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SPI 694: Two Weeks from Today, It’ll Be Done

What is the experience you create for your audience? How do you imagine customers reacting to your products? What do your ideal reviews and testimonials sound like?

These questions are always running through my mind. Now more than ever, I’m obsessing over them because my first in-person event in the Pokémon space is just two weeks away (as I’m recording this episode). If you haven’t already, listen in on sessions 622 and 688 to learn more about Card Party!

You see, even with ticket sales going very well and many sponsors supporting us, we might still lose a lot of money on this first event. But that’s okay!

My main goal with Card Party is to deliver unforgettable moments for our attendees and celebrate this incredible community in a unique way. This is why I’m going over every detail and doing my best to create a special experience.

But, while that’s happening behind the scenes, detractors have been popping up online. Tune in to find out how I’m handling this challenge and why I can’t wait for their honest reviews after the event!

Bold actions get bold results. Join me to find out more!

SPI 694: 2 Weeks from Today, It’ll Be Done

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, if a real Back to the Future 4 movie comes out, he’d riot. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Alright. Oh my gosh. We are just two less than two weeks away from Card Party, if you’ve been following along. During these Friday episodes, I like to sometimes give you lessons that further the discussion that we had on Wednesdays last week. We had a really great Friday episode that kind of went further to the Donald Miller interview that we had the previous Wednesday in 691, and sometimes I’d just like to give you an update on some of the things that I know that you’ve been following along with, or if you haven’t been, that’s okay.

I’ll get you updated real quick. And today, like I mentioned, we are less than, actually two weeks from now, a Card Party will be done. Card Party is a live event that I’m hosting in the Pokemon community in Anaheim, California, June 9 to 11. So by the time this episode comes out, this event will have already been over.

You could probably go to YouTube and find accounts and find videos and reviews of this event, which is really scary, but also exciting to think about. It’s at this point in the journey before I launch anything new that I often try to visualize how I want the experiences to be. This is what I did when I got on stage for the first time in 2011.

This is what I did when I started writing books in 2013, when I wrote my book Will It Flying 2015 when Superfans came out and we launched it at FlynnCon in 2019. These visualizations are amazing exercises so that you can almost reverse engineer how you want people to feel about something, right? And that way it removes the focus from what it is that you’re creating and it turns the focus on, well, what is what you’re creating do for somebody? What is the experience that that thing does? So at this point, you know, we’ve done all the planning we can. It’s almost the calm before the storm, if you will. I’m recording this on Memorial Day. And tickets are rolling in.

We’re approaching 2000 people coming to this event. We just sold our last dealer booth, which is wild. That’s a 10 by 10 space inside of the event hall that that we just sold out, which is crazy. You might think that I’m rolling in the money with this event, which is not true because of the way it’s set up and with the hotel and because a lot of people coming are local and not staying at the hotel.

We have a hotel block that we owe and we’re not gonna fill in all the spots there. So we will owe money to the hotel afterwards and very likely to not break even. In fact, there is a chance that we will be mid five figure to even potentially six figures depending on negotiations and stuff in the hole, which is fine because in the first year of an event like this, that is a long-term event that we wanna put on.

We knew, we know it’s an investment. My partners and I know it’s an investment. And so I’m just, I’m just being real with y’all. But the hope is that we create this really amazing experience such that not just the fans wanna continue to come back. And of course, the creators, the YouTubers who are being featured at this event will want to come back and it becomes a nice area and space for them to connect with each other and to film content in a way that they won’t have normal access to in the home, hometowns, et cetera.

But also the sponsors, a lot of the sponsors coming to this are not sponsoring in a way that they would normally sponsor, right? They’re either offering a smaller dollar amount than what we initially planned and or products instead to sort of subsidize that, which of course when you have a budget and you have sponsors on the line and they, you know, we plan for that, and then they come in under, that’s gonna be, you’re gonna be in the red a little bit.

And so that’s kind of why we’re in the red. And, and, and again, it’s just establish these amazing relationships with these sponsors so that they’ll want to come back and perhaps if they enjoyed it, throw down more the next time. And then over time, you know, we don’t need to be profitable on this first year, what we do need to is have an ROI on experience, right?

The time and effort and money, sweat, blood, and tears that we’re putting into this, we want an ROI with experience and joy and happiness, and that’s what we want to create at Card Party. So for those of you who don’t know exactly, Card Party is an event that I’m hosting that features the creators of the YouTube world in Pokemon.

Right? Super niche, right? Pokemon event, but not just Pokemon, like the trading card game, the anime, the, the video games, just the cards. And within the cards, not just, you know, people who collect cards, specifically the people who are also watching these amazing YouTubers. And I’m just so grateful cuz a lot of these YouTubers who I’ve pitched this to believe in the event, they believe in the positioning of it.

They believe in what we’re trying to put together here. It is something kind of unique in this space. And they’re coming without even having to pay them, which is, which is great. So I wanna pay them back with ROI and experience. And you know, I was getting really nervous the other day and somebody told me, Pat, like, what are you so worried about?

Like, you’re gonna rock it out. And I was like, oh, but there’s so many things to plan and so many activities happening and I wanna make sure everybody has good time and you know, I’m stressing out. I am not gonna lie. But I’m trying to channel that energy into good energy. We still have a lot of, I have a few things that I still have to check off the list as far as what exactly is gonna happen at certain moments.

We have the agenda planned out. We have all the people who are coming planned out, but there’s certain sort of hour blocks on stage where I have to design experiences on stage, and the details aren’t a hundred percent fully fleshed out yet. So even while I was saying that, I’m like, oh my gosh, what am I doing?

But it’s okay. It’s okay because this person told me when I was telling them how nervous I was getting, they were like, Pat, as long as you have all the right people in the room, you could have an empty space and we’d still all have a good time. And I was like, really? And they’re like, yeah, which makes sense, right?

If I’m with my buddies and some people, I, I’d love to meet all in the same room, it doesn’t even really matter what’s going on, as long as it’s like not annoying. So hopefully Card Party’s not annoying. I had a person on Twitter the other day basically call me out, say, This event’s too expensive, right?

This is another thing that happens. People who can’t come or don’t believe in it are gonna start some stuff and this person did. And I’m very grateful for this kind of feedback because it means that for many, the positioning may might not be what we think it is. So we are positioning this to be much, much different than a lot of the other experiences that are out there as far as events are concerned.

It’s not just a big giant room and then we don’t have like celebrity singers coming to, you know, do shows and stuff like that. This is really more about connecting the fans and the creators together. The creators and the creators together, and to have fun activities that are for families. Those things don’t exist in the other spaces and one big advantage we have, but this person, he stepped up and he said, Pat, this is like, twice as expensive as it should be, this other conference is much cheaper and they do more things.

Why is yours more expensive? So again, I could write 50 pages of differentiation of why our, I think our, our events can be better, but also after realize that, well, okay, this other event’s been around for many more years. They have a lot more money to work with. So of course they have a bigger bank to pull from to do these other things.

But secondly, we don’t need those things. Right, I don’t actually ever want Chuck Norris at my event or anything like that, right? What? Why? That just feels like filler, right? That’s almost like in the internet marketing. It’s like, oh, and there’s this bonus, and there’s this bonus and this bonus that has nothing to do with the initial offer, but we’re throwing it in there to sweeten the deal.

Why are we doing that? Right? I’ve learned to stop doing that. I learned that early on versus let’s just create an amazing experience. And I actually, guess what? I reached out to this person via DM and I said, yo, why don’t you just come, I’ll give you a ticket, and you come and you see for yourself. So two things could have happened at this point.

One, in my head, and I learned this from Ramit Sethi actually, cuz he did this once for somebody who didn’t wanna pay for his courses. So one thing that could have happened was be, oh, I, I can’t actually make it that day, you know? And then it’s like, Why are you complaining about the ticket price when you can’t even make it yourself?

Right? But I think this person’s gonna come, and I’m glad because oftentimes if you can prove yourself and you can turn around a hater, and he was being respectful. I mean, it was still, less on the constructive side and more on the opinionated side. But, you know, he wasn’t calling me any names or anything like that.

So I, I appreciated that it was respectful, sort of calling out of, if you will. So I respectfully reached back out to him and I said, Hey, why don’t you come? And so I think he’s gonna come. I hope he does. So it’s on him, the balls in his court now. And the cool thing is I want, I want his experience to be great.

And if it’s awesome, guess what? He’s probably gonna turn around. Or there is the possibility, at least I, I actually told him like, in exchange for the free ticket, I’d love to get your honest opinion about the event after it’s done. And hey, he still might not like it. And guess what? I’m not gonna create an event for everybody.

I can’t. There’s gonna be some people out there who just, your event, your book, your course is just not made for. And that’s okay. But it was obvious that this person maybe just didn’t quite understand what we were trying to go for. So I feel like there’s a possibility and this is worth it to me to gift this person, this ticket in exchange for what could be a potentially amazing testimonial from somebody who had once doubted the show. Right. Can you imagine that testimonial? You know, I reached out to Pat, I was like, dude, this, this thing seems way too expensive. Like why? Like I was so doubtful, but I went and I saw just how much detail was put into everything and it was, it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in an event ever.

It’s different than anything else, right. That’s the visualization that I have with regards to that comment. Whew. So we’ll see. So that was also motivation for me to get my butt into gear to make sure the event’s even better, right? This, this only happened like last week, so of course the event was already planned and it’s already happening, but it’s even got me more fired up, like, let me deliver on this.

And you know what? If, if we deliver and it still doesn’t meet his expectations, then great. Then I’m going to get that feedback and learn and make the second event even better, thanks to him. So there’s no loss there for me. There’s no loss in my opinion, so I want you to consider that and how I sort of changed the story and how I actually turned this troll.

No, he, no, sorry, let me take that. He wasn’t trolling, he was being quite opinionated and was spraying that opinion in multiple places. But again, I could see this as being something really advantageous to, to have, and I’m grateful that, that he’s coming or I hope, I hope he does come. If, if not, then I’ll be actually quite sad and I’ll be like, bro.

I gave you a free ticket and you didn’t come. So again, I have the advantage I feel, and if the event’s not good, then guess whose fault that is. That’s my fault too. And then I deserve that, right? So nothing, there’s no loss. Then I can learn from that experience too. Anyway, designing for experience, right?

That’s the big difference with this event. Thinking about it from a parent’s perspective, from a YouTube viewer’s perspective, from a card collector’s perspective, and, you know what was cool about this is my team, big shout out to Dan Franks and Dan Norton as well on my team who went to events to experience what it was like.

I did the same thing. Here’s where these events are falling short. Here’s where our event could learn from these other events and make it even better for the people who are there. Here’s how we help parents and how we take care of their kids while they’re at this event. Here’s how we make people feel safe at this event.

Here’s how we can engage people throughout the entire thing, right? Here’s how we make these panels a little bit more interesting for people. Again, these are all hypotheticals because they haven’t happened yet. But what’s really cool is that the ticket sales have validated this. Number one, the sponsors coming in and the fact that we’ve sold out all the vendor booths is validating and the other creators coming.

I’m just so grateful for all of them. I mean, there’s man, this, this, this is why I’m hosting this event. I don’t have to host this event, right? I have a successful YouTube channel. It’s growing, it’s generating income, and I’m just putting money back into this community. So, technically, I don’t have to do this, but I feel like as somebody who has business experience, who has event experience, who has the ability, and you know, I am a little bit older in this space compared to some of the other creators, so let me step up, let me step up and create the event that doesn’t exist yet.

The one that I would want to go to, and we’ve had a lot of manpower behind the production of this. We’ve had so many people involved, the creators coming in and believing in in, in this message. It just is like, Okay. It’s set up for success, so will it be successful? I sure hope so. We shall see. But I’m just so grateful for, even the ability to here on SPI share this journey with you and hopefully it helps you think of like, oh, wow, like Pat’s putting himself into these situations.

He’s, he’s taking bold actions to get bold results. That’s really what it is, and I need to continue to set that example for you. It’s why I haven’t “rested on my laurels” because that would not be, a good leader does not do that. A good content creator does not do that, and I, I feel like I do have a special, unique ability here in the entrepreneurial space to have the time thanks to the team and space and money and resources to try other things and then share them with you, right?

So this is why I, I, I continue down this journey and the, probably the next time you hear from me in a few weeks we’ll be post-event and we’ll do a quick recap. We’ll talk about all the things, and we’ll hopefully share some learnings to make the next year even better, and, and if there is a next year and, and we’ll go from there.

So, whew, man, that was a doozy, but thank you so much for the support and I think there might be a few of you coming, a few SPI audience members like I’m, I’m talking maybe like a dozen have said that they were gonna come and, and, and share this experience with me. And I just love that, like the fact that you wanna get involved and, and kind of see how it all goes down firsthand.

And hopefully it doesn’t go down, but only goes up from here. So thank you for the support. Card Party, if you wanna check out the website in case you haven’t seen this yet,, you shall see what happens. All right? That’s it for me today. Appreciate you and we’ll see you next week. Bye.

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!

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