AskPat 487 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 487 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We have a wonderful question today from Julian, but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is Lynda.com, an amazing online learning platform with over 3,000 on demand video courses. And these aren't like DIY YouTube videos, these are studio quality, high quality training tutorials to help you across all different kinds of training from different kinds of software.
I've used it myself for things like how to use Adobe In Design, how to use Adobe Audition, which I'm recording on right now, and Photoshop. I've also used it to help train me how to use my DSLR camera, and there's also a lot of business-related items too, like how to hire people, how to do income taxes. All those sorts of things are there and if you'd like to check it out for free for 10 days, to get access to all these things go ahead and discover what's out there for you on this platform. Go to Lynda.com/AskPat, that's L-Y-N-D-A dot com slash AskPat for a 10 day free trial. All right here is today's question from Julian.
Julian: Hi Pat, my name is Julian and I'm from Malaysia. I have a blog at MyStartupLifestyle.com. My question to you is: if you were to start again from scratch from the beginning, how would you bootstrap your internet business? What will you invest in, especially if you have limited funds? Besides the usual domain and hosting, what else is a must have for all internet businesses? My guess is you'll be seeing email list, your email subscription service is a must have, but what else? Thanks for all your help, you've been a real help for each and every one of us, appreciate it, bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey Julian what's up? Thanks so much for the question. So necessities, a website and a domain, obviously that's really important. I wouldn't get any of that stuff for free because you want to have total control of it. That means you're self-hosting your website and that's really important. The email list, yes I wish I could have gone back in time and done that a lot sooner too. I didn't have an email list until after my first product was sold, which was unfortunate because when I came out with that product it was just essentially putting a banner ad on my website for new traffic. I didn't have a collection of people who were already on my website, who were already proven to be interested in that topic of the LEED exam, which was what my first site was about. So that was a big mistake.
But beyond that, essentially if you're just starting out and you're working on building a business, and building an audience online, that's all you need to do, that's all you need to be spending money on. Now if you're going to be doing a podcast or video, which is essential in some niches and I think that's important, then you're going to have to pay for some equipment and that sort of thing. But there isn't much that you need to spend money on. You don't need to shell out a ton of cash for the high quality stuff. You just need stuff that's going to give you good quality that's not going to ruin that experience for your listener or your viewer, if you're going down that route.
The same thing is just making sure that when you're writing on your blog for example, that you are doing your best to make sure that everything is spelled correctly, which isn't always going to happen, but do a conscious job of trying to make what you write sound or look good. But beyond that, really you don't need to spend money on anything else. The most important thing is where you spend your time, I think. And I think investing your time, bootstrapping your time is going to be what's most important. That's what the “smart” in Smart Passive Income is. How to fast-forward your way to what that success is.
Now it's going to be hard no matter what, but there is a way to properly use your time and there is a way to not properly use your time. I think the most important things you could spend your time on for one is just doing. Don't sit back and wait for anything to happen. You gotta take action, you gotta understand that you're going to fail, you're going to make mistakes. But more than that it's one, the education that you're going to go through and that again comes with doing, but also connecting with other people, reading blogs, listening to podcasts that matter to that next thing that you're doing. Using just in time learning methods, which means blocking out all that other noise out there and only taking in, only consuming what it is that's relevant to that next thing you're working on or the next thing that's important for your business. That's how I would approach education and that's really important cause that's going to help fast forward your results because you're learning from other people who have already done it. I mean that's the purpose of smart passive income is for me to share those things with you so you don't have to make the same mistakes I did, or you can follow my lead on certain things that are working.
Another thing that I would focus on in terms of your time and where to invest that are building relationships. And that means giving value talking to and building relationships with people in the same niche as you, but also your audience too. And when you're just starting out, even though you might have just 10 email subscribers, those are 10 people in this world, 10 actual people that you can learn from, that you can really talk to right now. That's a great opportunity when you're just starting out. A lot of people think that when you're just starting out you're at a disadvantage because everybody else is out there, they're already doing it, they already have that audience.
Well when you come in late in the game, you're actually getting a bird's eye perspective on the entire industry if you do the research properly. You could see everything that's already serving that audience, and what's missing and what you can do better. What's working for other people do that and incorporate that kind of thing in to your business, and what's not working don't do that. It depends on what niche you're in, but there's a lot of research you can do online to find out what those holes are, and then go in there and actually fill them.
One quick easy way to do it, it depends on the niche again this isn't possible for all niches, but you go to Amazon, you find a book or a product related to that thing and you read the three star reviews. This is a great tip. The one star reviews are always one sided obviously and the five star reviews those people pay for, those are fans of that person already. So you're not going to get honest reviews all the time with that thing. But, the three star reviews that is when you see the pros and cons of things. Those are when you see, wow well I like this product because of this, but I don't like it because of this. Pay attention to what those people are saying, and learn the language too because that's going to help you really narrow your focus on what it is that you say, what it is that you offer and people are going to resonate more with your message because it's going to be in a language that makes sense for them.
So in terms of bootstrapping there might be some things that you need that you can't afford yet. I would definitely try to get help and do pro bono work if you have a skill that you can offer to somebody else that you can offer to somebody else in exchange for something that you need for your business and the growth of that. Definitely go out there and again that goes along with building relationships, and putting yourself out there, and trying to make things happen in that way. It's not always going to be a straight bee line to whatever it is that you're trying to do. You gotta work through it and find an answer for those questions and those problems that you have along the way.
Another thing that you could do is get crowd funding. I know a lot of people who have started their businesses … Again not all niches are properly suited for something like Kick Starter or Indiegogo, but that is something you can do too. I know a lot of people who have started apps for example, who want to pay for development of that app. Well they get crowd funding for it or they work with a developer and have them become a partner in that way too. So there's a lot of things you can do, but Julian I think the most important thing is getting a platform out there so you can share a message, you can build your audience, and start to understand who those people are and what you can do to serve them. That's important and that's what I would spend money on first. But then beyond that I would spend time and money on my education, if I had money. But if not you can still learn from people for free. And also building relationships and trying to offer value to other people, other influencers, but also see what I could do to add value to who my audience is and what they do too.
So Julian I hope that answers your question and gives you a lot to think about. And for everybody else out there thank you for listening. Julian we're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. And for everybody else out there, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat, you can ask right there on that page. I also want to thank everybody who hass been supporting me on my journey to create my book and I'm really excited to share more about that this coming month in to the next and the launch early next year too. So I look forward to sharing more about that with you. Check out Pat Flynn on Twitter or also the Smart Passive Income Facebook page for a lot of announcements on that. And man, it's coming up, it's been a long journey, but I'm excited to share that with you.
Now all you have to do is just take action, that's really what this is about. And here's a quote to finish off the day by Confucius. So Confucius said, “You are never in a position to learn unless you are totally confused.” And I love that because you have to own up to the fact that you don't know what's going on. And if you want to learn, you have to go out there and figure out how to learn it and ask the right people, find the right information, and really invest your time in the places where it's well spent. So thank you so much for listening I appreciate you and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye now.
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