AskPat 978 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 978 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 question coming in today from Russ, but before we get to that, I just want to thank today's sponsor, which is super cool, and that is FreshBooks.com. They're so amazing, because they help us all manage our business finances. They serve millions of small businesses, including my own. What's really cool is they also have some really unique features related to invoicing. They can, in under thirty seconds, help you create a very professional-looking invoice, so you can get paid quicker. I've been on the receiving end of FreshBooks invoices as well; it's just very easy to use. And also, if you are sending invoices out, you can even keep track of who has yet to open them, which is really handy, especially when it comes to tracking and following up, and those kinds of things. So, if you want to check out FreshBooks for free for thirty days, here's what you do. You go to FreshBooks.com and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. There you go. All right. Now here's today's question coming in from Russ.
Russ Kahle: Hey, Pat. This is Russ from RussKahle.com, and I focus on helping new teachers in their classroom and education topics, and kind of things, with what's changing in the education field, and what's out there. I'm excited to be helping you on your product launch coming up here soon, and your physical product. It's more passive income, so thanks for the opportunity to let me help you out, and then you helping me out—kind of getting going on writing a book. My question is, I prefer to not spend money where I don't need to, so I have done a lot of stuff—and maybe that's the teacher mentality that I have, or the frugal mentality that I just have, with my wife and I, and our kids—I tend to do a lot of stuff, or try and find free tools, or open source tools, or make tools work through various loopholes. Or trying and getting to align just right, or this service does part of it, and then this other service does the rest . . . At what point is it best to just finally say, “I just need to spend money on this, so this tool is worth just spending money, because of this.” I'd love to hear your thoughts on that. Especially because I'm just getting started out, and kind of weighing that, “Is it worth spending money if I don't know if things pan out well? Or, is it really going to benefit me in the long run to spend money now?” I'd appreciate your thoughts. Love everything you do, AskPat and SPI—big fan for several years, so thank you for everything you do.
Pat Flynn: Hey Russ, thank you so much for the question. I totally get where you're coming from, because I remember when I first started out. I was just kind of in survival mentality. I had just gotten let go, and I wanted to spend as little money as possible, and I got just all the basic plans for everything, and I even hacked my way through things. I even tried to figure things out on my own. I would spend hours, and hours, and hours, and hours on YouTube trying to become a Java CSS expert, because I didn't want anybody to help me with my website, and then there were other tools that could help that I just wasn't sure about, so I totally get where you're coming from, Russ.
I think my best answer comes with time and how much you believe your time is worth, and I hope you value your time very much, because a lot of times—these pieces of software, the people that we could potentially hire—that is something that can help save you time. Time is something that you cannot get back until . . . never. So with money, you can lose money, you can try things, maybe it doesn't work out. You can sometimes get your money back with the guarantees that are available, too. But, other times you can't, and that's okay. You've tested it out, because what you're doing is you're trying to become more efficient and you're realizing that your time is worth something. I hope you realize that.
With these tools and services that you're going to be getting, they're hopefully going to help you save time. But, also, not just time. Mental distress, because a lot of times these things that we know how to do and maybe just are even really good at, they're just adding a lot of mental stress to the workload that we're doing, and that's removing our creativity and our focus on the things that we should be focusing on and being creative with. There's a lot of aspects to this question, which is why I really, really love it, Russ.
I mean, for me, a lot of times it's just, “Hey, is this going to help me save time so that I can put more focus and effort on other things?” A lot of times, those “other things” involve things outside of the business: Things I enjoy, being with my family, all those kinds of things, and I'm sure you can respect that and understand that. Really, it is something that takes a little bit of a leap, too. I remember when I first started paying for things. It was such a huge leap for me, but then I started to see the benefits from it. I'll tell you really quick.
The first time I paid somebody else to do something for me was when I launched GreenExamAcademy.com. Well, back in the day, it was actually called IntheLeed.com, but it had changed domain names over time—so this is my LEED Exam website, helping people pass the LEED Exam. I came out with this ebook; I wrote it entirely on my own. One and a half months spent writing, figuring out how to get the tool that I used to sell it, which was E-Junkie, which is still around, but I actually wouldn't recommend that right now for selling digital products. But I'm not talking about these specific products right now, but just the story. And so, there was a little bit of money involved with getting PayPal set up, and E-Junkie, which was very cheap. But then I was presented with an opportunity to hire somebody to create an audio version of the book. I actually tried to do that myself. I recorded the audio version of that same study guide ebook, which took me three whole, complete days. I didn't even have a good microphone. I used my Logitech gamer microphone for when I was really big into Diablo II. But, anyway, it didn't sound great at all, and it wasn't something that I was comfortable selling. Then I went to a site where I could find freelancers who would then potentially help me with this. I started getting quotes anywhere between $800 and $3,000, I believe. I went with somebody for $1,400, and it was the hardest money I've ever spent, because that was more money than I was making in architecture per paycheck, and that was more money than I had ever paid for anything, really. I mean, my rent was less than that at the time. So I was like . . . It was hard for me, because I was like, “I can do this myself,” although I tried and it didn't work, but I had some money coming in from the business so I decided to make a jump for it, and leap in. In two weeks she provided me with all these amazing mp3 files that I packaged together and sold, and that changed everything for me, because it really helped excel my income, because I was able to package that audio file with the digital ebook that I had. It just went gangbusters: I sold them both together for $44.95, and I was selling dozens a day, and that was awesome.
Really, how do you know if a tool is worth spending money on? Is it going to help you save time? Is it going to help you save stress? Is it going to help you open up more availability for other things? And you sometimes won't even know at first, but see if there's a way that you can attempt to use them in some way, shape, or form, like a free trial. That can also help too. So, yeah, that's what I would say, and that's my answer. Thanks, Russ, I appreciate it. Hopefully that gives you some sort of encouragement to really move forward and here's the last thing: You don't have to buy all the tools at the same time. Pick the one that you know is going to help you the most, that's going to save you the most, that is that one tool that you get that's going to help you 80 percent in terms of just the results versus the other tools. So it's the 80/20 rule, right? Try to figure out what that first tool is, the one of five, that's going to give you four-fifths of the result. Try and figure that out and start with that one.
Russ, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it. I want to hook you up with an AskPat teeshirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thank you so much, I appreciate you, and here's a quote today from Epictetus: “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” Thank you so much everybody, for listening in. Make sure you leave a review on iTunes if you have a chance and I look forward to serving you in the next episode very, very soon. Cheers. Bye.
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