Top iTunes Business Podcast

47+ Million Downloads

SPI 676: Why This Had to End

There’s something I need to tell you. With over 1,200 episodes published since 2014, AskPat is no more.

That’s right. I’m ending a podcast that has amassed tens of millions of downloads and has brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship earnings.

In this session, I want to walk you through this important decision. You see, sometimes letting go is the only way to grow. With this being a year of hyper-focus for us at SPI, we’ve had to audit how we spend our time and make many tough choices. AskPat, a show I absolutely loved recording, had to make room for the new and better ways we now serve our audience.

You’ll hear me get nostalgic today, but I also share the lessons learned along the way. Publishing a podcast for so long wouldn’t have been possible without the valuable guidance I received from my friend John Lee Dumas. Today, I’ll take you back to the Starbucks in Mira Mesa, where our game-changing chat started my AskPat journey.

Tune in to hear the story and find out what’s next for us at SPI!

SPI 676: Why This Had to End

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, his son’s a teenager now, and with that, a lot of new challenges up ahead. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Hey everybody. Pat here. I need to tell you something. My other podcast AskPat, which has been up since 2014, with over 1200 episodes recorded, tens of millions of downloads, hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship earnings over time is now gone. Well, it’s still there, but I’ve stopped producing episodes for it, and I wanted to share why we, as a team, made this decision where it comes from, why, and more importantly, what you can learn from it.

Now, it was successful for sure. AskPat was one of the most fun projects that I’ve ever created. I remember the start of it. It takes me back to Starbucks in Mira Mesa, which is where I grew up. And John Lee Douma was in town. He was still living in San Diego at the time, and I invited him out for coffee cuz I needed to ask him a really important question.

And that question was, John, how in the world are you producing seven podcasts a week? I can barely keep up with just one. And he said he outsourced it. He created a system, standard operating procedure. He has an assistant and and an editor and all that good stuff. And he just turned it into a machine because I told him I wanted to create this other podcast called AskPat on top of this podcast that you’re listening to right now, which started in 2010, but we’re here in 2014.

And I’m like, I don’t even have any room to create any more episodes or any anything because I’m doing everything myself. And he’s like, outsource it. And I pushed back initially, but I asked him a lot of questions. And John being, John was very open with his process as he always is. And he just told me how it went.

And that’s the point that I discovered that there are people out there who can do things a lot faster and better than I can. Not that I thought I was good at everything, but it was my podcast and, and my baby. And I was like, well, I don’t want anybody else touching things I’m doing right because those are mine.

But the truth is, AskPat got off the ground because I was finally open to allowing help to come in. That was all on me. Just letting go, really letting go to grow. Yeah, so big kudos and thank you to John cuz that that was life changing and it was at that point that we had a five day a week episode, or five episodes per week, excuse me, five day a week.

Yeah, that makes sense. Anyway, yeah, five episodes per week, not quite seven like John. But thanks to not only the editing process and the publication process now with AskPat, but we were able to answer a lot of people’s questions. Thanks to you. All the questions that were coming. We tested and validated AskPat on SPI first. We for a few episodes, took questions at the end of the podcast that came in from the audience and I answered them. They often didn’t have anything to do with the exact topic of that podcast episode, but they were still valuable to answer those questions, and we got a lot of feedback. A lot of people loved that segment. A lot of people didn’t feel like it was right, however, for episodes about certain things that it wasn’t about.

In fact, a lot of people in my mastermind group said, Hey, this could be good in its own thing. You know, you should keep the podcast episode about what the podcast episode is about, but you could potentially serve your audience in a radical kind of way, answering these questions every single day. So that’s what I did for five days a week, and so Monday to Friday, a 8 to 12 minute podcast episode would come out, and I had the genius idea of featuring the voices of the community.

I didn’t want to just reread their questions. I wanted the questions themselves. So this is when I discovered the tool SpeakPipe, which still exists. You could use Google Voice for this, but I like SpeakPipe big shout out to them. They, they really helped out in the beginning for sure. SpeakPipe allows you to send a link to somebody to then record something and you get that recording back.

You can set the time limit on it and, and all that good stuff. And, It comes your way as an MP3 file, which then you can drop into a podcast episode and then just follow up with an answer. So I did that and I, we had a really good system and it was incredible for years. When we got to episode 1000, after a few years, it didn’t take that long.

Still a long time, but you know, a thousand comes really quickly when you’re doing five episodes per week. I started to notice that a lot of the questions that were being answered were literally the same, just asked by different people. The AskPat podcast became an amazing resource, especially for our customer service team and, and my assistant Jess, who would often look for these questions that people offered via email.

And instead of just randomly, or not randomly, but responding with text only, we would just respond with, Hey, yeah, we actually answered a question already on AskPat episode 647, and it was cool because people could hear the answer right away more quickly they could hear it in my voice, and they also heard a member of the community who was just like them, which was really cool.

Now when we got to a thousand episodes, I was like, I don’t wanna keep answering the same exact questions cuz we already have answers to them and I needed to go deeper with the audience. So we changed the format to a five day per week episode to a one day per week episode. But it would go deeper. It’d be more like a coaching call.

So AskPat, but it would be. A live coaching call that you would listen in on. And that was very successful for 260-ish episodes. And it was, it was some of the most fun that I’ve had. We even brought a lot of those people who were coached back and we saw their progress and we kept up with them over time.

And I would recommend listening to those. Those are my absolute favorite episodes. But this year we decided to do an audit on where all of our time goes in the business. And for me in particular, I realized that a lot of my time was being spent on things that weren’t moving the business as much as they once used to. And AskPat was a part of that audit process.

We started to determine how many hours it would take and no, it wasn’t very many hours. I had the system down. If I had one episode per week going out, that was one 30 minute call. Plus a little bit of moving files to Dropbox from there. So this is like 30 minutes a week, two hours a month. But it wasn’t just that we had to, you know, also promote AskPat.

We also had to field questions that were coming in and coaching calls, and we had to work around schedules to make sure that we were able to get in with each other on Squadcast to be able to record these conversations. There were technical hiccups every once in a while, all parts of the process here and there, which are going to happen, but do happen nonetheless.

And so it just made sense to, in this year of hyper-focus for our business. You might have noticed that SPI has become hyper-focused lately, specifically around the All Access Pass, which has proven to be literally the best thing that we’ve ever launched. The feedback that we’re getting from people in there, especially those who participate in the accelerators and in the workshops, you know, groups of people going in through a course together, and the ability for you to have access to all the courses at the same time, but have guidance through them so you’re not overwhelmed. It’s what we feel is the future of online education and we’re trying to take the lead there and in order for us to best serve you, in order for us to make that even better, in order for us to lead the charge even more, we’ve had to get real with exactly where our time is going. And so, although it was a hard decision, it also wasn’t that hard of a decision. It was really easy for me to let go of AskPat, and it was one of those things that I’ve learned now across the 15 years of doing business for myself.

As CEO and as the, you know, person with, you know, still being front face on, on the brand, in many cases, we gotta maximize the ROI from the time that we put in. And saying no to something means you are committing a yes to something else. And just because I’m 1200 episodes in doesn’t mean I have to keep going.

If you asked old me or younger, old me, younger me? If you asked me a while ago, whether, you know, 600 episodes in perhaps that, that I could imagine stopping it the answer would’ve been No way. Like, I’m already this many in, I’m gonna keep going. This is in my nature to do that, I went live for 365 days straight on YouTube.

Shout out to all the Income Stream viewers, by the way, that community was awesome. Over the years, I’ve realized that when you opt out of something, even though you’ve dedicated time into it, that there, there’s this thing called sunk cost fallacy. That just because you put that much time into it does not necessarily mean that it is the right decision right now.

But you can’t just make that snap decision. You need to make it with other people who can read the label outside of the bottle that you’re in to help you poke holes in the plan that you might have. And, and that’s what we had. We had a team meeting specifically about this very decision, and it was very, very clear overall that it was the right decision to make.

And although I’m saddened that AskPat has been put to a pause, it is still there to listen to. It is still there to enjoy. There’s still so many incredible stories told and answers to questions that are still relevant today. In fact, almost every episode still. But with this, I now spend more time inside of SPI Pro.

With this extra time, I have a lot less clutter in my head of small things here and there that I have to do or that are on my list, and the things that are on my list are pruned down to those things that I know are going to be of most use and, and have the biggest ROI. Not just ROI in in money but ROI in service that I could provide to the audience, which then in turn does have the ROI of money.

So I hope that just provides a little bit of insight and, and hopefully some inspiration for you because you might have to do some trimming yourself. Right. And no, it wasn’t that. I was like, oh, I’m tired of AskPat, no, I wasn’t tired of it at all. I could have kept going. It wasn’t like, it wasn’t sparking joy.

No. Every single conversation I had on the podcast was in fact sparking joy. But there are way more things that in our business right now, need more of my attention, more of my full focus. And so it was easy for me to, to let go of it, but it’s still there. Will I go back to it? Probably not, but I could if I wanted to, but I’m won’t. But I could, but I’m not.

Anyway, I love y’all. Thank you so much for listening in. I hope this provides, I, I know, you know, a lot of you love the stories that I tell and the insights that I offer, but I also know you love to hear just like the reasonings behind reasonings. Reasoning behind decisions we make as a team and, and, and that I make personally as well.

So my decision right now, Is to recommend the All Access Pass to you one more time cuz I’m never gonna stop talking about it cuz it’s amazing. Trust me, you, you can even just give it a shot and try it. I appreciate you. I love you. I’ll see you in the next episode.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!

Share this post

Smart Passive Income Podcast

with Pat Flynn

Weekly interviews, strategy, and advice for building your online business the smart way.

Get Unstuck in just 5 minutes, for free

Our weekly Unstuck newsletter helps online entrepreneurs break through mental blocks, blind spots, and skill gaps. It’s the best 5-minute read you’ll find in your inbox.

Free newsletter. Unsubscribe anytime.

Join 135k+