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SPI 586: Excuses

In the 14 years I’ve been an entrepreneur, I still create excuses about why I can’t do certain things or why something I attempt won’t work out. Even if you’re a veteran entrepreneur like I am, there might be some lingering excuses that are keeping you from reaching your potential.

So today I want to cover some of the more common excuses that hold back entrepreneurs. This is going to be a great exercise in understanding how people think and how they gut stuck. Because guess what? Your audience, your potential customers or students, may also share the same objections or excuses that are stopping them from working with you or buying from you.

Now, your excuses might not be the same as my excuses. Nevertheless, I think you’ll find this episode helpful in uncovering some of the excuses that might be holding you back, even if they’re not the same as mine!

SPI 586: Excuses

Announcer: 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, the only kind of espresso drink he’s drinking this year is an Americano. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Today. I wanted to talk about excuses because in the, gosh, how many years has it been now? 14 years. Wow. Has it really been that long? 14 years that I’ve been an entrepreneur, I still create excuses about why I can’t do certain things or why something I attempt wouldn’t work out. So I don’t know if that might scare you, somebody who is a veteran entrepreneur, still making excuses when perhaps you have your own set of excuses and I’m going to cover some of the more common excuses. There’s actually going to be a great exercise for just like how people think. Because your audience and your potential customers, your potential students may also have these same objections or excuses, if you will, that are stopping them from working with you or from purchasing your courses or from taking your recommendations, et cetera. But over the years, I still continue to make excuses.

Pat Flynn: And for you who have your own set of excuses, and again, they might align with these three that I’m about to talk about or not. I think the biggest thing is we have to find out what the truth is, right? It’s similar to something that has been thrown around a lot. I think Elon Musk has made this sort of popular this idea of first principles, right? When something is said, we want to question it. Not because we don’t think it’s true or not true, but because we need to figure out where the truth actually is within that. And so we want to bring this back down to first principles to then build it back up to discover well, is that actually the case or not? And with Elon, people were always saying like, no, you can’t do that with rockets or that’s impossible. Or they’re this expensive because of this certain way.

Pat Flynn: And he broke it down and was like, well, what is actually a rocket? It’s these parts with this fuel. And then he was able to sort of like build it back up in a way where it became much cheaper. It became a way that we could bring these rockets back down to earth. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of those videos. I thought it was fake at first when I first saw it, but it just looked so surreal seeing one of these rocket boosters go up into space and then come back down. And that was a result of Elon going back to, well, what is actually possible here and what are people saying? And is that even true or not? And so with a lot of these excuses, the first one here is I just don’t have the time, you might think to yourself when there’s a project or just, maybe you’re working a busy nine to five job, and you want to do these other entrepreneurial things.

Pat Flynn: Perhaps you are listening to this in the car right now because it’s really the only time you have. And so we actually look for things that confirm our excuses; it’s called confirmation bias. And it’s one of the most dangerous things in the world, confirmation bias, right? I mean, you can use that for good, for sure. But in most cases, especially we entrepreneurs who are just starting out, we use confirmation bias to essentially stunt our growth and stunt our success. So confirmation bias is, for example, when you say to yourself, I don’t have the time, you look for things that prove that. You kind of just look for ways that is proven inside of your life. It’s late at night and you finally have time to work on your thing, but it’s so late that you’re tired and you go, “see, I just don’t have the time.”

Pat Flynn: Or work picks up and it’s super busy. And although you are going to do that work, you say to yourself, man, I really wish I could do these other things, but I just don’t have the time. So it can be very easy for us to fall into that trap and begin to start to believe these things. But in most cases, in a lot of the coaching that I’ve done, that excuse which is probably the most prevalent, I just don’t have the time. It’s really interesting because I usually do a couple exercises with people when it comes to that particular excuse. Number one, we try to go again to the truth. Do you actually not have the time or are you not giving it the time? And what that entails is this idea of prioritization. When we begin to outline a person’s time and where exactly it goes, we begin to realize that there is actually time.

Pat Flynn: It’s just, there’s zero time given to that thing because it’s not a top priority. If nothing else mattered, then that particular success that you were going to have with that entrepreneurial endeavor, then you would make the time for it. But in many cases, because our job is so steady because we have food that we have to put on the table and a roof that we have to pay for, et cetera, we often don’t make it a priority because it is not a priority. Because okay, the worst thing that can happen is just we’re back here. So therefore we might as well not even try or in many cases we just don’t prioritize that thing. But when we begin to realize the consequence of not putting time into that thing, we begin to realize that, wow, it actually is something that we need to prioritize. And I think for me, when I got laid off in 2008, I had just gotten engaged.

Pat Flynn: I lost my architecture job. It was almost as if I was drowning, and I needed to swim up to the surface to get that air, and I would do whatever it took. That was my priority. Succeeding was like breathing at that time. I had to do it or else it was just not going to work out. And if I didn’t get laid off, I promise you, I wouldn’t have made the entrepreneurial endeavors a priority. It may not have even been a thought. So this idea of prioritization out of necessity is really key. And no, we don’t want to suggest that you have to quit your job or walk out on that position you have so that you can put yourself in that position to prioritize this additional work. And of course, when you do that, you also have a little bit of extra time.

Pat Flynn: But what it means is you need to find those pockets of time to make the progress. And in many cases with those projects that we have, or those little things that we know we need to work on for our side hustle, for our entrepreneurial endeavors, prioritizing what those things are within that is going to help. It might seem like a huge task to start a new business or to build a website and start selling coaching programs or sell an online course after creating it. It’s a lot, for sure. And the idea of doing that one thing with that little time that you have makes it seem impossible. But what if you were to break that thing down into pockets of time that you did have available and understanding what your next steps were and fitting it into that time? For example, if you were going to create an online course and sell it, but you just feel like you didn’t have the time.

Pat Flynn: Well, thinking about creating an online course, I mean that’s hours upon hours of time that you just don’t have. But what if you broke it down into well, I just, I just need to outline my course first. That’s all that matters right now. Well again, combined with the priority of that thing in whole with, okay, that’s my next step. I need to outline this online course. Okay. You could find the time to do that. Or in other words, make the time to do that. You may have to sacrifice Netflix. You may have to sacrifice… And you hear people like Gary Vaynerchuk sort of romanticize that a little bit. They exaggerate that point, but for good reason, it’s so true. There are many things in our lives that perhaps we’re prioritizing more than these other things that we say we really want, but do we if we’re not making time for them? In all cases with my students, we’ve been able to find that extra time to work on those baby steps that together, add up to that big whole.

Pat Flynn: W-H-O-L-E. So that’s number one. I don’t have the time. It’s basically code word for this is just not a top priority for me right now. And I don’t understand the next steps. Number two is I don’t have the money. Many people think you need lots of money to start a business. But if you were to break it down, the first principles, what do you need to start a business? You just need to help people. Do you need money to help people? No, you can do that. You could literally go for free on Twitter, find somebody who needs the special skill that you might have and ask them if they’d be willing to pay you for it. That’s it. On the bare bones foundational level, that’s an example of a way that you could potentially generate an income without having to pay a dime.

Pat Flynn: So no, you don’t need money in order to generate money. Now, having money can help obviously. But what I love about this is at the start you just need to find one person to help and you don’t need money in order to be able to do that. Now again, the money can help. It might insert you into an event, you pay for that ticket to go to the event, to then find these people that you could talk to and build a relationship with and offer your skill to. It might offer you the ability to run ads, to get in front of those people who are on YouTube or on Instagram or LinkedIn, so that they understand that you exist and you can potentially help them with that skill.

Pat Flynn: Now, when it comes from a buyer’s perspective, if you are selling something and a buyer says the excuse, well, I just don’t have the money or it’s too expensive, that’s just code word for, I don’t understand truthfully what the value is that I’m getting back in return for what I’m giving you. And so that’s a messaging problem. That’s a positioning problem. So we need to discover what the position is for yourself for this thing that you are creating, this thing that you’re doing, but then for your buyers, for your students, your potential customers, if they are not buying and you hear that it is too expensive. It is because you are not portraying the amount of value that you know that they could get on the other end. Now of course, if you’re selling something that’s worthless, then that validation is true. That excuse is true, but you’re not. You’re creating something that is going to help a person save a lot of time, potentially save a lot of money, potentially earn a lot of money, potentially make their lives better.

Pat Flynn: And when you can help a person understand who’s on the other end, reading that sales page on the other end of a phone call, on the other end of an ad or a webinar, that what it is that you’re offering is worth way more than what they’re paying for. Then again, it just becomes a lot easier and it doesn’t even feel like selling anymore. It just feels like, well, of course, this is the thing I’d need to do right now, or the thing I need to invest in. The number three excuse usually that I hear is I just don’t have the skill. I don’t know what to do. I don’t understand what direction to go next. That’s to me the excuse that’s the lamest of all. The other ones, there is some validation to, well, because we all want more time.

Pat Flynn: We all want more money. And so I understand where those are coming from and we’ve countered those objections already. But the idea that you just don’t have the skill like today, more than ever, there are people out there who have already paved the way. You’re not creating anything that’s completely brand new usually, in most cases. You’re creating something that has a new spin to it, that is better, or that is different, but you are not completely starting from scratch. And there are so many resources out there both paid and free, premium and available to you right now on places like YouTube or even just, you might even go and ask somebody, there are people out there who have paved the way who have already made the mistakes, who have those skills that you can learn from, who can help you then sell the thing or do the thing that you’re trying to do.

Pat Flynn: The excuse that I don’t have the skill just means you haven’t learned the skill yet. That’s what that’s code for. That you just haven’t made it a priority to go and figure out how to do it. In most cases, you don’t know how to do it. And that is okay. The way that I typically get around that excuse, because that does come up sometimes when I’m trying to do something new. Like for example, with the Pokemon thing, I didn’t know anything about Pokemon before starting my YouTube channel, but I learned from those who were doing it already and through that learning, I figured out where there were a lot of holes and things that I could bring to the table that were a little bit different. And as Sally Hogshead says, “Different is better than better.” But going back to the skills that you don’t have, the only way to really gain them is to do and to try to fail, to get up again, to do over and to understand the patterns of what works and what doesn’t.

Pat Flynn: You could listen in a podcast all day, you could read books all day and you will not get the same education that you’ll get. You’ll not get the same skill building as you’ll get by just simply doing, so go out and do the thing, knowing that failure’s a part of the process and that’s the only way to really, really learn. So I hope this episode perhaps kicks you in the butt a little bit because it was one that I needed to listen to today. And I just happened to be the person also saying these things. The excuses still get in my way, but I always try to flip the script. I always try to find the first principles and find the truth within that.

Pat Flynn: One of my other biggest excuses is I don’t know if I’m qualified enough to do this. It relates to this skill excuse. But then I remember about all the things that I once didn’t know that I’ve been able to since help people with. That I’ve been able to since turn into courses that have generated over millions of dollars. I thought the same things back then too. I just need to get over the idea that I feel like I have to know everything before I get started. No way. I learn faster and better by just doing, but I have to make these things a priority and understand that I can just scrappily put things together. I don’t need to spend a lot of money on the top gear, the top everything. Putting it in front of myself and doing it is what’s going to help me the most. And I know that’s what’s going to help you the most too.

Pat Flynn: So anyway, thank you so much. I hope this message takes you into the weekend with some positivity behind it, not negativity, but some excitement to conquer the next week ahead. So I appreciate you for listening in, and I look forward to serving you in next week’s episode. In fact, the reason this episode is here is because Pat Flynn, the other Pat Flynn. The Pat Flynn I interviewed in episode 585, which if you’ve listened to that and you’ve enjoyed that episode, let me know on Twitter @PatFlynn and you can message @PatFlynnCOS as well. That’s my friend Pat Flynn. The other Pat Flynn that I interviewed. You know it could have been a very easy thing for him to make an excuse that I was somebody who took his username first, or who’s a bigger version of the name, who it was hard to compete with and such, but he found his way and he’s been able to do amazingly well.

Pat Flynn: And I’m just really excited because he’s got some great, great stuff for you coming up in his future. So definitely check it out. Listen to episode 585 if you haven’t already. And next week we got an amazingly effervescent bubbly personality coming on the show that’s going to help you with something that everybody should be focusing on right now in one way or another so make sure you subscribe for that. Until then take care. Thanks so much. And I look forward to serving you next week. Cheers, peace out and as always, team Flynn for the win. Bye for now.

Pat Flynn: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at 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.

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