based channels over the last year and a half. And you sir, are ranking high in content and production value. Bravo. I fell ill with Crohn’s disease back in 2010. And since then I’ve lost my way in life somewhat. Had to give up a job that I loved and have struggled to find purpose in even getting up each day. I’m telling you this because it’s channels like yours that let me escape reality for a while and just absorb the good vibes you put out there.”

And then, he finishes with this, “Man, reading this back makes me sound like such a loser. Believe me, I used to be cool. Life just beat me up a bit. Anyway, keep up the awesome work. I know your channel will go from strength to strength. All the best, Lee from the UK.”

Lee, if you’re listening to this right now, I don’t know if perhaps you’ve made your way over here from the Pokémon channel, hope to see you in further live streams down the road. But I just wanted to tell you, first of all, thank you. But secondly, Lee, that myself, the community at Deep Pocket Monster, and the community here at SPI, we’re here for you. I know the thing that helps lift us out of a lot of dark times are other people.

And the fact that you left this comment on my channel means that, yes, you want to reach out and you want to be heard, and I’m telling you I’m listening. And if you want to reach out and talk a little bit more, I’d love to help lift your spirits. And I’m going to continue to provide value for you and the other members of Deep Pocket Monster and here at Smart Passive Income as well. And anybody who perhaps looks back and considers their life, maybe a little bit of a loser situation. That’s the past. We are able to, at any moment in time, rewrite that story in our head. To get involved in communities who can lift our spirits up. And I hope that I can help you even further. We’re here for you. Thank you, Lee.

And it’s just the comments like this that make me realize that it doesn’t matter what space you’re in, it doesn’t matter if your niche is opening up foil packs with cardboard cartoons there’s always a way to help people. There are always people out there who need you. And if you show up, you can help them. “Nobody’s ever gotten poor by helping other people get what they want.”

So, thank you for listening to this Friday follow-up episode, appreciate you for hearing me out as I still sort of ride this high of that live stream that happened. Wow, it was funny because we were doing that to celebrate our 5,000 subscriber goal, which we had. And, at the time of the live stream, we were already at 10,000. And so, who knows where it’s going to go? I’ve heard rumors, not rumors, but people talk that maybe this channel will grow to 100,000 by the end of the year. I’ve even heard a few people say it should get over a million. I have no idea what’s going to happen. But I’m in this to help reach more people, to help inspire others like Lee and, hopefully, just pass on more vibes. And overall, as I always do, just try to make the internet a better place. Just try to make the internet a better place. And I know that if you’re listening to this, you’re trying to do the same. And I want to thank you for that too.

So, thank you so much for listening to this Friday follow-up episode. We’ve got another great interview coming next week. Look forward to sharing it with you. And it has to do with becoming a better communicator, which is so, so important these days, of course. And it’s a fun one, I promise you. So, anyway, take care. Thank you so much. I appreciate you and Team Flynn for the win. Peace.

Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound design and editing by Paul Grigoras. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income podcast is a production of SPI Media. We’ll catch you in the next session.

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