Earlier this week, we spoke with Dorie Clark, author of the brand new book The Long Game, about being in it for the long haul and doing the things now that will ensure long-term success in your business and your life. And we talked about a lot of strategies to ensure that you're always staying on top of your business, your community, and your physical and mental health.
Today I want to talk a little about a related question: how do we remain consistent? Because if you're in it for the long haul in this creator economy, it can take a lot to stay consistent.
It can be tough to be continually uploading and creating content, showing up for your community, and providing value. It takes a lot of energy. And having now created 510 episodes of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, nearly 1,200 episodes of AskPat, more than 1,000 videos on YouTube, and more than 1,000 blog posts, my team and I have been pretty consistent. Now, I haven't been consistent the entire time. There've been moments where I've been derailed. But I got back on track, and it's thanks to the five lessons I'm going to share with you today. These are tips and strategies to help you show up and keep showing up for your business and your audience, so let's get into them.
- Why habits are crucial in becoming consistent
- Where your “why” comes in
- How to keep things fun so you don't get worn down by the grind
SPI 510: The Secret to Staying Consistent
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 here's your host. He still believes building a solid email is what all creators should be doing no matter what platform they're on: Pat Flynn.
Earlier this week, we spoke with Dorie Clark, author of the brand new book, The Long Game, all about staying in this for the long haul and doing the things that you can do now so that you can have the most long-term success in both your business and in your life. And we talked about a lot of strategies to ensure that you're always staying on top of your business, your community, as well as your health and your mental health, all that stuff's really important to be able to do this for the long run. We don't just want those short-term gains. We want the long term, we want the legacy, we want things to live beyond us and past us, even after we're gone. But today I wanted to talk about specifically, how do we remain consistent? Because part of playing the long game, especially if you are going to be doing this for a while, especially in the creator economy, which we are in right now, it can take a lot to remain consistent.
It can be very difficult to remain consistent with continually uploading, with continually showing up for your community with continually providing value. That takes a lot of energy. And as somebody who has now created 510 episodes of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, and nearly 1,200 episodes of Ask Pat. I mean, we're approaching 2,000 total episodes and that's just podcasts. I mean, we're talking over 1,000 videos on YouTube. We're talking over 1,000 blog posts on the blog, smartpassiveincome.com. And I've been pretty consistent. Now, I haven't been consistent the entire time. There've been moments where I've been derailed or there's been moments where, for example, a troll really got in my head and almost made me give up and I stopped creating content for a good month or so. And that wasn't good. And I've learned my lessons from that. The lesson being hurt people hurt people, had nothing to do with me and more so because this person was hurt and they were taking it out on me.
So we'll save that for another time. In fact, I've talked about that many times before and I have a YouTube video about that, but we're not going to talk about that right now. We're going to talk about showing up and how to continually show up. And I'm going to give you five things to think about to help you do that.
Number one is to do it enough, at least at the start, to turn whatever it is you're doing into a habit. I'm reminded of James Clear's book, New York Times best author for several months now, in fact, I think several years. His book, Atomic Habits, an absolute game-changer. He talks about this idea of providing yourself the opportunity to build a habit that will continually help you be successful. Meaning, we have good habits, we have bad habits, but when you specifically build small little habits in your life that can help you remain consistent with creating content, for example, things can go a very, very long way. When things are now habitual, they become a little bit more automated and it takes some time to get there. Some people say it takes seven times for a thing to be automated, seven times for you to remember a name, seven times for whatever. I don't know where that number came from, but really what's it about is just repetition, just continually showing up.
And this is how the top athletes, this is how the top performers, the top musicians, top chess players, whatever. They show up continually and they get better every single time. The 10,000 hours situation from Malcolm Gladwell. And if you don't show up, you can't get better. And even if you're just getting 1% better every time, when you build a habit of doing something, you can then focus on pushing yourself. And I think I heard Harry Mack say this. He is a freestyle rapper on YouTube, he's gotten pretty famous over the last couple of years. And this year in particular, he's just crossed a million subscribers. His superpower is he's able to take any words or anything that he sees and turn it into an amazing free flow, freestyle rap. And it sounds like he wrote it out ahead of time. And it's genius.
We call them bars the way that he not just like rhymes words, but actually has it makes sense and tell a story at the same time. It's amazing. Definitely check it out. Harry Mack. I haven't seen a talent like that before. But I remember watching a video where Harry was talking about the fact that he doesn't ... Somebody called out that he hardly messes up, but he does mess up, but he's practiced so much and he's been practicing this freestyle situation since he was a kid that he can just breeze right through those mistakes and catch up. But more than that, the part that I want to highlight was when he was discussing how he practices.
Because when he practices, he practices to the point where he's fumbling, he's falling, he's failing. And he does that because that allows him to expand his tank if you will, he talks about like a car. If you are trying to get to 80 miles per hour and your car only goes up to 100, 80 miles per hour, you can get there, but it's going to be a lot of work. And it's going to feel very, very difficult. And who knows how long you can maintain that. But when you practice and you build a habit and you start challenging yourself, your tank starts to get bigger and your engine starts to get stronger. Well, maybe now you can go up to 300 miles per hour. And now when you're trying to go 80, like before, it's so much easier. In fact, your baseline is going to be, just your automatic is going to be better than what it would be for a struggle for somebody who is only going up to 100 if that analogy makes sense. And I love that.
And I think that's great because I think A, it shows that when we are trying things, we should be pushing ourselves because that expands our ability to move our foundation so that when we have to be automated or like Harry, when he's just in the moment and flowing, he's now able to do at a bar that's much higher than others because he continually stretches himself. So continually build that habit so that you can create more experiments and do things that are outside of your comfort zone and raising that foundation bar so that you just continually remain at least consistent, and your value can continue to rise over time.
Number two, this was also mentioned in Atomic Habits. The ability for you to when you are doing something repeatedly, again, we're talking about staying consistent. If you are consistently trying to livestream every day on YouTube, like I did for 365 days, if you're continually trying to write blog posts, if you're continually trying to record podcasts like this one, you want to make it as frictionless as possible. Meaning for example, when I was streaming every day for an entire year, everything was set up so that I could just sit down, hit a couple buttons, the least amount of buttons possible. And I took a couple of weeks to figure out how to do it more efficiently. But I tried to figure out what's the least amount of work I can do to go live. And then I figured that out and that allowed me to not have to A, make excuses.
And B, just make it easy for me to sit down and record. And I could focus now on the content versus, okay, well, where does my camera go? Where does my lighting ... Everything was set up. My lighting, cameras, microphones. I just had to sit down. Make the start of whatever it is that you continually have to do so easy that you don't need to use any brainpower. You don't need to expend any calories to get started. You just go, and then you can build those habits and everything we talked about in number one.
Number three, recognizing and remembering your why. It can be very easy to get started because you have a reason and you have a drive for it, but in the middle of it. And when you've been sort of doing this for multiple seasons, whatever it is that you're trying to do, you can very much separate yourself from the beginning and why you are doing this in the first place. And I think it's important to have systems and support and something in place so that you are reminded about why you're doing this in the first place, because it will feel like work. It feels like a grind. And I tell you, like this podcast and other content that I create YouTube videos, it doesn't come easy. I try to make it as easy as possible, but it's still work. I'm grinding it out. But because I know why I'm grinding it out, I'm willing to do it.
And so I have many of you to thank for it. I am often reminded from the audience that you are a big reason why I do what I do. I'm reminded every day, being at home with the kids who are growing up so fast and I want to be a great example for them. And I'm reminded by my mastermind friends and my colleagues and people who just continually lift me up in the space that I'm trying to put myself in, especially because again, to point number one, I'm always trying and expanding and sort of raising my bar. So remembering your why.
Number four, gamification. This isn't for everybody, but it's definitely for me. There's a reason why some people are so obsessed with their Apple watches. And it's not just because they can read off their text messages from their voice into their watch. It's because they have these little rings on them that keep track of how many steps you take, and heart rate, and all this other stuff. And you have to fill out the rings every day. And I know some people who are absolutely obsessed, I knew a guy who was short on his rings one day that he got up on the plane, that he was on a plane traveling. And because of the hour that it was, he wasn't going to be able to get his rings in on time and having enough steps that he ended up just walking on the plane up and down the aisle a bunch to get in those steps. So he could fill up those rings because you get a streak. And worse than the pain of doing the thing, the work, the workout, the content creation, whatever, is the pain of breaking that streak.
And so gamification can be a really amazing tool for you to continually show up, to keep track of what it is you're doing, and try not to stop that streak. And this is why batch processing in the world of content is key because yes, there are weeks where I just don't feel like podcasting, there are weeks where I don't feel like getting on video, but because there are weeks where I am so into it, I'll batch process and use that energy that I have at that time to create as much as possible, multiple podcasts episodes, multiple videos. So that when and if there are moments where I'm just not feeling it, it's still consistently showing up for people because we have a backlog.
And this is where planning ahead comes into play so that you can remain consistent. Not because you're grinding yourself to the ground, but because you've planned ahead and you've built yourself a little library or a compendium, if you will, of content that you can come out with still continually and consistently for your audience, while you are taking breaks and working with your own energy and resting up when you need to.
And then number five here, and this is one of my favorite things to do is to mix it up. Yes, we want to remain consistent, and our audience expects a certain level of standard of quality and a certain type of episode. But honestly, one thing that's kept me going over time is mixing it up every once in a while. These Friday follow-up episodes weren't always here, and they might not always be here. We're probably going to mix it up in some way, shape, or form, or who knows if they're going to move to its own podcast or what. But mixing it up allows me to get re-interested, it allows me to get excited again about something that feels like it's new, even though it's actually just an adjustment or a pivot or an experiment that I'm running within the business. And it also gets the audience excited.
As consistent as we want to be a little bit of mixing it up or a pattern interrupt or a state change, as you will hear it said sometimes is always good to reset people, to get them to go, oh, that's different. No wonder why I love this show. Or, wow, this is ... Like I haven't heard it like this before. This is interesting. And at least you're getting people to pay attention because sometimes when people consistently consume your content, they can begin to put on those blinders. And I think it's important to mix it up because when you mix it up, you can have fun. And when you're having fun, your audience is having fun. And I'm having a lot of fun right now. I hope you can tell going over these things. And I am just so grateful that I have 13 years of business experience now.
I mean, that makes me feel really old, since 2008, of experience of failures, of wins, of relationships, of trial and error and attempts and experiments that I could share with you and a lot of this, everything here today is not just me talking and regurgitating things that I've once heard before. It's me having also lived through these things. And hopefully you can tell with the fact that we're at episode 510 now, that we've got this consistency thing down.
The other thing I'll share is as you begin to grow your business and you might be in this place in your business right now, but there's going to be moments where you're going to start to feel burnt out. And avoiding that burnout, like we talked about in episode 509 with Dorie, is really key. And this is where you make a decision to slow down a little bit, which is totally okay to do. Or hire a team to help you so that they can continue to push the pedal for you or even push it faster or push multiple pedals to allow you to go in different directions should you want to do that without spreading yourself thin and burning yourself out.
So I hope this episode was helpful for you today. I want to thank Dorie Clark for inspiring me to share this kind of information because remaining consistent, very, very important, especially if you want to build fans. You're not going to build fans if you just show up when you want to show up. But you've also got to show up when you don't want to. But using tricks like batch processing, and then reminding yourself about the why and making it easy for you to start, so it's not even feeling like work anymore or a chore. These are all methods and strategies you can use to make it easier for yourself and your future and your content and your audience is going to love you for it. So thank you so much. Make sure to listen to 509, if you haven't already. Just go back one episode and we have some great guests coming your way very, very soon too. So make sure you subscribe if you haven't already.
If this was the first time you listened to me here, thank you. I appreciate you. Make sure to check out SmartPassiveIncome.com. And if you're interested in joining a community of amazing entrepreneurs, you can apply at SmartPassiveIncome.com/pro where you can get access to events and access to my team, and each other, and masterminds, and book clubs, and other workshops and other things that'll help you in your business. Again, check that out, SmartPassiveIncome.com/pro, and I'll see you next week. Cheers, peace out, take care, and as always, Team Flynn for the win.
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at smartpassiveincome.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.