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SPI 602: They Said Do THIS, So I Did That

In this episode, I’m spilling some truth and sharing things that are maybe going to upset a few people. (How’s that for a hook?)

Today we’re discussing three things that people, friends, and even mentors and coaches told me to do. This is common advice that you might hear as well — and I decided to ignore it. When they told me to zig, I zagged.

We’re going to talk about the push-back I received when I first started the podcast and wanted to have John Melley, the awesome voice-over guy, read a fun fact about me in each episode. Nobody thought that would be a good idea, but I wanted to connect with listeners on a personal level. 602 episodes in, I have people reach out to me all the time to chat about the things we have in common!

We’re also going to discuss The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan [Amazon affiliate link], which I highly recommend. The authors talk about focusing on one thing and one thing only in business. This is advice that I followed for the longest time, to great success, but have since come up with a different rule that works better for me.

Finally, I’ll share the advice I got about content creation and how following it led me to burnout. I had to switch things up again, and you’ll hear all about what I’m doing now.

And yes, ironically, I’m sharing lots of advice in this episode. Feel free to go your own way and do what’s right for your business!

SPI 602: They Said Do THIS, So I Did That

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, He was once addicted to white chocolate mochas in college, but now he takes his coffee black, Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: All right. In this episode, I’m gonna spill some truth. Just you and me, and talk real to real.

And I’m gonna share some things that maybe are gonna upset some people. I’m not gonna call out any names specifically, how’s that for a hook, right? So what I’m gonna do in this episode is you may know from the title is I’m gonna share, in fact, three different things that people, and in fact, mentors, coaches have told me to do. Common things that people perhaps tell you to do as well, that I decided to go the opposite direction. Right?

All of these pieces of advice I’ve gotten come from experience, come from good-hearted people. It wasn’t people trying to tell me to go down the wrong path. This is the path that was perhaps right for them, but maybe just not right for me. So lemme just start out by saying that when I started my podcast, this podcast that you’re listening to right now, back in 2010, I actually wanted to start it in 2008, but I got too scared.

So I finally got the courage to do it in 2010. And as I was preparing, I had a couple coaches and a mentor. And one of them was actually a podcast coach, cuz that’s what I always do. You’ve heard me talk about that before, when I wanna learn something, I go to somebody who’s done that thing before, cuz they’ve already made the mistakes.

They’ve already learned what to do and what not to do. So that’s what I was doing. But just because somebody tells you to do something doesn’t mean you should do it. Right? You need to know what. Just in your gut and feels right for you and you can have other people offer their advice and thoughts about what somebody else says as well, which I often try to do.

But anyway, I’m getting off course here. To get back on course, a lot of these podcaster friends and coaches and mentors of mine, didn’t like an idea that I had for the show. And the idea that I had for the show was that at the beginning of every episode, I was going to have John Melley the awesome voiceover guy that we’ve had for 602 episodes now, to read a fun little fact about me. Which of course, if you’ve listened to any episodes now, and if you are here in this episode, even if this was your first episode, you heard a fun fact about me earlier. That was an idea that I had back in the day. Why did I have that? Because I knew that it’s these little things that you learn about people that allow those connections to happen.

It allows for uniqueness to come about. I’m not just a regular person that you see everywhere else. I have unique things about me. I played the trumpet for so many years, I’m a marching band nerd, right? I’m definitely afraid of spiders. I am a huge Back to the Future fan, all these little things that on the surface, don’t really matter for the topic that I’m teaching matter a hundred percent for building a relationship with you.

Right? So you know more about me like a friend would, and we can build a relationship here, even asynchronously here, as you listen to the podcast. So I shared this idea and my mentors and a coach came back and said, “You know, Pat, that’s probably one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard. Not only are you, A, going to pay somebody else to say that? Like, why would you do that?” And I just thought it was kind of cool and interesting and clever, “But secondly, You’re wasting people’s time. People click on something to get to know the content that they click for. Not necessarily to know you” and I, I didn’t agree with that because I was a fan of different podcasters who were sharing more about themselves.

I was a fan of different bloggers, who I knew about because of certain aspects of their life because of hobbies they were into not necessarily because they wrote a really good blog post or created a really good podcast episode. So I decided to go forth and, of course, 602 episodes into it now, one of them came back to me years later and said, “Pat, you know what I was wrong. That was a great idea for you. You just seem to nail it. And you have this uniqueness about you. You seem to be a Pat of all trades.” I like to say I’m a Pat of all trades master of fun instead of, you know, Jack of all trades master of none. And I’m just fully myself. And I even have the intro of this podcast support that.

And it’s worked out really well. So well, in fact that sometimes I go to different places and people who recognize me or recognize my voice or we’re at a conference and they see me speak, they often bring about the one or two little fun facts that they relate to. Right? So I have a huge group of people who are marching band nerds in this world who follow me because of that fact that I was a marching band nerd as well.

Now they didn’t come to me because of that. But when they found me and they discovered that about me it made that connection and that bond even stronger. Right? So that’s number one. Tell me to not do that. Well, I did it anyway. When they zig I zag.

Number two, I read a book called The ONE Thing. It’s a fantastic book. I recommended it to people. And that book is by two authors, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. And that is the Keller from Keller Williams Realty. And this book essentially uncovers the truth about why you should work on one thing at a time. And the dangers of trying to do multiple things. And this is especially important for us entrepreneurs who tend to have squirrel syndrome.

We look at this thing and then we’re just halfway through it before moving on to the next thing. And all of a sudden we have 50 things we’re doing, and we’re getting nothing done and your energy’s divided across all of those items. And then we’re going nowhere.

And I tried to follow the one thing at a time sort of principle for a couple years. Where nothing else mattered except this one thing. Right? And the one thing was the SPI podcast and specific platforms that I was on, like the podcast and the SPI blog. And that worked, it grew those things, but I also felt like something was missing. I felt like that even though these things were growing and the focus was helping because yes, that energy was being put into those places.

And when you put energy into something, you know, the, the, the energy comes out and can become something great. Versus dividing it across many things, but I still felt empty inside. I still felt like I needed something additional to do to fulfill that just inherent need that I personally have to experiment and try new things.

I was not supplying any love to the curiosity that I have for just things in general. So I came up with this rule. Right? Again, remember this is the advice, do one thing at a time. Nothing else matters. Put every, put blinders on everything. Except these, this one thing that matters. In your business and other areas of your life as well.

Not just like one thing. I’m focused all in my business and my family doesn’t matter. No, that’s not what I mean. But for example, in your business and whole I’m focusing on one platform and one platform only. I’m focusing on growing this audience and this audience only, but again, I still felt that missing sort of portion inside of me that need to wanna do something else.

And so of course the worry is okay, I’m gonna allow myself to do something else. But then I allow myself to do 50 other things and then nothing gets done. And all the things that I had committed to just aren’t being followed through on. So I decided to come up with a rule and this rule is not anything new that I invented.

It’s just one that I adopted from other things that I have now used and is the principle I follow when it comes. What I allow myself to do. And that is the 20% itch rule you may have heard from places like Google, that Google allows their employees 20% of their time, or one day out of a five day work week to experiment, try new things, because that’s where a lot of creativity can happen.

That’s where you can be okay walking away from the things that you’re normally do to scratch that creative itch or try something new and experiment. Ramit Sethi practices this as well. And so I adopted it into my life. So 20% of my time or Fridays are in fact used for other things outside of SPI. And much of Friday is used currently for the Deep Pocket Monster YouTube channel.

That’s not when I stream, it’s not even when I create content for that channel, but that is in fact, when I’m thinking about it wholly. When I’m planning, when I’m scripting out an outlining different video ideas, when I’m researching, when I’m building relationships etc.. Friday is dedicated to that.

A couple years ago, actually a few years ago, starting in 2017. My Fridays, my 20% of time was dedicated to the SwitchPod. And that of course took a few years to get up and running. We kickstarted that and made a half million dollars in 60 days on Kickstarter, my partner, Caleb and I, and that performed very well. And that’s now sort of semi-automatic. And Caleb’s doing a, a lot of the, the day to day stuff there now as majority owner of the company and he’s doing awesome and the company continues to grow.

So I was able to scratch that itch and then now move on to something else before that there was another thing and it, and it failed. And I’m not gonna get into those things right now, but all that, just to say that, that extra time that I allow myself. The 20% of time, just scratch that itch allows me to make sure that SPI and the things that I’ve said yes to the things that I’m dedicated for and responsible for are indeed getting done.

And in fact, I’m more encouraged to get those things done so that on Friday it doesn’t have to be Friday, but that 20% of time is almost treated like a reward because it feels great. I get endorphins experimenting and trying new things with the possibility of it failing. And speaking of failing, it’s okay if it fails.

That’s the beauty of this. It’s like a little Petri dish where if things grow outta control, you can just throw that Petri dish away and try something else. And everything else is protected. Versus, you know, having it just manifest into everything else that you’ve already said yes to, and then things get confusing.

So that is number two, one thing at a time. No. Two things, but one of them 20%, the thing that I’ve already said yes to 80%. And that’s how I’ve been able to create new things, scratch that itch, but also create boundaries because I totally wanna create a bass fishing YouTube channel right now. But that’s not what I’m dedicating my 20% to right now I’ve already said yes to one additional thing.

And I don’t wanna do 10%, 10%, 80% or 60%, 20% 20. Right?

And finally, number three. The third thing that I’ve been told to do that I don’t want to do that I cannot do, based on what I know I am and who I know I am and how I know I work is to consistently create content. The creation part being consistent in creating content is tough for me because there are some days there are some weeks where I just don’t feel it.

And I’m not feeling like it. I’m not feeling encouraged. I don’t have the energy. My mind is elsewhere, but you might be wondering, Pat, you’ve come up with 602 episodes, basically every single Wednesday since 2010. Now that’s not true. I missed a few and people got upset, but I’ve been able to stay consistent and it’s been awesome. Wednesday and now the Friday episodes as well.

With the blog for 10 years, it was consistent three days a week. Then one day a week, when the podcast came about etc.. On Deep Pocket Monster I’m consistently creating or consistently publishing a video once per week. And that’s the big clue into what I’m about to say.

The publishing is consistent. The creation is not because I am not consistently energized to create. That, I don’t know anybody who’s consistently at all moments in time or all specific hours of a specific week, every single time energized. Right? Now, you can get there as much as possible. You might know that at a certain time, on a certain day, you dedicate a block of time for something specific.

And that’s what I do because I hope that at that time where I know I might have energy before lunch, typically I can get on podcasts. I can record episodes like this. I can film videos for the podcast or for the Pokemon channel, et cetera. But again, like I said, there are some days where I just cannot do it, or I just don’t feel like it or the, the creative juices are gone or, or my mind is elsewhere.

So this is where batch processing comes into play. I don’t wanna force myself to create content when I’m not feeling it because whenever I’ve done that, it just has not hit. It just has not. I’d rather wait till I am in a creative state and I am energized because when I’m energized and I’m having fun with it, and I’m in a great creative state of mind, then the audience will receive that as you will receive that.

And hopefully that energy will come onto you. And you can see that there’s energy or hear that there’s energy or read that there’s energy behind that. There’s excitement about that content. And you can read it as such versus, okay, I’ll just throw in a filler post or a filler content just because, and that’s how it was for a very long time.

I just try to remain consistent on the blog. I try to remain consistent just because I had to keep up, but that was when I was creating right before publishing. Versus what I do now, which is batch process. So I might record if I have the energy, I might record five to 10 episodes in a single day of AskPat or SPI or videos on the YouTube channel.

And then there are other days, other weeks where I’m not creating any. But this allows me to have wiggle room and flexibility. Right? And just like a human body, the more flexible you are, the less likely you are to break. Right? So we have to be flexible and having batch processing be a part batch by batch processing.

I mean, like creating multiple versions of the thing that you’re going to publish, you know, once per week or, or what have you. Oh, man. It’s saved me. It’s saved me for sure. So everybody’s telling me to be consistent with content creation. No, be consistent with content publishing. That’s really important for the audience to get used to and have a rhythm of consuming your content.

The creation of it, try to be consistent, but also get ahead if you can so that when there are days, you’re just not feeling it, you can be okay with that and know that things are still gonna be published.

So I hope this episode has inspired you. And again, the fourth lesson here is you don’t always have to listen to what everybody says, and you can listen to what I say or not, but you have to know what works for you.

And the only way to know that is to do, to attempt to trial things and then assess. Right, trial, then assess. So that you can understand what works and what doesn’t you can make, as Ross Geller might say, pivots along the way. You can get that couch up those staircases.

Anyway, thank you so much. I appreciate you. Thank you for subscribing. Thank you for your time and attention and look forward to serving you in next week’s episode. As always our Wednesday episodes we have these incredible interviews. There’s another one coming up that I do not want you to miss. So make sure you hit subscribe so you don’t miss it.

Yeah. Again, a big shout out to the SPI Pro members who created content here on the Friday episodes last month. That was incredible. And we’re gonna be continuing to ask the SPI Pro members, and there’s a lot of new members coming in. In fact, we are closely approaching our membership limit. That’s right. We are going to place a limit, a cap, on the number of members that we will allow in.

We’re not there yet, but we are slowly approaching it. And so I recommend you apply to SPI Pro right now. So you can get your application in to see if it’s the right fit, because we don’t want you to miss out if that cap is hit. Why is there a cap? Because if we grow this infinitely large, it is going to deteriorate as far as the experience that our members will have.

Our team is going to either need to grow huge to support that, or they’re going to burnout. We don’t want that to happen either. So we’re gonna have a nice tight-knit group in there. We want you to be a part of it, head on over to SPI Pro, then you’re gonna be able to check out to see if that’s the right fit for you.

Get accepted. You get in, you get in before the cap, and then it’s gonna be very difficult to get people in because we’re gonna let people in as people come out. Right? We only let people in once per quarter. So make sure to check out SPI Pro at

Thank you so much. I appreciate you. And we’ll see you in the next one. Cheers.

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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