We hear phrases tossed out around the word “value” all the time. “Provide value,” “give value,” “massive value,” etc. Sometimes that can sound a bit challenging, but Michael Hyatt — who was an amazing guest earlier this week on episode 475 of the podcast — has taught me a way to provide huge value to people in a really simple way. This isn't a superpower by the way, although Michael is obviously phenomenal at doing this thing (which I'll reveal in the episode). This is something everyone can start doing right now, and I'm going to challenge you to start today.
Sometimes you know someone for a long time, and all of a sudden everything they've done for you just . . . it kind of hits you. That was the spark for today's episode — I want to tell you how helpful and amazing Michael has been in my own life so that you can hopefully follow his example.
- The story of the first time I met Michael Hyatt
- My “three-second rule” for meeting people at in-person events
- How to provide value to others if you don't feel you have a lot of value to give
- The fantastic strategy I learned from Michael Hyatt for creating “one conversation” at a dinner table
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 owns two skateboards, one looks like a hoverboard, and the other has a Pikachu on it - Pat Flynn!
Have you ever been friends with somebody for a long time, or even have had a relationship with somebody for a very long time, and just a thought comes across your head, and you start to realize something that you absolutely love about them, something that you didn't even realize that they were doing for you this entire time? Maybe they've been just incredibly loyal to you time and time again through the ups and downs, maybe they're somebody who's always just kind of checked in with you, and those little moments, you don't really realize how important they are until you think back about them. So I'm curious, have you ever thought about people in your life and some of the things that they've actually done for you?
And for me, I was thinking about this in relation to the episode that was just published on the Smart Passive Income Podcast this past week with Michael Hyatt: Michael Hyatt from MichaelHyatt.com, author, leader, leader of leaders, and to me, a mentor really. He and I have done a lot of things together recently, but I remember the first time I met him, and I want to tell you that story, because there's a lot of things that he gave me, and he has given me, and has continued to give me, that really has me understand just how much value he's given.
And I wanted to share this with you because this is something, the thing that Michael has done for me, and for so many other people, that we could all give to others too, and it's a... Not necessarily a superpower, because it's actually a thing within all of us that we can do, we just don't often think about how valuable this is. We hear about that word all the time, right? "Give value, provide value, value, value, value, value," but what does that actually mean? Well, hopefully this story gives you a sense of the word in the way that I'm thinking about it right now, and why I'm actually so, so grateful to have Michael in my life as a mentor, as a leader, as somebody who has provided an example for me in so many different ways.
One of the first ways was in fact in 2013, when I met him in person in Franklin, Tennessee. He is from Tennessee, and he invited a number of people, myself included, to come and speak at his event, the very first time this event ever ran, and it ran for a few years, called Platform. He wrote a book called Platform, he had a membership website called Platform University a number of years later, but he had a conference, a Platform conference, where he invited people who were specialists on certain platforms to come and talk about how to grow on those platforms, how to monetize those platforms, and how to provide value on those platforms.
And I remember coming in a couple days early, actually, it was very... He was very adamant about coming in early to meet others who were there and to meet the speakers, and to just get a sense of who else was going to be there, and it was an extra day away from home, and I had just started really traveling for speaking, and so I typically was going the night before the event started. Even if I spoke at the end, I wanted to go and attend the whole event, but coming an extra day early wasn't really something...
Because traveling to the East Coast, it takes a whole day, so I had to come in literally a day before the day before the event, and to just kind of come in and not feel rushed that day, Jess likes to schedule things like that sometimes so in case something goes wrong, there's still time for me to get to these really important things. And like I said, they were really adamant about me coming in early.
So I came in early, I put on my best outfit, and I'm there, and I go into the restaurant actually where we're all meeting, it's a little private room in the back. It's actually not that little, it could host maybe 30, 40 people, and I start to see people show up, and the waiters come in with glasses of wine, I just hold a glass of wine, I'm sipping, it's a nice red wine, and we're going to have this fancy dinner, I assume.
And more and more people come in, and I start to see people who I don't know, I've never seen these people before. I recognize one person, his name is Cliff Ravenscraft, and I was so grateful he was there, because I'm an introvert, I'm kind of sitting in the corner of the room, I'm not really into meeting new people at this time. Even still, I get a little bit of the shakes, if you will, before I have to meet new people, but now I have the three-second rule, and this is something I've learned over time, this is little sidebar for you.
The three-second rule. If you are in a place where you want to meet somebody and they're there, and it's not disrespectful or an interruption, go up to them and just say "Hi" within three seconds. Don't be rude obviously, but don't allow yourself enough time to psyche yourself out. And I've used the three-second rule at conferences time and time again, and my introvert self needs that challenge to not talk myself out of those really important moments that could turn into something amazing. And many times, they turn into nothing, but many times, they turn into something incredible.
And what was really nice was that night, we all sat down, Michael Hyatt eventually came in, people were shaking hands, and Michael came up to me and he introduced himself, it was the first time we met. He had this awesome smile, very welcoming, and immediately he started to introduce me to some of the other people in the room, and I could just tell that I was going to be okay. And with Michael introducing me to somebody I didn't know before, but who I met that night, Stu McLaren. Stu McLaren, you might remember from certain podcast episodes that we've had, and just membership community genius, that was the first time I met him, through Michael Hyatt.
There's another person I met that day. Michael Hyatt also introduced me to Jeff Goins, and in fact, I think I remember, I sat next to Jeff and we got to know each other that night. But because Michael introduced me to them, it allowed me, my introvert self, to feel a little bit more comfortable. And I never really thought about that moment until years later, and I started thinking about the moments that Michael and I have interacted, all the way from the beginning, and I just remember how valuable that introduction was, because Stu and I have become amazing friends, we have supported each other's programs. I'm supporting his Village Impact, which is a organization that supports the education in Kenya and builds schools for people who don't have normal access to really good facilities and teachers and education in that area of the world, so I support Village Impact. And Jeff has been helping me with my book recently, and he and I have traded notes, and that's all thanks to Michael.
The next year, I go to a place in Tennessee to go to the next Platform conference, and I'm there, I'm getting introduced to more people. Michael was the connector. And it's interesting, because every once in a while, I notice that I get an email from Michael, saying, "Hey, I want to introduce you to this group of people here," or "I want to introduce you to this person," and in fact, many of those people, I've since become friends with, I'm now realizing this. Some of those people have come on the show before, again through an introduction from Michael.
And it almost makes me feel like, "Wow, Michael's looking out for me." If he knows somebody who could potentially serve me in some way, or help me out, or is maybe somebody I might enjoy speaking to, he introduces us together, and that's so valuable. And the cool thing is, you don't need to have a million followers, you don't need to have a ton of money, you could be anybody and still provide value in that way, by being a connector. And I think that's a massive lesson, it's actually something that I need to do more of, because I'm always thinking about how to help a person myself, but a person may need help in a way that I wouldn't be able to provide it myself, but I might know somebody who might be able to do that, and that in and of itself, it's value.
I'm now remembering an episode where we interviewed Glen Allsopp. Not episode three — episode three, I think Glen from ViperChill.com, now over at Gaps.com, an internet marketing genius, SEO genius, that guy's the man. He was a young kid, I think under 20 when we first met, and we've never met in person, he is international, not in the U.S., and he has this amazing accent. But Glen Allsopp came on the podcast a number of years ago.
This was at the time actually when the SwitchPod was big. Caleb and I, my videographer and I were inventing this thing, it hadn't come out yet, but I'd spoken about it a bunch of times, because I always say, if you're building something, work in public, share that along the way, because it's value, it's a journey, it's a story that you're creating with people. People are now invested in it, they're interested in it, and they might invest in the actual product.
Anyway, I interviewed Glen, and I was like, "Glen, how might you provide value to somebody if you're somebody who doesn't have seemingly a lot of value to give?" And he gave me the best answer I've ever heard, which relates to everything we just talked about. He said, "Pat, you're coming out with this SwitchPod soon, right?" And I said, "Yeah." And so number one, he knew that I was coming out with a SwitchPod, that's sort of step one, knowing what is important in the other person's life.
Number two, he said, "Well, what if I told you, and maybe you didn't know me, but I said I knew somebody who knew Casey Neistat, and I'd love to at least see if they might invite an invitation to chat with you?" I would say, "You know what, Glen? I don't care who you are at that point, you're the most important person in the world to me right now, because that is exactly what I would love to potentially happen." And even if it didn't actually happen, even if it fell through - that connection to Casey Neistat didn't actually happen - I would appreciate the effort so, so much. That number one, a person understands what is going on in my life right now and what I need help with. Number two, they're then providing value by connecting me with somebody that could potentially help. That is value.
So, when you make connections in this world, not only should you be trying to provide service to others personally, but providing a service to others means thinking about who else might be of service to them too. And I want to run a little exercise by you, this might be an interesting thing for us to do together today in fact, after this episode. After this episode, I want you to think of somebody who perhaps is somebody that you'd like to reach out to, somebody that you perhaps have connected with recently that you'd like to develop a deeper relationship with. Study them a little bit, to a point where you can understand what kind of person could enter their life that could help them the most. How might you be able to provide that connection?
Because I'll tell you, when I've thought about Michael Hyatt and a lot of the things he's done, he's helped me by providing an example of what it's like to build a team, he's helped me by providing an example of what it's like to have business and family run smoothly together. By the way, you should all listen to the episode that we did with Michael this past week, episode 475. I think it's going to be life-changing for so many people, because that's a struggle for sure, the balance.
But more than that, Michael has given me constant attention to who else may be valuable for me in my life and what I'm up to, in every regard, and I'm so grateful for that. So Michael, if you happen to be listening to this right now, thank you for the connections. Every single person on that stage has been somebody who I've now become friends with. This is back in 2013, and now we're here eight years later, and I still have those connections that you started today.
I'm thinking about when I had promoted Best Year Ever, this is one of Michael's previous courses that is now tied into his Full Focus Planner, and all the things that he does there. Definitely check out his book, Best Year Ever, or his planner, his journal, productivity journal, Full Focus Planner. I use it, love it. SmartPassiveIncome.com/planner. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
We had promoted his course and had become one of the top affiliates, and one thing that Michael likes to do is to invite his top-performing affiliates to a place called Blackberry Farms, which is again in Tennessee, it's like a resort farm sort of thing, and I'd never been in a place like that before. First of all, absolutely gorgeous, nature, just farmland, the best food ever, because they literally grow it there and then they cook it that night.
But some of the best connections were made there too. That's when I got to know Ray Edwards, the grandfather of copywriting. That's when I got to know and really become a friend with Sally Hogshead, and those connections made there have lasted forever so far. "Forever so far," they've continued on. Me and Ray are now in a mastermind group together, and I think actually we were at the time, but that's when we really connected, when we were there in person.
I remember sitting, having breakfast one morning, and Ray and I just chatting, looking over the pasture, and just enjoying the fog and the sun coming out, and just our time together. And who put us together in the same room? Michael Hyatt did, and to just express just the kinds of things that Michael does to connect people, and I don't know if this is just who he is or how he grew up, or strategic. Either way, it's been a blessing.
And I remember at Blackberry Farm, there was a number of affiliates there, a number of spouses of those affiliates, or other team members, and we were sitting in this cave thing, I... I mean, it was honestly the coolest place to have a dinner. We were in a cave or something, I think it was like a cheese cave, right? Those things exist, right? Cheese caves where they make cheese, because they want to remove the cheese from the actual changes in humidity and moisture from the air, so they have it all underground or something. I just remember a lot of good cheese, right? So that's another thing that we remember, we remember the food.
But I remember this specifically not just because of the setting, but because it was one long, giant table. And what I'm about to share with you, I've implemented this myself strategically with the groups that I've been involved with, and it's been absolutely life-changing, memorable, and something I'm going to continue to do, so here's what happened. There was like 30 of us chilling in this cave, and we were sitting at this really beautiful dining table, one long table, and Michael gets up, and he says, "Ding, ding, ding," his... Not a bell, we're not going to start boxing, this is a wine glass he's tapping, right? Ding, ding, ding.
He says, "Hey, I'd love to do something that I do at our family dinners and at group outings like this, I want to have the one conversation table. And this is where we just have one conversation, and one person is talking at a time. Everybody else, you can eat, and that way, we are together here, and we're not in these little clusters which can sometimes leave people out, or have a really loud group in one corner and a more quiet group in the other. We're just all going to have one conversation, and I'm going to start it with a question."
And I cannot remember the question, but I remember it going around the table, and every single person just answering. I think it was... It could have been one of those questions like, "What is a rose..." No, what is it? It was like three things, it's like the flower, a petal, and a thorn, right? So like, what's the big thing that you're looking forward to, the flower, what's a petal, what's a little thing that you're excited about coming up soon, and what's the thorn, what's the one thing that's kind of like, aching your back little bit. What's one thing that you might need some help and support with?
So it could have been that, there's a lot of different ways that you can run these conversations. But it was really cool, because we got to hear from everybody, and as somebody else was speaking, you could tell that everybody was listening while everybody was eating, and one person was chatting and having a conversation with all of us about what they were doing and what they were interested in, what they might need help with. And Michael would come in in-between each and just thank that person for being open. Some people got emotional during that time, some people got comedic and funny, and some people were just short, and that's fine too.
But I've since brought that experience that has allowed me to connect with those people, because not only am I able to connect with the two people sitting next to me if we're having conversations at dinner, I'm able to connect with all 29 other people at that table, and I can remember those stories that they tell, and I can remember specifically those people moving forward. And like I said, a lot of those conversations and connections have stayed all the way through, and I've since...
When I've had people in San Diego, like my accelerator group, the SPI Accelerator Group, we have a dining table at this house that we rent out on the cliffs over in La Jolla. And it's a beautiful setting, and we do the one conversation, and we basically get through one or two questions, and I ask questions like, "Tell me what you were like when you were a kid?" And then every person goes around, and we just have laughs, we have some fun, we talk about how quirky we were, it just gets everybody to open up, and gets everybody to connect with each and every single person there.
So all this to say, you can try that at dinner if you'd like, it's really, really cool. And so Michael, thank you so much for the example, thank you for being a connector, and to all of you listening, how might you provide value to others by simply being a connector?
Hopefully this inspires you. If you enjoyed it, let me know on Instagram @PatFlynn, or on Twitter @PatFlynn. Thank you for listening to Follow-up Friday here, and I look forward to serving you in next week's episode, and I'm really enjoying this, going deep with you, and cannot wait to see what comes out of this. Thank you so much, peace out, Team Flynn for the win.
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. 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.