AskPat 279 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 279 of AskPat. Today is Friday, the day this goes live, and I want to wish you all an amazing weekend.
But before we get to that, let's do what we can to help out Drew today with his question. Before we get to Drew's question I do want to, as we always do, thank today's sponsor for this episode and the sponsors that are there to help to support the team that helps put this together. They are amazing. Mindy, I know you listen to this. Hello, you're amazing. Thank you so much for putting this together the way that you do.
And thank you also to FreshBooks.com for helping out and sponsoring this show. They are the premiere, super easy-to-use cloud-accounting solution to help you with all of your business finances. Over five million small businesses use FreshBooks to make their accounting so much easier. What's really cool is they have a really cool invoicing feature that makes it so easy and professional so you can bill your clients, bill your students, and bill your consulting companies that you work with. And, they're going to be able to pay you much faster so you can do the work that you need to do and these invoices are super professional-looking, too. So, go ahead and check it out. You can check it out at GetFreshBooks.com and you can enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section for a thirty-day free trial. Check it out. You will not regret it, for sure.
All right. Now, let's get to today's question from Drew.
Drew: Hi, Pat. This is Drew Dilling giving you a question off a recent podcast you did on the morning routine. When I think about morning routines and what we do within morning routines it all comes down to habits. And me and my girlfriend are huge fans of your show. We'll listen to them together while we're driving. And the thing that came up was, you know, you've been so successful that here's a habit and here's new habits that you're trying to develop to make yourself even more successful. And what our question was, was with your current level of success, what habits do you feel really led to that success that you may not see in other entrepreneurs or other individuals that you have spoken with, or that come to you for help and you realize, hey, you need to be doing this, or you need to develop this habit. What habit right at this time has led to your success over the years? Really curious about that.
Pat Flynn: Drew, thank you so much for this question and hello to you and your girlfriend who's likely listening to this based off of what you said. Thank you guys so much for listening to this show and thank you for this question, too. I really appreciate it. That episode has done a lot to change my life recently, and the episode you're talking about, about the morning routine, is Episode 140 with Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning and I've done a lot of things in my life since that episode that have really helped me move forward, especially this new year. With all the things that I've been launching, I've just been completely focused, and been able to just crush a lot of things this year that were planned at the tail end of last year.
For instance, The 1 Day Business Breakthrough Podcast was published with my good buddy Chris Ducker and that's going really, really well now. We're putting on a live event on April 24, which if you don't know, please check it out. It's going to be unlike anything else you have ever experienced before. Go to 1DayBB.com/live to check that out. And, also, The Smart Podcast Player came out of beta and that's been live for a month and a half now and doing extremely well. I launched SPI TV which you can find now and watch SPI TV and I have a lot of other things going on and the only way I've been able to stay focused is actually through adding these new forms of habits that have increased my optimization and productivity and focus.
Some of those things include writing in my daily journal and that's been incredibly, incredibly eye-opening for me because I thought journal writing for the longest time was just something, you know, teenage girls would do to vent about their boyfriends and how crappy they were or you know, that sort of thing. But, no, Hal just completely changed my life and showed me the power of really getting into this journaling and I use the journal at 5MinutesaDayDiary.com which helps me because it's sort of a guided journaling. There's prompts there to write things like what are you grateful for, what do you want to do today that's going to make it a win for you, what are some awesome things you did today that you just, you know—you kind of journal in the morning when you wake up and then journal at the end to reflect on the day that you've had and then also write what you wish you had done better.
And that alone has just completely changed because I will go to bed seeing that I actually accomplished the things that I wanted to and I go to bed with a smile on my face. And that didn't always happen before and then I wake up just so excited to conquer the next day. And I wake up and immediately think about what I'm grateful for and it just completely motivates me so that's been going really well.
Meditation has been just completely mind-blowing for me as well. I use a tool called Muse—you can find it at ChooseMuse.com—to help me out. It sort of validates that I'm doing it correctly. There's literally brain sensors that you put on this little . . . there's this headband with brain sensors you put on your head and it'll tell you if you're doing it right based off of some sounds that you hear on an app that it's connected with. I'm not going to go into detail there. You can check it out at ChooseMuse.com if you're interested. But that validates that I'm doing it right. And that's completely changed me in terms of helping me focus and stay on task when I need to. And, even when I get off task or get distracted, it's really easy for me to get back on where I need to be.
So, those things have been really helpful, and reading I've always done: I mean, that's something that a lot of entrepreneurs do. Here is a list of things that I just wrote down, Drew, that I feel are not unique to me, because I know a lot of people do this, but something that you might not hear very much of when it comes to habits and things that entrepreneurs do to sort of reach levels of success. You know, this is just a few of the things that came to mind.
The first one is, I think a lot—about, in terms of decision making—whenever I'm met with a decision, no matter how small it is. I think about one year from now. I think about five years from now. I think about ten years from now and what that decision will look like that far down the road and that quick habit of just thinking and just using that litmus test helps me with my decision-making so much and it cuts out a lot of the hard work that goes into making tough decisions. Sometimes all it takes is thinking about something five years ahead of time and then being like, “Oh, well, maybe I shouldn't do that, because I can't imagine doing it for this long.” And that will immediately cut it out of my life and then I can focus on other things that I need to focus on. So, that's a big thing for me, that litmus test. The one-year, the five-year, the ten-year litmus test. So, think about that with what you're doing now. You might come to some interesting conclusions if you do that and I would recommend all of you do that right now.
Another thing I do is whenever I accomplish something, anything, I sort of give myself a pat on the back and I really appreciate the small things. You know, I don't literally pat myself on the back but I do in my head consciously say, “Wow, that was awesome. That was great. You know, good job.” And I tell myself that and it's important to reward yourself, no matter how small that task you finish is because you want to motivate yourself, you want to be proud of those moments when you complete something. That's, you know, I want to form a habit of completion. Because, a lot of us know that entrepreneurship is, you know, about trying a lot of things and trying a lot of new things and perhaps dividing your attention on so many things where we start so many projects but we don't complete. So, I want to form the habit of being rewarded for completing things no matter how small they are. And they stack up over time and then I end up completing and finishing a lot of projects like I mentioned earlier. So, appreciating those small wins along the way, stacking them so that you can just get completely motivated to finish the projects that you start.
The next thing I do, and kind of along the same lines, is I like to keep track of stuff. A lot of you saw me on Instagram and on Facebook recently talking about my book-writing habits. And I've been writing almost every day and keeping track and actually, literally, down to the number of words that I've been writing every single day and that's helping me stay motivated and helping increase the number of words every day that I write too, just maybe on a sub-conscious level. I just want to keep beating myself and keep doing that. A lot of you know I publish income reports. And I've been tracking my income for the last six years and posting that publicly and that has been completely motivating. If you go back over the graph over time, it's just gone up, always, because I'm always trying to beat myself and continue to move forward and that only happens when you track, because there would be no way to know if you are making progress or not. And if you aren't then, you know, the only way to know that is through tracking, too. And once you know then you can make corrections and adjustments as needed.
Then, the final thing I want to mention is, I ask questions. If I don't know how to do something my—now—my habit is “Okay, who can I ask who can help me figure this out?” That's my first thought in my head when I don't know how to do something. “Hmmm, who can I ask?” I don't search on Google. I don't search on YouTube. I think about the people who are close to me, who would be willing to help me, and help me knowing that they want to help better my situation because they know that I'm going to help better their situation at some point, too. And so that's where I start. I don't search on Google. I don't search on YouTube. Or I don't do what I used to do which is just think for hours and try to figure it out on my own without even understanding anything about it.
Now, I skip all that stuff and I just go right to a source who can help me right away. I save so much more time. I'm able to better the relationships I have with people and just create those amazing connections again just asking questions. It's so powerful. And hopefully you can make that a habit in your life as well.
So, Drew, I hope that answers your question. That was a great question and I hope that was in alignment with what you were kind of hoping to hear. And, to your girlfriend as well, thank you for listening, too. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to actually have my assistant . . . I want to make sure, Mindy when you're listing to this you let Jessica know, whose the one taking care of the t-shirts, to send Drew and his girlfriend an AskPat t-shirt. That would be awesome. So, thank you for having your question featured here on the show. That's great. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you would like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
I also want to thank today's sponsor which is FreshBooks.com. Not only are they one of the top platforms out there for helping you keep track of your finances, but they have an award-winning mobile app so you can get snapshots of your business on the fly, on the go, which is super cool. You can try them out for thirty days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and entering “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section. You will not regret it. It's probably, out of all of the sponsors on here, the one that most people are the most thankful for. At least the one that I get the most emails about. I mean, they're all great. I wouldn't work with sponsors unless I knew they're going to be helpful to you, but FreshBooks seems to just, you know, hit a note for a lot of people. So, GetFreshBooks.com and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section.
Awesome. Thank you so much. Have an amazing weekend and to finish off I want to end with a quote from Norman Vincent Peale. He says, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Cheers, and I'll see you next week in the next episode of AskPat. Thanks, guys.
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.