AskPat 232 Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pay Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 232 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm in a great mood. I hope you're in a great mood too because we got a great question today from Mike Stevens.
But before we get today's question from Mike, I do want to thank today's amazing sponsor, which is Lynda.com. That's L-Y-N-D-A dot com. Online education is huge these days and, yes, there are these universities you can go to and things like that, and there are online courses you can get from individuals. But I love the model that Lynda.com has to offer us because they have thousands of courses on all different things, especially for those of us starting a business related to the different pieces of software we use and how to be more efficient with them to different kinds of leadership and team-management skills and all these things we need to be successful as business owners. They are here in professional, high-quality videos on Lynda.com. And they aren't just little YouTube videos that people throw up, right? These are actually studio-quality videos to help teach us, to help us learn, and expand our minds, and improve in our businesses. And so you have to check out Lynda.com. They have the greatest learning tools in all types of levels, courses for all types of levels. You can learn on the go, and I've been using many of the courses myself. So I recommend you check it out. If you go to Lynda.com/askpat. They are giving us a special offer: You can get access to all courses for free, so you can actually try it out for free. See what courses are available for you. Lynda.com/askpat. Check it out.
Alright, now let's get to today's question from Mike.
Mike Stevens: Hey, good morning, Pat. This is Mike Stevens, and I just had a quick question for you. It's really about . . . how did you know? I am launching my internet business, and obviously you've had a tremendous amount of success with your internet business. And so my question is, how did you know that you were going to be successful and what would happen if you hadn't been successful? Where would you have gone from there? What were the things that really made you believe that you were going to be successful? You started with the Green Exam Academy, and you obviously have done a few other things along the way now and have had a tremendous amount of success. But how did you know? At what point did you really think that, “You know what? This is really going to take off.” Thanks so much. Bye.
Pat Flynn: Mike, thank you so much for the question. And to put it bluntly: How did I know I was going to succeed? I didn't know I was going to succeed. And that might sound weird to a lot of you listening, like, “Oh, well, then where did you get the confidence to success? And how did you actually get to the point where you became successful?” Especially because when you're just starting out and you're kind of having all these doubts and this resistance, which is completely natural. I mean, there's a book out there by Steven Pressfield I recommend all of us read. You shouldn't listen to the audio file if you have kids in the car because there's a little bit of crude language, but it completely shows you that you are no alone if you are just starting out, and you are worried, you are fearful, there's this thing in your brain telling you that you are not going to do well.
And that is what was going through my head all throughout the whole beginning of this, but there were a lot of different things that kept me moving forward which is really important that I want to talk about. So, it was the success stories from other people that I was hearing. That was a huge motivating factor for me, and that's what showed me that this could be done. And that's the first part of it. You have to understand that this can be done. Obviously, if you don't think it can happen, it's never going to happen to you. So you have to understand that it can be done. And that's why I was getting a ton of information and a ton of motivation from the episodes of Internet Business Mastery that I was listening to. That was the podcast that I listened to when I first started. That was just completely eye-opening to what this whole world was about and what was possible and getting to know these people who were on the show being interviewed by Jeremy and Jason and how they built their businesses. I mean, it was Cornelius Fichtner, who was building a business teaching people how to pass the project management exam that gave me the a-ha moment to go ahead and see if I could turn this exam site that I built for myself and my co-workers into a full fledged business, which it did.
Now, it wasn't always rainbows and unicorns the whole way. It was like, a lot of fear and crying and pressure and doubt. And it was these motivating stories that I kept hearing that, yes, okay, this is possible. I just have to figure it out. And that's where getting actually contact and asking questions from other people was very motivating too. So not only hearing and listening to these stories but actually getting involved and trying to figure out my way through. And I think that's one of the big reasons I did find success, and not necessarily that I knew I was going to be successful, but the fact that I knew I was going to give myself the best chance. After I stopped trying to get back into the world of architecture, after it let me go, I knew that there was this world out there that was proven by these other people in these interviews that were motivating me. And I just needed to figure out how I was going to do it myself. I knew it was possible, which was the first step.
Now, it was to figure out how do I do it, and that's where talking to other people directly, asking questions, joining communities, getting involved in forums, and just trying to discover as much as I could to find my own path to get in here. And it worked, and I was so thankful for that. But again, it wasn't always pretty, and even though I was asking questions and getting answers, I still didn't know how to do things and it was just one step at a time and along the way, appreciating each small win along the timeline.
I remember my very first dollar that I made off of my website. It wasn't even through the ebook. It was actually by putting Google AdSense on Green Exam Academy, which was the site I created to help people pass the LEED exam. Again, getting inspiration from the guy who had the project management exam courses. And that first one dollar and eighteen cents I made that first day of putting Google AdSense on the site was so motivating for me. That's how I knew that it was possible for me. Yes, it was such a small amount. Obviously, I couldn't live off of a dollar, eighteen cents a day. But that's how I knew that this could be done. And then I had to figure out, okay, how do I scale this, or what else could I do? And that's where I discovered through, again, asking people who were there already how I could do it based off of their recommendations.
And that's where mastermind groups came in. There was a very significant moment in my life where I attended a mastermind group that I did not want to attend. I was so scared. I felt like a fish out of water. This was in San Diego, California. Jeremy from Internet Business Mastery moved into town, and he asked everybody who was in San Diego, “Hey, if you're around, let's meet at the Panera Bread in Mira Mesa,” which is where I was from, which is near where I was living at the time. And I went and I pulled up in my truck and I saw . . . and you can read all about this in my book Let Go . . . but to make a long story short, I just did not feel . . . I felt like I didn't fit in.
And everybody went around the circle talking about what they did and what they needed help with. And it was my turn, and I just was like . . . I didn't even know what to say. I was just like, “Oh, I got this exam site, and I get this much traffic and that's it.” And all of a sudden people started chiming in with help based off of what I had said, and eventually it was told that I should write this ebook study guide to help these people pass this exam and sell it as a digital product as an ebook. And once I learned what an ebook was, then it became the small wins leading up to eventually selling that ebook. And then my first sale. That was a huge moment where even . . . and obviously more than that dollar, eighteen cents. I was like, “Wow, I actually spent time writing this thing,” and even though every time I finished a writing session, I was just like, “Man, this might not even be worth it.” But you know what? I had nothing to lose. And that was the cool part about it.
I did things like that, which I wouldn't normally do because of the circumstances and the fact that I just had to succeed. I was very motivated to succeed, and that outweighed all the resistance that was in my head. So I kept writing. I wrote this book. I got the first sale. And that was just huge. I was like, “Wow, I created something and somebody purchased it.” So that was another big milestone. And another milestones was my first thank you email from the product that I created, this digital product. And that's how I knew that I actually had something to offer and that I had to put my offer out there even more. And that's how I started to get into the marketing and sales of everything.
And then I remembered specifically how I knew that this was the path I was going to go down. Because even then I was like, “Oh, well, what if I don't get any sales tomorrow?” And I remember I would always check my email every hour to see if there were more sales. I was that obsessed with it. And it was because it was such a cool feeling. You get a high when you see those sales. But then, you check it an hour later and there'd be no sales. And then you might think, “Wow, maybe that last sale was the last one.” And then you're brain starts to play tricks on you. It's really scary, and that's what happens to me still sometimes. I still get those feelings. So I mean, anyway, that first sale was really important.
And then to finish up, a quick story about the time when my business was doing, like, thirty-thousand dollars a month: I was doing really well. I got this call from my boss who had let me go from my architecture job, and he said, “Pat, I'd love to hire you back.” He actually quit his job at the firm that I was at and started his own firm, took some of my old co-workers with him and offered me like a year's rent and a bigger office and more salary than I ever had before. And it was at that moment, I though about it for just a quick second, and I said, “No, thank you.” And that's how I knew that was that decision process . . . that processing of what my life could have been like if I went down that road. That's when I said no to that. And I committed to going down this route, and I'm so glad I did.
So, did I know I was going to succeed? No. And there's times now where I create things like the Smart Podcast Player, or certain courses, or I go down a certain path with a niche website . . . Do I know it's going to work out? No, but I know that I will do what it takes to give it the best chance. And that's what's really important, and that's what will help you focus on those things. Because think about about it: If you're going to work on four different projects at the same time, and I bring this up because this is something we all struggle with, which project are you going to work on? Well, if you dedicate 25% of your time to each of those four things, they're never going to get down. Not one of those things. And so you're not getting any one of those things a chance to succeed. But if you dedicate 100% of your time and effort into something until fully launching it, if it doesn't go well, at least you gave it a chance. So how do you know you're going to succeed with it? You don't. But you won't even give it a chance if you don't focus. And that's how I'm going to end this episode.
So Mike, thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way. For those of you listening, I hope you feel inspired. If you feel inspired to ask a question that'll potentially get featured here on the show. And again, if your question gets featured, you'll get an AskPat t-shirt as well for free. We'll pay for shipping and everything. Just head on over to AskPat.com and ask right there on that page using the Speakpipe widget.
I also want to thank today's sponsor again, which is Lynda.com. Super cool site. I think online education like this style is the future, and it's how it's going to help you stand out from everybody else out there in your niche. I've used it for everything from non-business related things, like how to better use my DSLR camera, which actually is business-related because I'm doing a lot of video and photos and things like that to business management and team management and things like that . . . I mean, all these amazing videos with tools and worksheets and things like that to help you run through all these different things you're going to learn. And the coolest part about this is if you use any sort of software in your business, you know how software, they come up with new versions. Well, Lynda.com is always on top of it, and they have the latest tutorials and videos on how to use those latest versions and those new features. So check it out. Lynda.com. L-Y-N-D-A dot com slash AskPat. You can try it for free. Get access to all courses for seven days. So check it out.
And finally, as always, I love to end with a quote, and today's quote is from Dale Carnegie. He says, “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
Cheers. Take care, and I'll see in the next episode of AskPat.
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