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SPI 339: My First Live Conference—Announcing FlynnCon1!

SPI 339: My First Live Conference—Announcing FlynnCon1!

By Pat Flynn on

I am so excited and scared, and that’s a good thing! Today I’m announcing my first-ever live conference: FlynnCon1! From July 26 to 28 I’ll be throwing down a truly unique conference experience right here in San Diego—a family-friendly, motivational, educational, and fun event that I designed just for you! It’s going to be off the charts! Press play and let’s go behind the scenes of the very first FlynnCon!

You’ve probably got a lot of questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them in the episode. I’m going to take you inside my business to share my vision for FlynnCon1 and the lessons I’ve learned so far. I’ll share why it will be completely alcohol-free, for example, why I chose to have the event in July, who will be on stage, how I’m integrating sponsors into everything, and more.

As I mentioned, I’m so excited, but I’m also scared. I’ve been scared at a lot of points in my journey (and FlynnCon1 is no exception), but pushing through fear is critical and can even be a barometer for success if you understand it right. So today we’ll also talk about the mindset of being scared in the face of doing something new.

FlynnCon1 will be an incredible, unique opportunity for you to connect with other motivated and passionate entrepreneurs. I highly recommend signing up for the FlynnCon1 waitlist ASAP, and purchasing as soon as possible when tickets go live.

We are capping ticket sales at 500, so don’t miss out! I can’t wait to see you there!

Lastly, I just want to give a big thank you to those who reached out to me after listening to Session 337 two weeks ago, which was all about the benefits of niching down. I asked you to reach out to me if you felt pumped up, and I read off a few of those messages in the episode. Team Flynn, you rock!

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up Team Flynn? Really thankful you’re spending some time with me today. This will be a very unique episode actually, because I don’t have a special guest on. I’m not necessarily teaching you step by step tactics—which I love to do, and don’t worry there are a lot more of those episodes coming—but I wanted to take you into my brain behind the scenes of my business and tell you about something that’s coming next year that I haven’t announced formally or publicly yet. I’ve teased it a little bit here and there on social media and so far just, I mean, I’m so excited about this but I’m so scared. And actually it’s because I’m scared, that’s how I know that this is the right direction to go.

What is this? What am I going to be talking about? The very first live event that I’m going to ever do: A conference in San Diego in July of 2019. It’s called FlynnCon1: Press Start. FlynnCon1 meaning yes, there will likely be more, hopefully, and Press Start being the theme for next year, 2019. What is this event? Why am I putting it on? Where did this idea even come from? What’s it going to be like? Is it something you should even pay attention to or be interested in?

I’m going to answer all those questions today, but I just wanted to formally announce we’re putting on an event and tickets will be on sale very soon. You can check it out——and again, I’ll go over exactly why this exists and how it’s going to be different and where really it’s coming from in my heart for you. Make sure you stick around and listen in and make sure you subscribe to the show if you haven’t already, because in addition to these kinds of episodes where I take you into my business and share a lot of the lessons I’m learning and just the motivation to do certain things, the experiments that I’m running, I also have some amazing guests that are coming on the show. I also have some amazing episodes that are there to teach you step by step processes and take you through the journey of your online business, and help you crush those brick walls that may face you along the way, or that you may face along the way, and just barrel through them.

Before I get to FlynnCon1 and why it exists and all those good things, I wanted to just thank you. Many of you were listening to the show a couple episodes ago—Session 337. You might remember that one. It was called “The Riches Are in the Niches,” and I talked about five or six different advantages of being small in a space by niching down and not having this general niche that you’re targeting, but by narrowing down your field you’re actually going to pierce through the competition a little bit easier. I asked all of you at the end of that episode to reach out to me via Twitter or Instagram and let me know if that episode pumped you up, because I had imagined the small time business owner or the person just getting started being overwhelmed with the process, being completely just like, “Wow, this industry I want to get in, it’s so saturated. How do I break through? How do I even start? Is there any hope for me?”

I’ve gotten so many comments and responses about that particular episode. Again, 337—if you’re on your device right now, just go back a couple episodes. You can listen to that if you haven’t already, but I wanted to read some of these messages from some of you because they were really inspiring to me to hear. It really pumped me up to want to come on and just record this episode for you today. I mean, I don’t normally record at the time I’m recording this, but I just felt like I had to come in and share more fun stuff with you. I want to give a big shout out to Matt Shepherd who reached out to me. He goes, “Hey Pat, longtime listener, I’m responding to your call to action in Episode 337. I fell from my ladder when I lost my job in oil and gas safety in 2017. Since then, I’ve been trying to find my niche. I’ve tried to move into the online space but just doesn’t feel enjoyable,” et cetera. Then he said, “You know what? Your podcast really helped me to identify the smaller steps I needed to make the big leaps happen,” which I’m so thankful you said that. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Matt.

Coffee Ninja Steve on Instagram said, “I’m pumped up Pat. Loving your podcast more than ever. My goal for the next twelve months is to start an online course and a podcast teaching people how to make coffee like a pro barista. Love your work lots.” Oh man, I just love that so much.

Timothy Ulbrich said, “Hey, Pat. Just listened to Episode 337.” Then he goes into a story about how he was $200,000 in debt and now has created a small niche community that is growing with an email list of over 6,000 and just, he’s doing really well in the financial space specifically for pharmacists, which is just super cool. I love just hearing all these, these amazing people responding to this episode. Thank you so much all of you for all of your support. Let me find one more that I want to read for you because these are just so amazing.

Esther Kim says, “Hey Pat, just letting you know that I’m listening to Episode 337 and yes, it’s pumping me up. I just started out while managing a full-time job and two kids, one and a three year old. I feel so encouraged by this, especially the validation of our failures. I don’t think my original lead magnet went so well. I worked super hard on it, but I have another idea. I’m going to keep getting up and trying. Thanks again.” Thank you all for all the messages. I mean that’s just a small percentage of everybody who reached out. It just shows me that yes, there are listeners out there, but not just like, regular old listeners who are just passively listening to these episodes—real people with real ambitions with real goals who will be taking and are taking real action, and that is you and I’m so thankful that you’re on the other end.

I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate you for your time and attention, and just the fact that you are taking this information and using it and applying it and making your life better, and the lives of others better as well through how you serve that audience. I could go on a twenty minute rant about that and a good rant not a bad rant, but it just fires me up so much. Hopefully that pumps you up even more, and if you haven’t listened to Episode 337 yet, please go ahead and do that because it is something, especially if you’re just starting out, especially if you have no idea what to do first, it’s going to give you all the little things that you need to know as you’re starting out to give you that encouragement and motivation and realize that yes, small is okay. It’s actually—you have huge advantages being small and being at the beginning of this journey.

Let me move on to FlynnCon1. FlynnCon1 is the first large event that I and my team are going to be hosting for you in July of 2019: July 26 to July 28. It runs from the second half of a Friday all the way through Sunday. That’s a Friday, it’s a weekend, a weekend in July, one of the last weekends in July.

A lot of events avoid the July and August summer months, and the reason is because while everybody’s at home with family—and the conference season usually is around September, October and then there’s the March, April conferences that happen around the world, I speak at a lot of those conferences too. I decided that, well, you know, I want to bring my community together because here’s the thing: I do go speak quite a bit, once or twice a month I do travel, mostly locally or somewhat nearby. Every once in awhile I take larger trips to places around the world—Australia, London, the East Coast, those kinds of things. Every time I go to those conferences I take note of my experience and the experiences of the attendees. What makes those conferences and events great? What could be potentially improved? I’ve been taking notes for years with the idea that one day I may want to create an event of my own. I found what I feel to be the perfect formula for an event that is hard-hitting, motivational, educational, inspiring, entertaining, but also fun.

I wanted to have it in July, specifically in the summer months because guess what? San Diego is a great place. San Diego is a great place to bring your family. If you wanted to bring, for example, your family on a little vacation to San Diego, we got a lot to offer. Obviously we got the zoos, SeaWorld, all the beaches, Legoland’s nearby, downtown . . . it’s just such a beautiful city, especially in the summer months. You can come to the event with me and my team and the people who are going to be there with you, and your family could go and have an amazing vacation at the same time and experience San Diego. You could do it that way, or you can even bring your family and have them come to the event too, because a big differentiator about this event is, hey, it’s going to be family-friendly. Which means there’s going to be no swearing onstage—so you likely won’t see some of our favorite people in the online business space, who are notorious for throwing F bombs everywhere. I’ll just get that out of the way.

There’s also going to be—at any of the official networking events and parties and things like that—there’s not going to be any alcohol either. I know that’s a big deterrent for a lot of people to go to a conference and realize that it’s not going to be like, a party situation like at a club, and it’s not going to be like that. There will be some celebrations and festivities, but they’re going to be alcohol free, so if you come to events to drink and do that sort of thing, don’t go to FlynnCon1. Again, family-friendly, a fun environment to connect with other people who are there just like you. Because when I traveled to these other events, I often, and maybe you’ve attended one of these situations, I often have meetups.

My latest one I think was in Philadelphia, when I brought my son and we announced All of Your Beeswax, our podcast together, and I brought him onstage. That was really fun. That night, after I spoke into the opening keynote, I held a 200 person meetup for a few hours at the top of this hotel room just overlooking the city. It was beautiful, but the most beautiful part about that situation was people got to see that there were other people just like them: like-minded, hard-hitting, go-getter entrepreneurs, and that’s you. I mean, you wouldn’t be one of those if you weren’t listening to this.

I love bringing my community together. Fun things happen during those times, and really it’s not about me meeting you, although I love to meet all of you and shake your hand and take pictures and answer questions and things like that, but a lot of magic happens at these meetups, where people begin to connect with each other. They find business partners, they find relationships. They take those relationships and turn them into mastermind groups, which are life-changing for people. They just get inspired. They realize that they’re not alone in this process, because I’ll tell you, I remember what it was like when I started.

Entrepreneurship is lonely. It is absolutely lonely. I remember when I transitioned from my nine to five job to entrepreneurship, I remember feeling very lonely. Like, I was stuck at my desk at home, and although I was not tied down to a schedule, I didn’t have my good friends across the cubicle to talk about the latest football game or whatever was happening in the news. That’s hard to find, and luckily I’ve, through the years, been able to create connections with people. And there are ways to communicate with others online, like Skype and Zoom and all these conversations you have. If you have a podcast, that’s a great asset to have to bring people on, to build relationships with them. I even have regular Skype calls with some of my best friends like Chris Ducker, and a number of other people that have been featured here on the show.

Even still, it’s that in person meeting where you get . . . There’s nothing like meeting people in person. I wanted to provide a spot for the members of the SPI community—Team Flynn, that’s you—to come and meet other members of Team Flynn and be inspired by each other. I’m going to do that in a way that’s going to be very unique, where this event is not going to be—first of all, it’s not going to be one of those events where there’s like fifty rooms that you can go in and you have to choose between a bunch of them and different talks overlap one another. It’s not going to be like that.

There’s going to be one stage, one room where you’re in to watch and listen and get entertained and get inspired. One stage. I will be on stage most of the time. It’s not going to be an event where I’m kind of just behind the scenes and I invite a bunch of speakers to teach you and fill in those gaps for you. I will be on stage most of the time. My wife April has agreed to be on stage to talk about life, and what it is like to be the spouse of an entrepreneur, and how we communicate, and how we keep the kids happy and healthy and spend time with them, and balance and create those boundaries—all those kinds of things, which will be really fun. My son and my daughter had agreed to want to come on stage to share something. Again, the details are still being put together, we are in the beginning process of the planning stages here, but it is coming together. Again, if you want to check out more information about that and sign up.

At the time that this episode comes out, I believe that it is still a wait list, but I got to tell you—from those who I have spoken to about this event—I feel like this is going to sell out super fast. I’m aiming for this year, 500 to 600 people. There are a number of VIP tickets being offered as well. I’ll tell you more about my mindset and reason for that, but let me go back to this event.

Yes, myself and my family on stage, there will be guests, there will be some guests, one or two mystery guests per day and they’re going to be mysteries. You won’t even know who they are until they arrive. I’m not going to be using them for marketing purposes, which is very common, which is totally fine. This is not the kind of conference I’m running now. I’m running one where you come because you want to meet community members and learn from me and my family and some of these special guests that I’m going to have there.

In addition to that, you’re going to see a lot of other SPI community members featured on stage, certain people in the audience who have gone through the start of their business and have found success and have gone through those struggles and perhaps are even still struggling. They’re going to be able to come on stage and do a little presentation as well, and have a chat with me to help inspire everybody else too, because I found over the years that the episodes that are the most popular here on the podcast are the ones where it’s not a Tim Ferriss, it’s not a Gary Vaynerchuk or a huge name—it’s people like Shane and Jocelyn Sams from Episode 122, who were just two teachers from Kentucky who were people just like you listening to the show, and eventually took action and changed their lives and are now changing the lives of others. Those episodes are downloaded more, those episodes are shared more, and more importantly, they inspire more people. I wanted to highlight some of the community members who are taking action and making things happen to help inspire you, because they’re just a couple of steps ahead of you, versus a lot of these other A-listers and gurus in the space who are light years ahead and just aren’t relatable. I want to make this a very comfortable and educational and inspiring situation for you.

Now, in addition to that, there’s going to be some other fun things that are going to be available. Yes, there will be sponsors, and oftentimes you see sponsors at these events with booths around the foyer or the areas outside of the conference space where they have booths and they’re trying to sell you stuff. They’re showing you their gadgets and gizmos and their software to show you how awesome it is and trying to get you to buy it. Here’s the thing. A lot of you already have memberships or subscriptions or licenses to those products, and I’m talking companies like ConvertKit and Teachable, which many of you already use, which is great. Many of you don’t and that’s okay—maybe this is a good opportunity for you to actually get introduced to them, which is totally fine. But instead of sponsors with booths to try and sell you stuff, I wanted to reach out to them and go, “Hey guys, what I really need is support, so I would love you to come with a team who will be there to answer questions for people who need help with their email, for people who are creating or have online courses. Can you be there to help them?” And they all agreed. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit and Teachable.]

I want you to imagine the Apple Store and the Genius Bar. It’s going to be like that, except instead of your Apple gizmos and gadgets, it’s going to be your online business, your email list, your online course, your podcast—there’s going to be companies there to support you and help you create to get through those problems that you’re having, to answer questions that you might have. We’re going to be calling that, get this, The Smart Bar. The Smart Bar will be available for all attendees during this conference, the entire time. VIPs will get access on the first day, on Friday, and then general admission get access on the Saturday and Sunday.

If you’re a VIP, you get access to those things, and that’s what generally the VIP thing includes, special access. You get to sit at the front, you get to have special Q&A time with myself and my family and some of the special guests, you get photo opportunities, and you get a special lunch both days that are just for the VIPs, and those kinds of things. More information will be on the page once the tickets are on sale. We will be selling them soon if they aren’t live already.

If you happen to be listening to this in the future because you are curious about the origin of FlynnCon1, perhaps down the road, FlynnCon1 already happened and you heard a lot about it, and hopefully it was great and you want to go and learn about the story of where this all came from. If you go to FlynnCon1, it will likely redirect you to a page where it will go, “Well, here’s what’s happening next.” Whether it’s FlynnCon2 or recaps, or I don’t know. I honestly haven’t planned that far ahead. Right now we are focusing on creating an amazing experience for you.

Now, how I see it as the founder, as the creator—and you know, we have this entire team with me to help make it an amazing experience for you. I really wanted it to be a performance-based conference. It’s not just, “Here, like ten slides, and bullet by bullet.” It’s not going to be anything like that. If you’ve ever seen me speak on stage before, you know that I bring some uniqueness to the stage and that’s going to be apparent throughout the entire weekend as well. If you’ve seen me speak before, that’s just a taste of the kinds of things you’re going to get on stage with me at FlynnCon1. Man, I’m so excited about this. I think it’s about time, and the cool thing about this is if you’re listening to this in October of 2018, guess what? This is the ten year anniversary since Smart Passive Income was born. I think this is a perfect time, and a perfect place to announce this, especially for those of you who have been following me for a while.

I cannot wait to be there with you and to see you and create an environment that’s safe and fun and exciting and inspiring, where you can meet and take these relationships with you into the future moving forward, and hopefully enjoy San Diego in the summer too. That’s a little bit about FlynnCon. There’s so many more things. Actually, a lot of surprises that my team and I have come up with for the attendees there that—this is really hard. It’s really hard for me not to share all the ideas that we’ve put into this. I put an Instagram photo not too long ago about a notebook that I have, where on the cover it says “Crazy Ideas.” I told people, “Hey, this is where the crazy ideas for this event live. I wonder what’s inside. In order to see what’s inside, you’re going to have to attend the event.” Now I mentioned earlier, I’m very excited about this, but I’m also very scared.

To finish off this episode, I want to talk a little bit about the mindset of being scared and the fear, which I know a lot of you have felt or are feeling right now. You know, when I started my business back in 2008 and I started in the architecture space helping people pass an exam, I was scared. I almost gave up because I was so scared, and we can all relate to that I think. When I started my YouTube channel in 2009, incredibly scared. I didn’t want to do it, which is why it was helpful that I got access to a tool called Screenflow, and there are other versions like that for PC like Camtasia, but it’s a tool on your computer that allows you to record what’s on your screen. I was scared of what people are going to say about the way I looked and the way that I had these videos and how people saw me on screen. I decided, “Hey, I don’t have to have myself on screen.”

That was pretty cool because it kind of helped me, at the start, transition into being more comfortable with my voice and who I was. But it still took a while before you ever saw my face in my YouTube channel. When I started my podcast, I was so scared that nobody was going to listen. Even a couple of years after it came out, I almost gave up on this show. A big special shout out to Michal Szafranski in Poland for being really the main reason why I kept going with this.

Moving forward, when I first started speaking on stage, the very first time I spoke on stage was in Schaumburg, Illinois at FinCon 2011. Yeah, 2011, that was the very first FinCon ever. I am feeling those same feelings now, just how scared I was. I literally almost threw up. I remember, you know, if you were there, you might remember seeing me walk down the hallways with blinders on, don’t want to talk to anybody, don’t want to speak to anybody, because I was so focused on remembering the twenty pages of notes that I had written down with every single word, word for word, that I was going to say. I literally wrote down the script because I was so scared and that, I felt, was the only way that I was going to ever do it. Later on I realized that, well, you’re not supposed to script word for word, and just create outlines and trust yourself is really the big lesson there.

Anyway, I was so scared, but every time I’ve done something new like that—start my business, start the Smart Passive Income blog, start the podcast, start the YouTube channel, start speaking, write my book, Will it Fly?—every time before those things actually happened, I was at the ultimate peak of fear of failure, fear of what people would think, and just self-doubt in my life, but every time I pushed through that it has created amazing opportunities, it has helped so many more people and has helped me follow the mantra of Serve First. Now in my business when I’m doing something new, and I have the bandwidth to do something new—because there’s a lot of times, trust me, where I want to do new things, but I’ve been very good, maybe 50 percent good, at saying no to things right away knowing that that’s a bright shiny object.

I often ask myself before I try something new, “How much do I fear this?” Because if I don’t fear it at all, it’s a sign to me that’s something I should not be doing. If it’s something new and I don’t fear it, I shouldn’t be doing it. I’m not going big enough. It’s not the right direction. You know, Steven Pressfield, who authored the book, The War of Art—not The Art of War by Sun Tzu but The War of Art, which is a great book. Don’t read it to your kids, there’s some foul language in there. Anyway, he said that this self-doubt, this resistance as he calls it, is a sign that that’s the direction you need to go, that there’s something amazing on the other end. Now in my business, when I have the bandwidth to do something new, I look for the thing that gives me fear. I ask myself, am I nervous? If I am, great, let’s keep going because that means I’m pushing myself, I’m trying to go bigger, and I’m trying to reach more people and serve more people.

This event, FlynnCon1 in July of 2019, is giving me that resistance, that self-doubt, that fear again. I just wanted to be open and honest with you and you’ll probably hear me talk about that again later, but it is because of that fear and that resistance that I know this is something that’s going to be amazing. Again, this is not for me. I mean if we break even, that would be awesome. This is not a “let’s see what we can do to maximize the profit here”—that’s not why this exists. This exists because I want to give a space for the SPI community, for Team Flynn to come together, to meet each other, to build relationships, to get inspired to create. Now I want to have fun doing it, too. Hopefully you want to have fun and come to San Diego in July of 2019, bring your family to San Diego; you can read more about the information about what’s available at FlynnCon1.

If you go there now and it’s like, just the quick announcement, join the waitlist thing. Great. Put your email there. Fantastic. As soon as you see the email out that the tickets are on sale, I would recommend jumping on that fast because I know this is going to sell out really fast. We are definitely capping it. I initially wanted a thousand but the team and I, we decided to, you know, let’s start a little bit smaller. Let’s make it a much better experience for those people, even though we know there will be people who won’t be able to get tickets because it will sell out. Let’s cap it at 500. Let’s do it right. Let’s make it great. Then let’s make the next one even better. FlynnCon1, the theme is Press Start. If you’ve been looking to start something and just have been making every excuse under the sun to not do it, well then I think it’s about time. July 2019,

Thank you all for listening in and for letting me pour my heart out, pour the fear out, and share exactly, truly what’s happening in the business right now. I think it’s about time. You know, ten years we’ve been at this, ten years. I was hiding behind my keyboard when I first started and here I am doing the thing where I’m going to be up on stage, but more than that, I’m creating an environment for you to grow your business as well. FlynnCon1: Press Start. I’ll see you there.

Thanks so much. Love you. See you in the next episode. Bye.

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