This week, we’re back with the second part of AskPat Live, a special event we put on at FlynnCon1 where I took a bunch of questions from the audience live on stage. Think of it as kind of a lightning round, or maybe a throwback to the original AskPat where I would answer just a single question each episode. For this part of the show, I was very fortunate to have longtime friend and frequent Smart Passive Income Podcast guest Chalene Johnson to help me out.
If you don’t know about Chalene, lucky you. She’s so amazing and inspiring and has been with me every step of the way as a fellow podcaster with her amazing podcast, The Chalene Show. Her book, 131 Method (Amazon link), has been a big help guiding me through my eating choices and boosting my energy levels. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.] The training she offers through the Marketing Impact Academy has helped so many entrepreneurs step up their game and find success. Long story short, she’s simply amazing and has so much good advice to offer our audience.
In this episode, we talk to Giana from FamilyFunTwinCities.com, Anita, host of the Wise Woman's Workplace Podcast, Anil from MarketingAutomationFocus.com, Doug from Doug Does Digital, and Katie from handprintlegacy.com. Chalene and I tackle some tough questions, from how to balance your entrepreneurship with being there for your family to when it’s a good time to hire extra help and how to do it successfully.
There’s so much there and I really hope this gives you a peek into just how amazing it was to be there at FlynnCon1. Next week, we’ll have the third part of AskPat Live with another amazing guest and even more questions. If you want to get in on the excitement, check out FlynnCon2.com. Tickets are already on sale, and they’re going quickly!
AskPat listeners get a thirty-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 1092 of AskPat 2.0. In the previous episode and in this episode and in the next episode it's sort of a three-part series based on a live show that was recorded at FlynnCon 1. That is my Team Flynn community event, the first one that ever happened in July here in 2019. We do have an event coming up next year. We already sold nearly a hundred tickets before event one even finished. So make sure you get your tickets now to FlynnCon2 if you want to join me.
But what you're about to listen to is part two where I bring on a special guest live with me on stage and she helps me answer some questions, too. We also dive a little bit into her story as well and it's a lot of fun. This is none other than my great friend Chalene Johnson who was our mystery guest Saturday night there at FlynnCon. So at FlynnCon, I don't announce the speakers until right before they come on stage. One of the fun things I do there. A lot of fun surprises at events like this. So again, if you want to get your tickets to FlynnCon2, all you have to do is go to FlynnCon2.com, but for right now, here we go. Myself and Chalene Johnson at AskPat Live at FlynnCon 1 in San Diego, California. Here we go.
Thank you guys for waiting patiently. We're going to get to as many questions as we can. We still got like an hour left, which is cool. So it's all good. But I wanted to bring a guest on, somebody who you've already seen speak today. She was amazing. I'm really excited because she has a lot of advice to offer too. So for those of you in line, you're going to be able to ask me and my great friend, Chalene Johnson. Hey, welcome back Chalene.
Chalene Jonson: Hey.
Pat: So we're going to take questions. You having fun?
Chalene: So much fun.
Pat: This is awesome.
Chalene: So great.
Pat: We're going to take some questions in just a minute, but I want to tell a couple of stories really quick and then we'll have you come up next. You've done a lot of special things for me. You've changed my life and my family's life and our lives to. Chalene's had a major impact on how this event is structured. Her event is very similar in terms of, it's a lot of Chalene and just how the setup is and how intimate it is and how much value is given. And so thank you for that inspiration.
Chalene: Thank you. Wow, what a compliment.
Pat: And you've also inspired me because you're a business woman and you're great at it, but you're also very devoted to your family and that's very inspiring to me as well.
Audience Member: Chalene, we love you.
Chalene: I love you too.
Chalene: I planted him.
Pat: Did you?
Chalene: Thanks, dad.
Pat: And then finally, I don't know if a lot of you know this, but the first time I really sold something ever—which was so scary. It was one of my courses. It was called Power-Up Podcasting. Any Power-Up Podcasting students in here?
Pat: Chalene came to me a couple of years ago and was like, “My community needs help with podcasting. Can you come speak at my event to talk about podcasting?” I was like, “I love your events, they're awesome. Your lifers are amazing.” And she was like,”"But there's one thing, you have to pitch a course.” And I was like, “Ah, I don't have a course to pitch on podcasting.” She's like, “Will you make one?” And I was like, “Should I make one?” And she's like, “You'd be crazy not to make one.” And I got so scared. I don't know if you remember we had conversations on Skype.
Pat: You had to coach me through the process of what it's like to actually sell something, especially on stage. Selling on stage to me was like a sin. I've been to conferences before where the entire time people are selling and pitching from stage and it just made me feel so icky and I was so scared going to that event because I was like, “I'm going to have to take like ten baths tonight after I say all this stuff.” Do you remember any advice that you gave me that . . . when we were working through that?
Pat: It was so—
Chalene: I said everybody wants to start a podcast right now and it would be rude of you not to help people do this because I mean, I started a podcast because of you. I learned everything in the beginning that I knew about starting an online business from sucking into his podcast. That's how I learned about Pat, that's how I learned about so many other experts. And I simply said to him, like, “There's so many people who are less qualified to teach this who are less authentic or less real. You have so much experience. It would be rude for you not to do this because they're going to fall into the hands of somebody who's far less qualified.” And he was like, “Okay.” And I said, “Don't sell it. Just come and just share your passion.”
Pat: See me. Don't sell me.
Chalene: Yeah. Yeah.
Pat: And what happened was I spoke on stage at Chalene's event and I delivered a lot of value. And then I went into the pitch and before the pitch was even over—
Chalene: Oh, this is so funny, please let me take over. So he . . . first of all, I mean you've all been in events where people offer whatever program it is they have available. I've never seen this happen. When he announced the price of his course, he got a standing ovation. And Bret and I looked at each other, we said, “This is going to be good.” And then the room emptied because everybody went to the back to buy the course and Pat was still going. He was just—and no one was looking at him. Everyone had their backs turned to him. They were all in the back buying the course and they were like eight people in the audience. And I mean, literally, we had to get a cane and put it around his neck and take . . . we were like, “You're done. You're done. Those people want to buy.” He's like, “What just happened?” I said, “You just . . . what you did is you didn't sell. And because of that, and you were so authentic, you didn't have to sell.” And that's why he was so confused by why everyone was at the back buying because he hadn't sold.
Pat: And we have learned from you to listen to the audience and then deliver what they need. And this is why this event is set up the way it is. This is why the SmartBar is the way it is. This is why we had a session today about ConvertKit and how to use that, which was awesome. Angel was amazing. And tomorrow we have a session with Teachable. [Full Disclaimer: I am a compensated advisor and affiliate for ConvertKit and Teachable.] And during that session I'm going to be offering something that I've never offered before because it was not my idea, it was from the audience. And so we're going to offer something tomorrow. You'll see at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, a solution that we know is going to be perfect for those of you who want to go and invest in that. It's going to be amazing. And for some of you, you're not ready for that. And that's okay. That's the other thing too—
Chalene: And we talked about that a little bit at dinner tonight, myself and my son Brock and my husband Bret, and we . . . when he told us the idea, which I won't spoil the surprise, but I high-fived and so did Brock. We said, “This is the thing so many people have been asking for and it's needed.” I think that's the takeaway is you're going to be successful if you solve the problem that people are telling you they have, as opposed to you deciding what people's problem is and they don't even know it's a problem. If you really listen to your audience, that's the best way to serve them because they will tell you what they're struggling with and how you can meet a need that's yet not been served in the industry.
Pat: That's where that confidence can come from. So for those of you who are struggling with selling, it comes from knowing who it is that you're selling to and what they need help with. So thank you again. You've changed my life.
Chalene: I love you.
Pat: Thank you.
Chalene: Thank you.
Pat: Let's get to some questions, yeah?
Giana Kordatzky: Hi, I'm Giana Kordatzky. Good to see you, Pat. Family Fun Twin Cities is my . . . what would you call it, website? FamilyFunTwinCities.com. I've got my two partners here with me at FlynnCon, which is so great and our question—I am the lone representative—our question is how can we convince people what they need? Because we're a website, so we sell advertising and we sell all kinds . . . no, let me rephrase that.
We don't sell anything. We let people advertise on our site, but mostly right now it's passive with our network, but we really want to grow our local businesses. How can we convince them without myself killing myself of this is what they need. Like you said Chalene, the one percent or whatever millennials buy with traditional advertising. They need to move from traditional advertising to things like our website. How do we put that into words so that I'm not killing myself personalizing—I don't know where that came from—everything?
Chalene: What is the problem that you solve?
Giana: We get them in front of young parents and our—
Chalene: Get who in front of young parents?
Pat: Small businesses in Minnesota.
Giana: Small local businesses.
Chalene: Okay. So the . . . that's what you do. What problem do you solve?
Pat: You're getting them more customers, yeah?
Giana: Yes. Thank you. Thank you Pat.
Chalene: If you're speaking in the voice of your customer. They're saying, “My problem is . . .”
Giana: My problem is I need to sell more memberships to my museum. I need to sell more memberships to my—
Chalene: My problem is I need more customers.
Chalene: We get you more customers.
Chalene: So it's also in how you position the problem that you solve. I always think that we often lead with the thing that we do, or what we offer, or sometimes even the transformation, when it's best to lead with the problem. Because when we lead with the solution, people don't know the solution or they would have already figured it out. So I think it's really important to lead with the problem and then sometimes you have to lead with what people assume the solution is. An example of that is with the Marketing Impact Academy— that's our program that teaches people how to start an online business—people assume the solution is more social media followers. I know that's not true, but I have to lead with that because that's what people believe the solution is. So I use that in my marketing. So listen to what your audience is telling you they think the solution is.
Giana: And then you start there?
Chalene: Yeah, it's just a matter of incorporating some of those words and terminology so that they're paying attention because that's what they think the solution is. Because if you're pitching to them a solution that they don't even know that's the solution. They don't—they're like, "That's not what I need because I need more customers or fill in the blank.”
Giana: Yeah, that makes sense.
Chalene: So you're there. I think it's just a matter of semantics when it comes to marketing.
Giana: That makes sense. And Pat, Maya says, “Thanks for all the advice and hi from Minnesota.”
Pat: Tell Maya I said thank you.
Giana: I will.
Pat: Thank you. Next.
Anita Belitz: Hi Chalene. Hi Pat. My name is Anita. I'm from the Wise Woman's Workplace Podcast and I help women who want to become sought-after employees in an easy and ethical way. And my question today is around authenticity, vulnerability, and setting boundaries. So I want to be extremely honest with my clients, my listeners, about who I am. But at the same time I want to kind of respect the more formal context of the workplace. So the people that I work with, but also my family's private sphere, my private life. And so I wanted to know from the two of you how you kind of decide what's okay to share and be personal and what should kind of be left best to private life.
Pat: I mean, for me it's a tag team—my wife and I—and so we talk about it a lot all the time. And sometimes we don't know what's comfortable or not until we just visualize what would happen, or understand and even future-think what would happen if we did this. So we go, “Okay, what would happen if we showed a picture of the kids at the pool?” And we're like, “Oh, that'd be fun to get people in.” But then we think about it a little bit more and we go, “Oh, okay, well you can kind of see the neighborhood and what it looks like and probably . . . maybe this is not a good idea.” Right?
And then other things are like, “Well, it just makes complete sense. We're at Disneyland, we're having fun, and there's no harm in that.” So for us it's very much just as we go and conversation. There aren't necessarily . . . there must be less than two thousand pixels of our house shown on this picture kind of thing. That's extreme, obviously. I don't know anybody who does it like that, but I'm just trying to set an example. I know Chalene, you share a lot about your family as well. What are your boundaries with that?
Chalene: So there will be times where I know it isn't my story to share, but it's a story. So I'll change names. Like if it's a friend, I'll change names. I actually won't say it's a friend, I'll say I met someone. When there were things between my husband and I that we were comfortable sharing, but we didn't feel like it was . . . that our kids were old enough to to be able to deal with it. For example, my husband and I are very open about the fact that we've both dealt with addiction and we were both ready to share with it, but we didn't feel like it was appropriate to share with our audience until we talked to our kids. And that meant waiting until they came to an age where they could understand what we wanted them to understand about that. And then there had been times where I'm sharing a story about my son or my daughter, and again, I waited until they're a certain age and asked for their permission and I'll still let them listen to it before I shared it. But I do think in having coached people who have something to work through that involves a family member or someone who's still living that I do think you have to be sensitive to that. And I think there's a way to share it without people . . . there's a way to share without people knowing it's even your story. You're sharing a story.
Anita: Okay. Thank you.
Chalene: Thank you.
Pat: Thank you.
Anil Agrawal: Hi Pat. Hi Chalene.
Anil: I'm Anil Agrawal from MarketingAutomationFocus.com. I recently started doing live seminars and workshops in my local area to help local businesses. The toughest thing that I found was going around and passing out flyers and so I'm wondering if you had any ideas or tips how to get local businesses into my seminar or workshop that I'm doing to help them.
Pat: The word local is interesting because to me, immediately, that tells me there's a number of different unique marketing strategies that you can use for specifically local-related things. It used to be Craigslist, right? You would be living in that area and you would look for things like that, but now it's moved on to more things like local search and those kinds of things. Google search ads that are specifically local based or Facebook ads, for example, that are geolocated. You can get really honed in on your area and where things happen with those kinds of mechanisms.
I think that could be potentially a great thing to test. I admire you for actually doing guerrilla marketing and getting it out there and doing flyers and I think the other thing that has worked really well for those types of things is you really treat those first customers, those first students, like gold. You give them an amazing time and you give them a lot of value such that they will give you, number one, some great testimonials that'll make it easier for you to sell so that people will know what they're getting into. And then number two, they might even invite and bring other people in as well.
Chalene: I promoted the All Michigan Auto Swap Meet with flyers and I commissioned—at the time I was dating a football player at Michigan State University, I since married him, and I recruited several of the guys on the football team to go into the parking lots and hand out the flyers and put them under windshield wipers. So you could try that. You could try a local football team. But my serious question though is why not go live? Why not take this online?
Anil: I can, I can. But I started with just going around and actually I knew a few local businesses like restaurants that I actually go eat at—
Chalene: Oh, beautiful.
Anil: And massage therapists that I go to. So actually that's how I got a few clients. But it was very difficult to go in and start talking to local businesses. They're just all busy. General managers of different restaurants or other local businesses, coffee shops—
Chalene: Do you charge for it?
Anil: I'm sorry.
Chalene: Do you charge for it?
Anil: Yes, a small . . . just to get them serious about it, not totally free.
Chalene: I might suggest just experimenting with allowing them to come for free.
Chalene: And so you've got that . . . because there's something about the energy of having live people in front of you to teach. It's so much more fun than speaking to a camera. Right?
Chalene: That takes practice to have the same kind of energy, but so it might be worth experimenting with offering that to them for free, and then you doing a live webinar-style broadcast where you're charging a nominal fee for the beta testing of it and then experimenting with that, like what might that look like with a monthly membership? You just . . . the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of people all across the United States at times when they're available because everybody is busy. Right? I think you'll have greater potential there, but I love the idea of feeling the energy of local businesses and helping them to understand. It doesn't matter whether it's restaurant or massage therapy, this is sound advice regardless of your industry.
Anil: Right. Thanks so much.
Pat: Thank you. Before we get to the next question, and again, thank you guys for your patience. I want to share a little video and this relates to how we got connected. And I had a person text me immediately as they learned that Chalene was coming as our special guest today and they texted me—and I was backstage—to say, “How did you get Chalene Johnson on your stage? How did you do that at your first event?” And they were so blown away. And to me, I was like, we're just friends. And it made me think about how we became friends.
Chalene: I think I begged.
Pat: I doubt that. But it was through podcasts, actually. We became friends through podcasts. I don't know if you heard me first, I heard you, but it just—
Chalene: Oh, I definitely heard you first cause I didn't even have a podcast.
Pat: Okay. The first time I actually got to hang out with Chalene, and actually, she did this amazing thing. She invited me up to her place and she was helping to promote Will It Fly? (Amazon link). [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.] And little did I know that before we were going to do the Will It Fly? promotion for her audience, we were going to have to do not just one workout together, but two workouts together. We did a cycling thing and then we did a . . . we worked out at your house and you led a sixty-minute session and I was dead. I was absolutely rubber the next three days, but it was totally worth it. And that was just an amazing moment for me. And I still, to me it's unreal that you're here, but I got some good advice the other day. It's like sometimes you have to just think about the room you're in and realize that you have earned your way there. I think a lot of times we discount just how much work we've done in the relationships that we have and just incredible things can happen when you do that. And again, just thank you for all the help. It's been amazing.
Chalene: Wow, thank you.
Pat: And Chalene's also taught me to dance on stage, too, which is really amazing and we . . . I've danced at her events, she's now dancing at mine, which is crazy. And we talked about selling on stage. These are some of the amazing students that have come on board who are now part of my community from that very same day, which is really cool. I do want to point out that your son Brock is also very talented, just like yourself and your husband, and he's been kind of exploding on a platform brand new to me, but it's called TikTok. Have you ever seen TikTok? it was formerly known as Musically. TikTok's full of these short videos. It's kind of like Vine, but it's more interactive. And this video I'm seeing has 3.7 million views and I looked on your YouTube channel the other day just to see how big your videos are, and the one with the most views only had 1.4 million. So what's going on here?
Chalene: I thought we were friends. Well, let's just say this, for the record, I'm in the video.
Pat: Oh, this is true. Now, if we're talking about Brock Johnson, he's here as well. Brock11Johnson on TikTok and many other many other places.
Chalene: Famous with twelve-year-old girls.
Pat: Like I said, I just love following your feed, cause you're very family-centric and that means the world to me. And I also have to thank you because you helped me with my health. Came out with this book recently called 131 Method (Amazon link), and it's sort of like Keto, but better and more well structured. There's a lot more structure to it and I appreciate that and it's definitely changed my energy levels. I've been on it for a month and a half now. Mark Mason, who spoke earlier, lost a severe amount of weight going on the 131 Method as well. So what I really appreciated about this book was you started with an apology.
Chalene: Oh yeah.
Pat: Can you talk about that really quick? Cause I don't . . . when you talk about authenticity, I mean—
Chalene: So for those of you that don't know, I . . . well you do know because I shared a little bit of that story today, how I ended up in fitness kind of by accident and got very swept away with, well, that's what I'm supposed to be doing. That's what I'm supposed to be saying. And I was doing a lot of things that were unhealthy because it's just what everybody was doing in health and fitness in order to achieve a look. At a certain point, I was exercising four hours a day at least, and eating very minimal calories and then still being asked to cut weight to make the videos more marketable and suggesting that you could do that in thirty minutes a day.
And I . . . it wasn't that I was ever lying. I just believed that was true for other people. But I was broken and just everything in the health and fitness industry, I was so swept up in it, but also part of it, and I didn't take my responsibility in that role serious enough. So when I had my own health scare, at the peak of my career in health and fitness is when I realized, “Wow, I have a lot of people who are following what I'm doing and if I've done this to myself, what have I done to the people who have trusted me to do the research for them?”
Like I talked about today, there are people who you place your trust in them to save you time because you're like, you know they've done the research for you. Well, I hadn't done a lot of research. I had just listened to people who were more recognized or more notable or more famous than me, and I was giving the same advice they were so that I wouldn't buck the system, if you will. Not that I'm making excuses, but that's just all that I knew and when I had my own health scare and really dug in to figure out what it means to be healthy, I realized I had to set the record straight. I owed people who trusted me an apology and a promise that I would always do the same degree of research and skeptical investigation—anything related to health—that I always did for business. Why wasn't I doing that with health and fitness? Why wasn't I? And I vowed that I would do that moving forward. So I started the book off with an apology.
Pat: That was very noble of you. Thank you for doing that, Chalene.
Chalene: Thank you.
Chalene: Thank you.
Pat: Let's get some more questions.
Pat: Let's do it.
Doug Johnson: Awesome. Hey Pat, hey Chalene. My name's Doug Johnson. I have a YouTube channel called Doug Does Digital and my amazing wife, who couldn't be here because she's watching our two-and-a-half-year-old and eight-month-old. She has a far more successful YouTube channel called Haley Paige Johnson.
Chalene: What's hers called?
Doug: Hayley Paige Johnson. That's her name. So we're both in the process of building online businesses, figuring out digital products, building our communities. But we love to put our family first. So I want to just see if you guys have some kind of golden nugget when it comes to raising and building an amazing family while still building an amazing business and putting on conferences and influencing millions of people.
Chalene: What struggles do you feel right now? Like are you already torn?
Doug: It's not so much being torn between our kids and business because obviously our kids are one, but our businesses and our passions are a very, very close two. So I guess it's finding time and making sure that we're doing our due diligence as parents and researching what we should be doing as parents while at the same time I'm researching what's the best way to grow my email list. And I guess it's kind of a feeling of guilt almost, of wondering like, “Am I putting too much time into my business when I should be putting time into my little ones?”
Pat: Yeah. I mean, this is a big one, right? Because when you have kids, everything changes and your priorities change, but you also need to run a business and it's tough. And I think for me and April specifically—and we touched on this a little bit earlier±was that it was just learning process as we go. We don't know all the answers and we know that what works for some people may not work for us and we've tried other things. We've tried delegating certain days of the week for certain parents to watch the kids so that the other can do something and that just didn't work for us and we had to figure it out and it was through experimentation. Through understanding that trying means potentially failing and then we'd have to regroup and recover and figure out what to do next, that we were always making it better even if we were to fail because we're trying to get better specifically for the kids and the business and trying to balance.
One thing that I realized that was really key for me, was realizing that there's no such thing as perfect balance. That that scale . . . if you imagine a scale going back and forth, there was only one moment, one frame, when it is perfectly balanced. That's a small percentage of the overall spectrum that you could be on and to shoot for that only—you're going to feel unhappy and stressed out most of the time. So what me and April have realized is that there are seasons and there are moments when we're going to be big on a launch and I'm going to be huddled up in my office with my team and we're working on something amazing and I'm not going to be there for her during that time and I have to, number one, let her know ahead of time that that's happening.
But number two, help her realize that there's going to be balance on the other end. Just like FlynnCon's happening right now. Next week we're going to be going on a trip where we can just relax and decompress because I've definitely worked hard for this, but April is working just as hard if not harder right now, too. And so just knowing that that's coming and that that's been our solution, the balance of one here, and then one there, and one there, knowing that. We just don't want to get too far to one side and stay there. We're going a little bit this way and then we go a little bit this way and now we can sort of balance out a little bit. What do you have?
Chalene: I would say that you have only one opportunity to get it right with your kids. That's it. There's only one season to raise children. That's it. You can be an entrepreneur and be super successful the rest of your lives. We talked about this at dinner. Bret and I did nothing. We did no networking. We had policies in place. Our policy was one thing per month. That meant one speaking event. That meant when I negotiated contracts, I would say I'll accept less pay but I cannot do the same things that other trainers can do. I can't be at appearances. I can't go to workshops. I can't be . . . I can be at those things, but I choose to be a mom first. It forced us to be far more creative.
God will provide for you if you hold out and do the next right thing in this season. Don't let your ego take ahold of you. Don't believe that you've got to make more money because that will not make your kids happy. What makes your children happy . . . Let me go off. Just a moment. No really, truthfully, there's nothing . . . I just, this is my opinion, so please feel free to disagree. There's nothing more important than getting it right with your kids. They don't care how successful you are. It's not going to make them better children if you have more money, it's not going to make them feel more secure if you're gone every single weekend and even when you are home, you're not there and present. Be present. You can do that later and it goes by like that. Anyone whose children are out of the house, you know it goes by so fast and you can't redo it, so do it right, and this my opinion, make business second and you will be rewarded.
Doug: Thank you.
Pat: Thank you for that.
Chalene: I get passionate about that one.
Pat: One of the reasons why FlynnCon exists is because I have been speaking around the world quite a bit and I wanted to start slowing that down because I've been away from home and it's been really cool to create an event where I could bring the family and include them and share them with you and have you meet some of them.
Chalene: And you did it here.
Pat: And I'm doing it here.
Chalene: And people will come to you.
Pat: Which is crazy. Thank you all, by the way. And so likely you're going to start to see my speaking die down a little bit in terms of traveling everywhere and I'm going to focus even more effort on FlynnCon and making it a great thing. Thank you. We'll take one more question with Chalene and then we will swap guests. Hey.
Katie Horner: Thank you. I'm Katie Horner. My business is handprintlegacy.com, where we help coaches, consultants, and practitioners to preserve and pass on their genius to the next generation. We do that through course creation and blogging, mentorship, primarily. We're at the point in our business where we're needing to expand but not ready to take on employees. And so my question to both of you is in regards to expanding your team through contractors and the process of finding the right person for the right seat and how do you do that? We've tried unsuccessfully a few times already. I'm looking for some insight.
Pat: What have you tried that didn't work? Where did you find those people?
Katie: Recommendations. But I don't feel like I have a very good vetting process.
Pat: I would suggest, number one, relationships is a great place to start because you can get some testimonials from people that you trust. And that's what I still recommend for people when you hire, try to find people that you already have a relationship with to help you find those people too. Because then if it doesn't work, you have somebody else to blame. I'm just kidding.
But the big thing about hiring is you don't want to commit to that person until you know for sure they're the right person. And so whenever I've hired—and this was back before I had my team that I have now who's amazing, I just feel so blessed to have them—but when I was hiring contractors for things, it was micro tests. Even to the point where, for example on Upwork, before I knew anybody, I would go to upwork.com to hire people and before I would click yes, I want to work with you, I would see how long it would take them to reply to me. Right? That was test number one.
Number two, I would go, “Share with me your design process and some of your portfolio,” and if they didn't give me a good answer, then I know that somebody who didn't want to work with me versus somebody who went over the top. That meant that, wow, they must really want this and they're also qualified. And then once they start with you have sort of a probation period of a micro test or something small. If it's a content creator, have them write three or four pieces and just see is it a right fit and let them know ahead of time. I'm going to test this, we're going to see if this works and if it doesn't, I don't want to waste your time and I know that I don't want my time wasted and we'll go from there.
Chalene: Just quickly. I would say all of that, yes. And think of it as like dating, so don't be discouraged by it and it's okay to be kind of a be a little bit of a player, where you give the same assignment to two or three people and you just tell them it's a temporary part-time thing. And then that way you see who shines, who you connect with, who you feel like you really vibe with and you trust them and they're the right fit for the position. I always hear from people, “I can't afford to hire help, but I'm overwhelmed.” I would say you can't afford not to. So maybe not hiring, but I love that you added, “as a consultant.” So give yourself permission to try someone temporarily part-time as a consultant and just see how that works out. And don't be afraid to hire two people for the same job—I should say for the same work. Right? And it might seem like your spending more than you need to, but truthfully, there's nothing more expensive than bringing someone on and training them only to find out that they didn't work out.
Pat: Cool. Thank you so much.
Chalene: Good luck to you.
Pat: Alright. That is the second installment of the three-part series of AskPat Live. This was a live session, one more time, at FlynnCon 1 in San Diego. So much fun. So thankful that Chalene came on and she's awesome. She's so amazing and I'm just thankful that she spent time with me and actually, my wife and I, we got dinner with her and her family. They're just so amazing. I love her to death. She's helped me out so much. Thank you Chalene for everything that you do and thank you for coming on my stage answering questions. And thank you to everybody listening right now.
I hope that you've been enjoying this mix-up cause usually in AskPat 2.0 I do a coaching call and this was kind of going back to the earlier episodes of AskPat where I get a question and then I give a single answer and it's been fun to do that. But we're going to get back to the normal sessions, not in the next one but the one after. But this next episode that's coming up, 1093, I bring on my second guest and he was actually the MC at FlynnCon and I'm excited to introduce him to you next week.
So make sure you subscribe if you haven't already. And it's going to be a lot of fun and we answer more questions from the audience live there as well. And even now, as I'm recording this intro, a couple weeks after FlynnCon—three or four weeks after FlynnCon—I'm reminded of the questions that I answered in this next segment coming up in the next episode. And some really important questions were asked, and Chris and I, I remember we tackled them really well. So hopefully that'll be helpful for you. Please subscribe. Thanks so much. I appreciate you. And of course, Team Flynn for the win.
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