AskPat 124 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 124 of AskPat.
Number one, just thank you, thank you so much for joining me today. Number two, if you have a second, head on over to iTunes and please leave a review for AskPat. It helps out the show so much. And number three, if you have a second to download the iOS application for AskPat, head on over to AskPat.com/app. Again, that's AskPat.com/app. That app will be a one stop shop for all AskPat, Smart Passive Income, and all Pat Flynn content, blog, podcast, all that good stuff in one spot. And it's completely free. So again, AskPat.com/app. There you go. Okay, now let's get today's question from James.
James: Hey Pat, this is James in rural Kentucky. Huge fan of your show. I love your uniqueness that you bring to the table. You actually inspired me to start my own web design business on the side of my full time job. But my question is, did you take any business classes to prepare yourself, whether it's before or after Green Exam Academy or after you started Smart Passive Income? If you did, what sort of direction would you steer somebody in? If not, how did you do it? Was it just like learning or doing it off the cuff, learning by doing sort of method? Once again Pat, love your show and I hope this question gets answered.
Pat Flynn: Hey James. Thanks so much for this question and also for the kind words and inspiration. And I'm so—it's so cool to hear that you started something as a result of the stuff that I did. I mean, that's why I do what I do, to hear things like that and I really hope your web design business does really, really well. I wish you all the best. Thank you, James, again.
Now, to answer your question. Have I ever taken any business classes? Well, let's go back to college. In college, I took one business class. It was Business 101, or Business One actually, at Berkeley. And you know, to be honest, it didn't really teach me much as far as stuff that I apply today in all my business. And maybe it was because I just didn't learn very much or I didn't want to learn. I was a college student and it didn't really teach me very much. And I know I've spoken with other people who have even a Masters in business. There's nothing like actually doing it to teach you. I mean seriously, and I've said this in the past before, there's nothing like experience to teach you what it is you need to do to succeed. This is something that I experienced when I graduated with a degree in architecture and I stared working in an architecture studio. It had—you know seriously, nothing was like actually being there. I learn more in that first week than I did in four years of college, to be honest. And not to say college was a waste, it wasn't. It was great for learning and, you know, trying to learn how to learn better, for one. Time management and also all the social stuff that went on. And it just made me a better, more confident person and a leader.
Now business classes after I became successful or after I started my own online business or as I was taking and starting my own online businesses, I did take some online business courses. I didn't necessarily take any business classes. You know, there are business classes you can take. You can go to your local Score company or go to your local Score organization. If you go to Score.org you can take a class that could help you connect with people in your community who are looking for information on how to start a business.
But I did take one course when I first started. You know, I guess you could call it a class. It wasn't in person thought. It was online course called Internet Business Mastery. And I did pay for that; it was a premium. I was paying $97 a month. I don't know what the cost is now. But it did teach me a lot about the ins and outs of online business and it kept me focused. It kept me going step by step through the process. I had done a lot of the stuff that I needed to do when I got into that course, so I skipped a lot of the beginning parts of how to set things up because I already had a business. But a lot of it was very helpful. And I think the most helpful part of it, you know, was the actual community that I was involved with in that course, the Internet Business Mastery Academy community. The people I met there were just so incredibly helpful. And their real life experiences that they shared with me, the tips that they had for me and my situation were very, very, very helpful, probably more helpful than the content in the course. The content in the course was great, don't get me wrong. But there's nothing like having other people tell you what it is that they're seeing when they look at your business, and what it is that you could do to improve based on their own experiences. I mean, that's why I'm in three completely different mastermind groups that meet each week with people who hold me accountable, with people that push me and keep me going. And you know, I push them just the same as well.
I think more important than taking courses or classes—I mean, I think it's a great idea to invest in your own education for business, don't get me wrong, it's completely important. But I think what is even more important than that is getting connected with the right people. And I think that's where going to a conference, for example, an online business conference or a conference related to the niche that you're into, you can meet other people who are doing what it is that you're doing or who share the same values as you or who could at least speak the same language as you. I know that's a lot of things that we all as entrepreneurs don't always get, you know, just at home or in our local area. But going to conferences is a great way to meet people. And when you go there with the intention of building real relationships, not just the intention of being like “Hey this is what I do. Would you share it? Or would you be a client? Or would you do this or would you do that?” No. Just go there to meet people and introduce yourself and do what you can do to help them in turn. Likely, those people are going to help you. That's what's really, honestly given me the most bang for my buck, is going to these conferences and meeting people and being open and understanding of just what goes on, you know?
I've gone to conferences in the past where I pay for a ticket and I don't even go into any of the presentations because I'm there to really build real relationships with people, make real connections, and you never know. It could just be that one connection that you make that can really take your business to the next level. So again, business classes are great. Courses, fantastic. But nothing is more important to me than meeting and connecting with other people.
Now, it just so happened that that first online business course that I took with Internet Business Mastery, there was a community in there where I hooked up with a lot of people as well. So you know, if you can find a course or a class where you can definitely connect with other people and stay connected with them and created these mastermind groups and you know, build relationships that can take you and your business to the next level, you know, then it's a double win for you. But for anybody out there looking for courses or looking for business classes, I think the best thing to do would be to again, start with the people in and around your niche and ask them what has helped them. Of course, you might be doing something different than me, and what is helpful for me would be different for you. So start with people who you know are where you're at and tell them what it is that you want to achieve and ask them if they know anywhere that you can get help like that. Another good thing—you know, again, this is beyond classes and even beyond going to conferences—is finding a mentor. Finding a mentor and having somebody to be there to sort of help push, help take you to the next level. You know, not just in a group setting like in a mastermind situation, but a real person who sort of takes you under their wing.
You ask a lot of great entrepreneurs, they'll tell you that they've had people who are their mentors. I've had mentors myself too. Not official mentors where I could say, “This person really took me under their wing and they kept track of me. They pushed me.” I didn't have an official mentor. But I had a lot of unofficial mentors. I had a number of people that I've looked up to in the past who—I almost felt like if I was in a situation, I would pretend in my head to ask them or pretend that they would tell me to act a certain way. Or I would be like, “Hey what would this person do in this situation?” So I looked at those people as mentors that way. And I think that has taught me a lot because I look at them—I even have gone so far as to ask them for help at times. But you know, there was never any official mentor / mentee relationship, as important as I do think that is. I think that's the ultimate form of education is getting that mentor / mentee relation if possible. And how do you do that? You just ask. You find people. You, again, develop relationships with people and if you and somebody else click—and they might be ahead of where you're at, you know—you could just simply ask them. The worst that could happen is they say “No.” And I think you have to realize that.
So if you go to conferences and you ask people to become your mentor or you even take these online classes, it might be scary. This is the final thing I'm going to talk about. It might be scary to do those things. But what happens if you don't do those things? I really want you to think about, what are you missing out on if you don't take action on those things? Is it worth putting your fears in front of these possible things that might happen as a result of doing amazing things with the help of these classes, these conferences, or these mentors? When you think about it like that, I always tend to just put those fears aside and keep moving forward. Because really, it's those bold actions that keep us moving forward, seriously. Bold actions, those things that we almost feel uncomfortable doing. You know, if you just stay in your comfort zone you're going to stay with the same results you always get, seriously.
So, James, I know that was a lot more than just, “Hey, have you taken any classes,” or do I have any advice? But I think I sort of covered an array of education as far as you and your online business and I hope this helps. So James, thank you so much for your question. Best of luck to you and your new online business and, you know, your side hustle which could eventually become your main hustle. An AskPat teeshirt is going to be headed your way.
Those of you listening, if you have an AskPat question, head on over to AskPat.com. I'd love to hear it and as always, I'm going to end with a quote of the day. And this quote is actually an Irish proverb and that quote is: “You've got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.