AskPat 708 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 708 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 Abel, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. A site, an app, a company that I love and use because they help me manage my books, and they can help you, too. They've helped serve over three million small businesses with not only keeping track of their income, and their expenses, and all that stuff, but also with invoicing, too.
I use it for invoicing, it makes it really easy. In less than 30 seconds I can send a professional invoice to whoever I'm billing, for anything like consulting, or coaching. And I get paid pretty soon for all of them, because it just makes it really easy on both sides. So, if you want to checkout Fresh Books for free for 30 days, a 30 day free trial available at FreshBooks.com/AskPat. I almost forgot, and I've said it hundreds of times here. So, again that's FreshBooks.com/AskPat, and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the How Did You Hear About Us section. All right? Cool.
All right, now here's today's question from Abel.
Abel: Hey Pat, my question would be about the podcast, and just general business activities, and business model of Tim Ferriss. Because if I'm looking at the advice that I'm getting from you, from people like Ramit Sethi, it always kind of comes down to select a field or an area and become a world class expert in it and produce excellent world-class content. So become a superstar in one specific area, more so than really good in multiple areas. And what Tim Ferriss does is pretty much the opposite of that. And for that reason actually I'm not even really following his blog because I already know what I'm going to get when I go there. He's doing a bit of power lifting and a bit of business and some habit forming and productivity and dating and whatever. He's just not really anchoring himself down in any particular field and, do you think that is a dangerous model for most of us to follow? I think it is personally, but I would be very curious in your opinion. Okay, that would be my question, thanks a lot, you're great.
Pat Flynn: Hey Abel, thank you so much for the question today I really appreciate it. I love talking about Tim Ferriss, I've had him on my podcast before, episode 51 I believe was the first one and I made a little bit of an embarrassment out of myself because I was just being a little bit too fan boyish then. But I think I had the right to do so because I am a huge fan of Tim Ferriss. His book, 4 Hour Workweek, back in 2007 and 2008 was a huge inspiration to me when I had gotten laid off and it was really one of the big reasons why I'm doing what I'm doing and the way that I'm doing it in trying to be smart with using systems, using services and tools to help do a lot of the work that normally I would want to do when I shouldn't be doing, and just being smart about my input versus output. And, also getting smart with my health and how to learn and just be a better human being. And I think that's where Tim, that's his focus, and you know, within that there's a whole bunch of different things.
A lot of the things you mentioned, they do seem like they're all over the place but they are relevant into each other. They do kind of cross-pollinate one another. But I can see where you're coming from and I don't think you're speaking out of line there. I think the advice that we all give to stick with one focus is the exception for Tim because he is just way up there and he can pretty much do whatever he wants. He has, and he's been open about this, many investments in different companies and has invested in companies, I believe like Twitter and Uber and those kinds of things. And he's done really well. And so, he is able to really take those risks and try many bigger, different things without the risk of losing because he's just won so much already. And he's kind of on a different level, you know . . . He's beyond A-list in my opinion. And I don't just say that because I admire him and I'm very much inspired by him, but just because he's on that level.
And Ramit's up there, too. And you could argue that Ramit's trying a bunch of different things because he just came out with a course about cooking and he's helping people find their dream jobs, but he's also helping people with starting a business, and he's also helping people develop social skills, and he's also helping people with their finances, and those are all separate, but they're all similar, too, in what he calls, “helping people lead a rich life.” And so, I think that theme works well.
Now, the big difference here with Ramit and Tim versus, people like us, is they have been doing this for a long time and because of that, they've expanded out beyond their initial focus. For Ramit, his initial focus was personal finance on IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com, and all he was speaking of was mostly personal finance related things and retirement plans and tax planning and saving money here and there, and he did it in a different way. That's how he stood out in this one niche, and then he sort of expanded horizontally from there. And I think Tim did the same thing. He had his first business, “Brain-” something that he sold and just started writing the 4 Hour Workweek, and was very focused on that. And I think the big reason why these people succeed, despite having all these different things going on, is because they do each of these things one at a time until they're winning with them, until they've mastered them and then they move on. And that's kind of the model I'm trying to do, too because you could argue that I'm not very focused, but I am at one thing at a time and then I have passive income takeover and those things are set on autopilot while I go and focus on someone else, or something else.
And what I would really recommend for people who are just starting out who might be confused from listening to all this, asking themselves, “Well what should I do?” The real answer is to do what Able had just said we should all do, which is, focus on one thing, master that, be the trusted advisor, and that's how you grow quickly. That's how you stand out of the crowd, that's how you hone in on who it is your audience is, and that's how you segment yourself from the competition, by specialization. And that's where you start. That doesn't mean that's what you have to be doing forever, you could expand out from there, like these beyond the A-lister type people do, but start with one narrow focus, master that, become the one that everybody talks about in conversation, when that topic comes up, and then you can expand from there.
So Abel, I hope this answers your question. I highly respect Tim but you know, Tim is Tim and Gary V is Gary V, he's crazy in that he works so much and not any of us, I don't know anybody else who could work as hard as Gary, which is why when I see people trying to be like Gary, I'm like, “No, that's Gary's hustle, what's your hustle? What do you love that you want to spend most of your time working for?” Gary, he just loves work, so he's going to work his butt off to do more work. And so, what is your hustle about? What is that one thing that you love so much that you're going to work non-stop for it? So, there you go.
So Abel, thank you so much for the question, hope it was helpful. Want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. And for everybody else out there 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.
Thanks again and a big shout out to FreshBooks.com, again you can check them out for 30 days for free, by going to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the How Did You Hear About Us section.
And then finally, here's a quote from John D. Rockefeller he says, “Don't be afraid to give up the good, to go for the great.”
I think I heard once also that the enemy of great is good, which is also a great, quote. All right guys, take care and I'll see you in the next episode. Bye.
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