When I was a kid, when I was in school, I was afraid to ask questions. I worried that I'd look silly in front of my friends, that I'd get made fun of, or that I'd reveal something I didn't know (that I should).
I'm here to tell you that your entrepreneurial journey shouldn't be like that. Asking questions, particularly at the start of my own journey, was a huge part of why I was able to go on and have success. We just had someone on the show earlier this week, Mary Barbera, a student of mine, who has risen to a new level of success now by doing the same — asking questions. And if you can get access to a group of people where you can ask questions related to what you're after, that's even more powerful.
It's just you and me today, so let's dig in.
- Why having a place to ask questions is critical in your business journey
- Why you shouldn't be ashamed to ask questions
- What true failure really is
SPI 484: The #1 Most Efficient Way to Succeed on Your Business Journey
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 he had to choose one and one only, it would be the Super Nintendo - Pat Flynn!
One thing I had to get comfortable with on my journey to success is asking a lot of other people questions. And if you listen to last week's Follow-up Friday, you'll know that we talked about how much of an introvert I am. Well, this relates to that, because it was very difficult for me to not just ask other people questions, it's very difficult for me to just go up to anybody and talk about anything, really. So, if you haven't caught last week's Follow-up Friday episode after speaking with FBI negotiator Chris Voss, author of Never Split the Difference, I highly recommend you listen to that one too. But this one's going to be even more important, because once you finally muster up the courage to chat with somebody, how do you make this chat, in a way, purposeful?
Now obviously, you don't want to necessarily always have an agenda when talking with somebody. You don't go up to somebody at a conference and say, "Hey, I need something from ya." I hope you don't do that, unless you're friends and maybe joking around. But there are times when you actually should have an agenda, especially when you need some help, and the agenda should be, "Hey, how do I...?" Or, "What do I do?" Or, "What are my next steps?" Or, "Can you help me with this?"
And, if you can get access to people who can answer questions for you along the way, you're going to be that much further ahead, especially if you're asking those questions to the right people. One thing I'm very grateful for is when I started online business, I became part of a community called the Internet Business Mastery. It's not around anymore, or it may be, but it had not been around for a while, it could have come back, but - this was thanks to Jason and Jeremy, hosts of the Internet Business Mastery podcast, and the IBM podcast.
And they created something when I was learning about online business called The Academy, and their academy was where you could sign up for, I think it was $97 a month. And I had just gotten laid off so that was a lot of money, but I knew that getting access to people I trusted was really important. And not only did I get access to content and step-by-step instructions on how to get started, but I also got a little bit of access to them and other people in the community. So, it became very, very clear to me that if I just went through the content material and did the homework and went through all the things that I would have gotten somewhere, but there were moments where I was getting stuck.
There were moments where I was getting de-motivated. I was feeling like maybe I couldn't do this anymore. And I'm very grateful that I had the courage to ask questions. And part of the reason why I did that was because I, number one, felt very comfortable asking questions in that kind of situation with those people who I got to know, they made us feel very comfortable not knowing what was going on and being there for support.
But the second thing was, just how much quicker I was moving, the faster I was getting answers. And it makes sense inherently, right? Hey, if you have a question and you get an answer, you're able to move forward faster. And so, one thing I started to do more and more of in this community, again that I felt very comfortable doing, was asking more questions and not being ashamed of that.
I figured, okay, if I maybe ask too many questions, they'll tell me, and nobody ever told me, so I kept asking. Now, I wasn't just asking and never getting anywhere, I was always asking questions that were related to my next thing to do. So, when I was writing an ebook, I said, "Well, how do I write an ebook?" "Well, just write it in Word." "Okay. Hey, I have a ebook written in Word, how do I format it?" "Oh, here's some documentation to help you for that." "Cool. Hey, now that I have this thing that's formatted and done, how do I actually sell this online?" "Oh, well there's a tool out there called-" At the time it was E-junkie, that everybody was recommending. Now there's a number of different tools, SamCart is my recommended digital delivery mechanism. SamCart: SmartPassiveIncome.com/samcart. Full disclosure, I'm not just an affiliate, I'm also an advisor for that company. Just thought I'd let you know.
And the cool thing was, not the same person was answering the questions for me, it was always somebody who had experienced with that thing, and it just makes sense. You can move a lot faster when you ask questions to people who have done the thing that you're trying to do. Because to you, you might be feeling extremely lost, but to them, if they've had experience, either having just gone through it, or having done it for years, it's going to feel like an easy answer for them.
And so I wanted to highlight this idea of asking more questions, not feeling ashamed of that. Because, in our interview this week with Mary Barbera, who is the author of Turn Autism Around, and you can listen to her podcast, the Turn Autism Around podcast, she's a student. She was a student of Power-Up Podcasting, one of our premium courses, I hope you check it out at some point. And, I remember her specifically because before she started her show, she was in office hours.
One thing that I like to offer - and this is actually directly inspired from Jeremy and Jason over at Internet Business Mastery, one thing that our premium students get is office hours with me. Two hours, every single week you can come on and ask questions and you get access to me and I answer your questions so that you can move on. And it's one of the many things, but I know one of the top reasons why people enjoy and rate our courses very, very well is because they get some access to me every single week, and they get their question answered and they get to move on. They don't have to feel lost.
And Mary I remember because she asked a lot of questions. And what I remember about her questions, number one, is not that they were so frequent. That's again, not a problem. But they were very, very specific, and I always realized that her questions were never the same. Every week I could tell she was doing something different, she was getting closer to her launch date so she was asking more questions about her launch, et cetera, and little did I know that she had gone away for a while and then she came back and was like, "Pat, I launched the podcast and guess what? I have hundreds of thousands of downloads now, and we're helping people all around the world with autism." And that's just so special. And again, it was not just because she asked a lot of questions, but she asked the right questions and she was able to turn around and take action.
So, Mary, I wanted to - I know I highlighted you in the last episode already, but I need to do it again, because you're awesome. You're changing the world, and you're one of our very own, you're a student of ours, and that's just so awesome. I'm just so happy for you, so proud of you, and your book as well, which just released, Turn Autism Around, and you can find it all on Amazon if you'd like. And at the time that I'm recording this, it is a number one best seller in your category right now. So, congratulations on that as well. I'm so proud of you. You are a hero.
So, ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask questions. I know what goes through your mind, because I felt the same thing. I think we are conditioned, especially us older folk, I guess I could call myself older folk, because there's a lot of young people out there doing some cool stuff now. Wow. I can't believe I'm saying that. Anyway, age doesn't matter. But I know that when I was in school - this is the whole purpose of this thing and it just derailed. But the whole purpose of saying this is, when I was in school, if you asked a question, you were more afraid of looking dumb than getting the right answer. So, you didn't ask the question, or you would hope somebody else would ask the question, or you would just hope to get lucky on the exam. You would just guess C, because that was the most common... I don't know, maybe it's not anymore, but I remember feeling very embarrassed.
I didn't want to look dumb in front of my friends. I didn't want the teacher to look down on me for not maybe knowing something that I should have known already. But in your journey of online business, there's no way for you to know what's going on, until you either do it and you either get the result you wanted or the lesson you needed, or you go out there and you find others who've done it before you. And guess what? There's been many, many more people who have done it before you, and that should encourage you because, number one, it's proven. People have done it before you. So why are you so special that you can't do it? You can do it too.
And number two, because there's people out there who have done this before you, they have experience that they could share - guess what? They've made the mistakes already and you don't have to, or if you do, you're not alone and you can get yourself out of those situations because other people have gone through them before, so you have nothing to worry about. The only thing to really worry about is not doing anything. That is true failure.
You feel me? You feel me? We're preaching today here on the SPI Podcast, because it's late at night here in my office, the kids and my wife are asleep, so I can yell a little bit. And I know that they're not going to hear me because typically if I'm recording during the day, my daughter is right on the other side of that wall over there I'm looking at, and she can hear me. She's even at the point now where if I say something and I do get a little bit loud and obnoxious, she'll text me and go, "Daddy, why are you yelling? I'm in school." Let's hope that she gets to, with her brother, go back to school, the physical school, next school year. We'll see. Anyway, don't be afraid to ask questions, kids, because the answers could be exactly what you want. And it could be something that you need to hear, and it could be something that could cut out so many hours of time, days over the course of a lifetime. Why wouldn't you do that? It's just silly.
I hope you enjoyed this Follow-Up Friday. As we do every Friday, we have a follow-up to the previous episode, which is an interview, so at the Wednesday interview this week, we interviewed Mary Barbera. Listen to that episode if you haven't already, episode 483. This is 484, my friends, and I'm looking forward to bringing back one of my favorites next week. Wednesday in episode 48 5, I'll have you guess who it is, but if it's there already, go ahead and click play on it, because it's going to be a good one I'm sure.
Cheers, take care. Thanks so much for listening in, and don't be afraid to ask those questions. Peace out, and as always, Team Flynn for the win.
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast SmartPassiveIncome.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Sound design and editing by Paul Grigoras. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess, our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.