AskPat 373 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 373 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
All right, here's today's question from Matt.
Matt: Hi, Pat. It's Matt from the U.K. here. My question for you is, how often do you need to check your moral compass? What I mean by that is … When for example, you're selling content or doing affiliate marketing or speaking engagements, etc., what's your process for making sure you don't represent something you may feel guilty about in the future, especially when it's tied to a lot of money? Thank you. Cheers.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Matt. What's up? Thank you so much for this question. And I love this question, because this is definitely something that all us have to do. We always have to check our moral compass. A lot of that begins with, understanding what it is that you do and why you do that. And really, your why is going to be your main driver for everything. And when you check in with yourself every once in a while, you have to be reminded, or remind yourself of what those “why”s are. And a lot of you know that my whys involve my kids, and the future of my kids, and being an example for my kids. With me, I often think about my children, when I make certain decisions in my business, whenever I come across a potential deal that may involve a lot of money, which does happen a lot. I do get a lot of people who want to sponsor my podcasts and offer top dollar for it. I do have a lot of people who want to be JV partners, joint venture partners with me, to help promote their products, and they're offering quite a bit of money, a substantial amount of money. I mean, literally, I can be making millions a month right now. But I choose not to do that, because those particular products just don't fit with what I want to share, with what my goals are, and who I want to be. A lot of those different programs … I'm not going to mention any specifically. But people would have a different opinion on who I was and what I represented, if I were to go down that route.
And you know, lot of you know that I'm very conscious about the products that I promote and that I select and share and recommend. And a lot of it involves me just making simple rules for myself that make sure that I don't go down that path, that I've seen a lot of other people go down. And honestly, some of those people used to be friends, people who I looked up to back in the day, when I was first starting out, who I really got inspired by, who I even became friends with. And when they found even bigger success, they went down the path that I didn't really believe in. They were starting to promote products that just didn't represent who I knew they really were. They were getting fazed by the money. They were getting bright-eyed by the money, and being directed by the money. And honestly, a lot of those people aren't my friends anymore, because those aren't the kind of people I want to hang out with. That's not the type of person I want to become. I want to hang out with people who I want to become. I want to surround myself with people who share the same values as me. And those aren't my people anymore, which is quite unfortunate. And I always surround myself with people who are there to motivate me, who will help me check in with my moral compass. Because a lot of times, it's going to be hard to do it on your own, and that's one of the things I worry about, is because this thing where they go down the wrong path, it just happened to them, and they didn't even really know it.
It's just, you know, money changes people, and I know that. And I have a lot of things in place to stop me from going down the wrong path. One of those things are the people I connect with and trust and can hold me accountable in my mastermind groups. And I do the same for them. And that's really important. My wife is a big factor in me making decisions in my business, because, you know, although I am the person on the front end of Smart Passive Income, she is the unsung hero, the most underrated player of team SPI, because she takes care of the kids, and she's obviously a part of the family, and everything I do trickles down to her. And what she does in the money for the family and all that stuff. You know, I do discuss a lot of what I do and what I plan to do with her, as well. And she gives me a good, realistic view of things sometimes, when I'm so deep and involved in something. She has a nice outside perspective on it, and asks me a lot of great questions. And it's nice, because she doesn't know everything that goes on. And that's good, because she can see it from a different point of view, and that's great as well.
But I think the biggest exercise that I conduct on myself is related to my kids, and thinking about them in the future. I think a lot of you have heard me talk about this before. But no, I imagined taking the DeLorean, 30 years down the road, when my kids have their own kids. And they get together, my son and my daughter, they get together at a café one day, and they start talking about, you know, their parents. You know, myself and my wife. And you know, my wife and I talk about our parents. And you know, thinking about those conversations that my kids are going to have about me, and having them think about these specific decisions that I'm a make. If I have a potential opportunity to go down a route that involves a lot of money, I'm imagining them talking about that: “Oh, well, that was great decision that Dad made, because it helped him do this. And I was really inspired by that.” Or maybe I go down that route and they end up talking and saying, “Wow, that was actually a terrible decision. I can't believe Dad did that. How stupid was that.” And, “He was just being led by the money.” And I think about that. And that's a great thought experiment. And that's my own method of checking in with myself to make sure I am following that moral compass.
And you know, a lot of it also has to do with the gut. A lot of it also has to do with the general feeling of how, you all will react as well. Now, the thing you have to know is, when you're selling stuff and you're creating stuff, not everybody is going to love what you do, and that's okay. But your general avatar, the people who are in your audience, you have to understand how they're going to respond with what you do, and if it's actually going to be helpful for them. I think that's another big thing is, is this thing that I'm using, that I'm going to recommend, actually going to help other people too? How is it going to do that? What will their experience be like through it? How can I make sure that they're going to have a great experience with it? That's why you see me do a lot of things, like talk in detail about certain products that I promote, actually create videos, showing you what it's like beforehand, which has a great byproduct of actually just getting you comfortable with what you're buying before you even get it. If you're doing any affiliate marketing, do that. That'll also get rid of any of those insecurities of you promoting something that they might not want, because a lot of people's purchases are based on trust with you. And if they buy without seeing what they're gonna get based on that trust, if you don't deliver, if that product doesn't deliver, then you've lost that trust.
That trust that you have with your audience is the most important thing, in terms of the success and growth of your business. Creating these videos and showing people beforehand what they're going to get before they get it, it increases that trust with me, in showing them exactly what they're gonna get. But it also shows them that, that's something they either want or don't want. And if they don't want it, great. I don't want them to get it and not want it. Or, I don't want them to buy it and purchase it and then not want it. I want them to see what it's like beforehand. These videos that I create, these podcast episodes with the owners of these companies that I end up promoting… You might have remembered me having Clay Collins on the show, when I talk about Leadpages. And Episode 78 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast was a huge success, not only because people got to know Clay and the owner of that company, Leadpages, but they also got a lot of great value from him, but also got to see what that product could do, and understood it more before getting involved with it. And a lot of people heard that episode, got involved with Lead Pages, and that's pretty cool. Being an advisor for the company, that's one of my roles is to help out in that way. And when you work with great companies, you know that you're delivering value. You know that it is in alignment with your moral compass.
Matt, I hope that answers your question and gives you some … You know, I don't want you to think about my kids and how they would think about your decisions. You have your own things going on in your life, in your own ways of checking in with what you're doing. And I would do that. And I do this quite often, actually. I do it whenever I make a … Whenever I'm met with a tough decision that isn't immediate, because a lot of what I do in my business is based on what I know what my why is and what the values are. You know, a lot of it is just automatic, based on what my goals are. But if I'm ever coming across a decision that's not immediate, based on my values and what I want to do for you guys, it's always that thought, the experiment that I have, like I talked about earlier. Your thought experiments and your checking in with yourself is going to be based on, you know, when those decisions happen. And I recommend checking in with yourself as much as possible. It's always healthy to do that, I believe.
Would love to hear what you guys think. If you have any thoughts on this, use the hashtag #AskPat373 on Twitter. We can talk about this even more. Matt, thank you for the question. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. And we'll send it over to the U.K. for you free of charge. You'll hear from my assistant in the next couple of weeks to collect your information for that. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, you know what to do. Just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thank you so much. I appreciate your time today, and here is a quote to finish off this episode by Richard Branson. He said, “You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.” Cheers. Take care, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat. Thanks, guys.