AskPat 440 Transcript
Pat Flynn: What up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 440 of AskPat. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week. We have a great question today from Peter, but before we get to Peter's question I want to thank today's sponsor which is AWeber.com.
That's AWeber.com, which is an email service provider that I used when I first got started. Helped me build my email list to over 120k, one hundred and twenty thousand people which has been serving me very, very, very well. And I do recommend AWeber for those of you who are just starting out cause it's easy to use, and it is just probably the best email service provider with best customer service. And it just connects with all the other different third-party email-related services out there as well. So you know it's very popular, a lot of people use it, and a lot of third-party companies connect with it and talk with it to be able to maximize your output with the email marketing efforts that you have as well. And again if you're just getting started, perfect. So go ahead and check it out. Go to AWeber.com/askpat. And you can try it out for thirty days for free. AWeber.com/askpat.
Alright, here's today's question from Peter.
Peter: Hey Pat, it's Peter here. I just wanted to thank you for letting me make such good productive use of my time while driving across the United States and Canada and walking my dog. That's usually when I listen to your podcasts. And I think over the last year, I've heard just about all of them. So lots of good information, but I don't know where to start, and part of the reason is because I've been quite mobile for the past year and I probably will be for another year or two, maybe more, meaning that I'm not in one place for very long, and I'm not sure how long it is before I have to get going. So I was wondering if you have any suggestions for a way to start an online business of any type that would be suitable for someone that is on the move quite a lot. Looking forward to any suggestions you may have. Thanks a lot. Bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey Peter, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate you fitting me in . . . my podcasts into your life while you travel and you walk the dog and all that sort of stuff. I think that's really cool. And again, thank you for the kind words. It's interesting to me that you are associating starting an online business with the moves, and the moves are actually holding you back from getting started. The cool thing about doing business online is that you can remotely work on your online business from anywhere that you have an internet connection. So as long as you're not traveling to places that don't have internet connection, there's no excuse really for you not to get started. And there is no excuse for you not to continue to work on your business no matter where you're at. So I'm just gonna demolish that fact there. You can totally start your online business. Doesn't matter if you move a lot or not.
Now, how to get started. Well, it all starts with solving a problem that a particular type of audience or market or niche has. That's really what it comes down to. A successful business is simply a business that creatively solves a problem. And I say creatively because you need to be doing it in a way that's unique, that's different from everybody else who's already serving that audience out there. And the thing is a lot of us try to start something completely new and fresh. You know, we want to become the next, I don't know, whatever idea you have in your head that might be completely revolutionary, you know, it might be a little bit over the top but it might . . .
You know, I suffered from that when I first started. I tried to think of stuff that was completely brand new. Well, a lot of my most successful businesses were businesses that I created that took something that already existed but just made it a lot better, did it in a different way, put my own voice behind it. And different examples of that exist. I mean, SmartPassiveIncome.com is probably the best example because I definitely was not the first one to talk about how to build an online business and talk about entrepreneurship and blogging and podcasting and that sort of stuff, but I was the first one to be really transparent with it and show everything, including my failures, and that really helped me stand out and helped everybody talk about me because I was something worth talking about.
And so whatever niche you get into, you want to make sure that you can become that trusted expert, that advisor for those people essentially, so that when they talk about whatever it is you're helping them solve, whatever that problem or topic is, you always come up in conversation. And as I say, your brain is what people talk about when you're not around. So you want to make that impression a great one. And that starts with understanding who your audience is, what their problems are, and even before that,well, how do you find that audience? Well, it just . . . I mean, what are some things in your life that you know could be improved? You might even do some idea extraction like in Episode 46 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast with Dane Maxwell. He talks about how to start a business with no ideas, no expertise, and no money. And that is the most popular podcast episode, and that's a great one to get started with if you haven't heard that one yet. Again, that's SmartPassiveIncome.com/session46.
The reason that one's great is that it shows you that you can build a business without those ideas, without . . . because those ideas are gonna come from people you speak to, when you ask questions like, “Well, what are some things that you do everyday that you hate doing. Well, if you had a magic wand, what are some things that you wish you could improve with the way you do things here?” Now, Dane does mention that he targets small businesses. And small businesses are great to target because they're spending money, they want to improve their direct ROIs as a result of finding different solutions for problems that they have, and typically Dane talks about software. And software is great cause it's easy, and small businesses can understand that and that sort of thing. But it doesn't have to be that.
So, it starts with finding a pain and understanding the ins and outs of this pain and who these people are, so you can then become that trusted solution, that trusted advisor, and build those solutions for those people. And it's gonna take some validation, and I'm really excited because the book that I'm coming out with later this year or early next year is going to be about exactly that. So, how to take these ideas that you have and put them through a number of thought experiments and tests . . . you know, litmus tests and market research and validation and exercises to understand whether or not that's something you should continue to move forward with. And so, I'm not gonna take an hour here to discuss that because, you know, I'm really, really excited about this book that's coming out. So I recommend you just, you know, play close attention to the future of SPI because a lot of great things are happening, and I'm especially excited about how I'm gonna be helping those of you that are just starting out as well. So, Peter, that includes you.
And yeah, so, again, this is just some basic information to help you get started. Totally wanted to tackle that first question you had which was, how do you build a business while you're on the move? Well, doesn't matter how much you move or not, you can build a business as long as you devote time to it and make sure that you are targeting a particular audience. And I recommend to everybody out there, if you haven't done so already . . . I've shared this article a few times . . . this isn't an article of my own. It's one that you can find on the web. If you type in “1,000 True Fans,” you'll land on an article by Kevin Kelly, and this article is essentially required reading for everybody out there no matter what kind of entrepreneur you are, no matter what kind of thing that you're trying to do that's different than what everybody else is doing. “1,000 True Fans.” Read it. It's going to help you understand why this trusted advisor strategy is really, really important and very . . . it just makes complete sense. So, anyway, Kevin Kelly, “1,000 True Fans.” Look it up.
Peter, thank you so much for your question. I really appreciate it. I look forward to learning more about you and what you do in the future, and I'm excited. I'm excited to see what you come up with. So thank you so much. We're gonna send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. You're gonna hear from Jessica, my assistant, in the next couple of weeks, and hopefully we can catch you before you move onto your next location. So, thank you again for the question, Peter. And thank you to everybody who's left questions. Obviously the show wouldn't exist without you. And if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com, and you can ask right there on that page. Just hit the record button. Doesn't matter what kind of mic you have as long as we can hear you. It's my job to sound great, it's your job to ask the right questions. And whatever is on your mind, just go to AskPat.com and ask away. Thank you so much.
I also want to thank AWeber.com for being a completely loyal company who has helped me build my email list right from the start and I've done it . . . I use it for several different websites as well. I continue to use it for several sights as well, and I highly recommend it for those of you that are just starting out. So, go ahead and check it out. You can check it out for thirty days for free by going to AWeber.com/askpat.
To finish off, as I always do, here is a quote. Today's quote is from Mark Twain. He says, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bow lines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.”
Take care, everybody. I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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