AskPat 621 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 621 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.
We have a great question today from 15-year-old Thomas, but before we get to his question I do want to thank today's sponsor once again, which is FreshBooks.com. An awesome company serving over three million small businesses, making it really easy for keeping track of those expenses, those incomes coming in, and also especially with invoicing. If you do any coaching or consulting, you have any students of any kind, or you do any work for any other companies, if you want to get paid, you want to make it easy for them to pay you, but also set up invoicing and just, really professional looking invoicing, it literally takes less than 30 seconds, too, you've got to check out FreshBooks. Plus, you can link your FreshBooks account to your credit card and debit cards, so when you expense that next expense it's in your FreshBooks account automatically. It's great.
All right, now here's today's question from Thomas.
Thomas: Hey Pat, my name is Thomas Burgess, and I'm 15 years old. I'm currently working on a website called WeWearShirts.com. I was wondering what you would say the most valuable skills and lessons for teenagers and young people are to learn if they're interested in pursing a passive online business in the future, or in the present?
Pat Flynn: Hey, Thomas, what's up? Thank you so much for the question. Awesome that you're 15 and you're thinking about your entrepreneurial journey already. I wish I was thinking about my entrepreneurial journey when I was 15. When I was 15 I was thinking about Magic the Gathering cards, soccer, marching band, which is fine, hobbies, of course, and trying to get straight A's, and what college I was going to get in to. I didn't think anything of entrepreneurship. Never even really knew that I had what it took. I didn't know that until I got laid off 10 years later. Kudos to you.
Keep on learning. That's the number one skill I wanted to share with you is just keep learning. The fact that you are putting yourself in this world already, and putting yourself out there, it's very encouraging. I think that's the second thing I want to share is that, if you don't know how to do something, get used to, or get comfortable with, asking other people for help and offering value in exchange for somebody else's skills, somebody else's knowledge, and wisdom. That's the second thing.
The third thing I want to share is that leadership and delegation, if you can master those things, that will help you so much. Those are things that I only got recently used to. Now that I've built my team and I've been working on who does what, and the fact that I don't have to do everything myself, learning that has just been key and instrumental in my recent growth.
I also want to mention that problem solving is probably going to be one of your biggest things. Really getting into the deep down problems, the root of the problems of your target audience, or your target market, whatever that is. It cannot be done by just thinking about what those things are. You have to go out there and find them. You have to listen to people. You have to get it in their own voice and get to the root of the problem because that's how you can then determine how to provide those solutions. Not only that, you'll understand the language that your target customer uses.
Not only that, you'll understand the language that your target customer uses.
In addition to problem-solving, and idea extraction, and putting yourself out there, getting comfortable with having these kinds of conversations where you're trying to figure out what to do to help these people and serve your audience, you really need to get comfortable with knowing that it might not come very easy. Patience is a big part of it. You have to also be aggressive. You have to want it. You have to, as Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Hustle,” but hustle doesn't mean what I think a lot of people mean, which is just like work a hundred hours a week. You don't have to do that. You can work smart. Working smart, I feel, is also in alignment with hustling. It just takes a little bit more thinking, a little bit more time invested up front to know where you're going and what to do.
Patience is a big part of it. You have to also be aggressive. You have to want it. You have to, as Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Hustle,” but hustle doesn't mean what I think a lot of people mean, which is just like work a hundred hours a week. You don't have to do that. You can work smart. Working smart, I feel, is also in alignment with hustling. It just takes a little bit more thinking, a little bit more time invested up front to know where you're going and what to do.
Goal setting is also going to be an important skill. Knowing where you want to go. Thomas, it's not going to be easy and you might not know where you want to go, but you have to think about these things. Then once you figure out what that goal is, whether it's a five-year goal, a three-year goal, one-year goal, maybe six months down the road you can envision what it is you want to accomplish, well then you take that big goal and you chunk it down into smaller milestones that you can achieve much sooner. The further out something is, even three months, six months later, it's going to be a lot harder to really grasp what it is that you should be doing today. Taking that one thing, and narrowing it down to, “Well, what's that thing you have to do today?” And really being proud of yourself for actually working on that, and accomplishing that. That way you're not just hustling and working on something just to feel like you're working. You're
The further out something is, even three months, six months later, it's going to be a lot harder to really grasp what it is that you should be doing today. Taking that one thing, and narrowing it down to, “Well, what's that thing you have to do today?” And really being proud of yourself for actually working on that, and accomplishing that. That way you're not just hustling and working on something just to feel like you're working. You're working and hustling, and being smart about what it is that you're doing because it's actually moving the needle.
Always, always know, more than anything, and this is the last thing I'm going to leave you with, Thomas, that failure is an option. This, if you've watched Myth Busters, this is a saying that they have. Failure is an option, but it's not the end. It is just the beginning of a new path and failing is just part of the learning process. It's part of being an entrepreneur. It means that you tried, and it didn't work out that time, but keep trying again, learning from your failures, learning from the mistakes that you made.
Man, you're only 15. You're going to make a lot of mistakes. You're going to come across a lot of failures, but you know what? The more of that you do, the more attempts that you make, the more likely it is that you're going to make some huge changes in this world, and for your audience, and for yourself.
Thomas, keep working hard, keep pushing it, keep asking questions. Thank you so much for your question today, Thomas. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For everybody else out there listening, especially you young ones, no matter how young you are, please ask a question. I'm here to help. Go to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page. I'd love to send you a t-shirt too.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks, which, like I said earlier, makes it really easy for you to manage all your business finances and especially with the invoicing too. If you want to check it out for 30 days for free, go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's FreshBooks.com/askpat.
All right, and here's a quote to finish off the day by Beth Comstock. She says, “You can't sell anything if you can't tell anything.” Amen.
Cheers. Take care. Thomas, thank you once again. Appreciate it. I appreciate all of you. If you have a moment, please leave a review in AskPat. I read every single one of them and I love it. Thank you guys. Cheers.
AskPat listeners get a 30-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.