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SPI 490: You Must Draw a Line in the Sand

Just a quick note up front: we’re taking a little summer break from these Friday follow-up episodes. With April and I vaccinated and things starting to open back up, we’re going to do some traveling. You’ll still hear the usual Wednesday episodes, I’m only taking a break from the Friday episodes for a little bit.

Earlier this week I interviewed Kevin Espiritu from Epic Gardening for session 489 of the show. He’s absolutely killing it in his space and I’ve taken a few notes from him in terms of content creation.

In talking with Kevin and interacting with him outside the show, I was reminded of some of the things I’ve seen other successful people do. I’ll tell you all about them today, as well as something that I think it’s critical all entrepreneurs realize: you have to take a stand at some point. I’ll illustrate this for you today with an experience I had hearing Ramit Sethi speak back in the day. A few quick but impactful lessons in here for you today, so don’t miss out!

You’ll Learn

Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host — he finally, finally quit cable last month – Pat Flynn!

Pat Flynn:
And hey — I know you’ve been enjoying these follow-up Friday episodes, we’ve gotten so many great comments about them. And wanted to let you know, just right now, we’re not going away, but we’re taking a little bit of a summer break. I wanted to get a little bit of time back for the summer with the family. We’re going to be going some places, doing some things that, of course, we’ve been itching to do for the longest time now that April and I are both vaccinated, and the kids are itching to get outside too and summer’s here. We’re going to take a little bit of a break. So we’re going to come back and we’re going to reassess, we’re going to get some feedback from the audience to see what we can do to make them better. The Wednesday episodes are still going to come out so don’t worry, but the Follow-Up Fridays, we’re just going to take a little break. So just letting you know, thanks so much again for your feedback, and we’ll see you when we come back, but this is the last Friday follow-up episode for now. So I hope you enjoy your summer too, I hope you’re making time for the things that are important for you and thanks for understanding.

Earlier this week, we spoke with Kevin Espiritu from Epic Gardening on YouTube and If you haven’t listened to that episode, I’d highly recommend it because Kevin has a really interesting story about how he kind of fell into gardening and how he’s just gone all in with it, truly all in with it. He’s doing so many great things. And that interview, after we hung up and after I edited the show with the team, it made me think about how much even closer we’ve gotten together since that chat and how often I actually chat with Kevin.

I spoke about this not too long ago, about the importance of relationships and finding a buddy and somebody that you can rely on. But I wanted to go even deeper into that because Kevin definitely demonstrates this. I spoke about it when I had Chris Ducker on the show. But more than that, the cool thing that Kevin does is he just kind of checks in with me every once in a while. He knows I’m sort of a beginner gardener. He knows that I have started a garden backyard with the kids. He knows sort of what’s in the garden. He’s never been over to our house. He’s seen pictures because I’ve shared them with him. But it reminded me of another person who’s been on the show before, Jordan Harbinger.

When Jordan was on the show in Episode 346, he talked about something called the layoff lifeline. And the layoff lifeline is this idea that there are people in your life, who if you were to get laid off or go through some tragic thing in your life of some kind, these are the people that you could kind of go to in that time of help. Jordan had spoken in that episode about the time that he got kicked out of his own business. He had reached out to me and several other people who he had kept in touch with over time to ask for a favor. We all bent over backwards essentially, to do what we could to help Jordan out. And here he is, he’s just crushing it now. He had those lifelines in his hand. If you might remember that show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Right? You could phone a friend and this is sort of that idea that you could, in the time of need, reach out to these people.

That really got me thinking about the relationships that I’ve had and how I could keep those going. I don’t know if this is just a natural thing that Kevin does, but I’ve noticed this with many successful people who I’ve gotten in contact with, they just seem to always reach out, just to kind of check in and see how we’re doing, just for no other purpose than to just see how we’re doing. It’s just such a great feeling on the receiving end of that.

Every once in a while, Kevin messages me and checks on the strawberries that we’re doing and how the tomatoes are growing. He knows we’re growing blueberries, I’m just not quite sure when they’re ripe. I’m on his live streams every once in a while and he’ll follow up with me. We’ve gotten to text each other, we’re also in a telegram group together, a tele… telegram… I can’t remember what the name of that app is, but it’s like a group voice and text messaging app of sorts, sort of like WhatsApp. But Kevin definitely demonstrates this. And again, this is a common factor between successful people that I’ve found is that they continue to nourish and nurture those relationships that they start.

I’ve noticed this with Michael Hyatt and Chalene Johnson. And Louis Howes reaches out every once in a while. It’s just one of those things. Ramit Sethi, Amy Porterfield, just a text out of nowhere. And so again, just another reminder to keep those relationships going. I don’t know, and I don’t care how you organize them, you just have to be able to do that. I’ve been trying to do better at that too, because as you begin to grow and scale as a business, you start to lose touch with some people. You might not know that they could be the answer to your next biggest question, a question that you might even know doesn’t exist yet. You might have some trouble moving forward, or you might have a cool promotion or what have you… doesn’t have to be sort of a tragic thing.

But in that time of need, if you haven’t reached out to a person in a while and you haven’t connected and kept that relationship going and just checked in, then good luck trying to ask for help. Because it’s just going to seem like a favor that comes out of nowhere versus a favor that one asks a friend, that a friend, “Hey, you didn’t even have to ask. I’d be more than happy to do that.” Right?

Another thing that I’ve noticed Kevin do ever since we chatted, was he goes live and he’s really good at putting his personality into his stuff. He did this thing recently where he was showing people live around his garden, right? Whatever your platform is, it’s really, really cool. I talked about this in my book, Superfans, to kind of bring people inside the factory doors, right?

People see his YouTube videos. People see his edited videos on Instagram. But when he’s live and he’s bringing people “backstage,” it makes them feel special. It makes them feel like VIPs, especially when he addresses people by name. He sometimes does these charity things and people do donate hundreds of dollars. But more than that, he’s showing people where these videos are filmed, but sort of in real time. And he can answer questions.

He did this thing recently where he was showing you how to harvest chamomile. Chamo-mill… chamomile? Doesn’t matter how you say it. But it’s like a flower, right? You pluck it out after it’s… It almost looks like a Daisy. It’s like white pedals with a yellow center. You dry them out and then you can put them in tea. Chamo-mill… chamomile? I don’t know, Chris Ducker would be upset at me right now. We often fight about this too.

But anyway, when he did his videos, he did one where he was just kind of plucking them out and then putting them in his basket. But every time he did it, he would just be like, “boop, boop.” Random sounds. On the surface, this is a person who’s running this ginormous business and he’s booping online. But he’s just kind of silly and interesting like that, and weird. Just like I’m super weird sometimes, and you’re probably weird, too. And the question to you is how often are you bringing your true self out there in that way?

There was even a moment where he’s just harvested his potatoes and he’s been kind of experimenting. Actually, it’s really cool what he’s doing because he’s using this new land that he got, and he’s growing like five types of potatoes. He’s kind of showing… Each of those potatoes are a different video, right? Just, all the potatoes are another video. He’s doing another one where he has three different ways to grow tomatoes and different ways to sort of keep them staying up straight as they grow. He’s got them all right next to each other. Each of those is a video. The whole thing is a video. It’s really cool. So again, he’s showing you behind the scenes.

Anyway, when he was doing his potato thing, somebody said that his head looks like a potato. Instead of being upset about it, he embraces it and he actually had a potato… I don’t know if somebody sent it to him or somebody gave him a picture that he then printed on a pillow, but he got a pillow created with potatoes. But his face, like his eyes and his mouth sort of like photo-shopped in this potatoes. It’s the ugliest thing. I mean, he just kind of shows it behind the scenes. He was like, “This thing will not come into my house. It’s haunted. It’s the weirdest thing ever.” But then he’ll lay next to it and take a photo and be like, “Yo, I’m a potato.” And just kind of embraced that.

So if you haven’t followed Kevin, I would highly recommend doing it. He’s one of the most prolific and smartest content creators right now. Yes, he’s in the gardening arena right now. So, Epic Gardening on YouTube. He’s doing so many things right. But I also know that he also, and he was very upfront with us in the interview we did, he doesn’t have everything perfectly organized. He wishes he did things more streamlined. He forgets to do some things here and there. But he’s fully focused and he’s obsessed with it and he’s bringing his personality out. That alone will get you so, so far. Right? So far.

He’s also very, very prolific with understanding trends, right? So not just like trends in… Okay, it’s strawberry season. so we better create a strawberry video or get ready for one. But trends of other creators online and videos that do well there. And how to kind of piggyback off of them in a way. You’re not stealing. But for example, there’s this five-minute crafts YouTube videos, where they just kind of do these gardening hacks. They’re really bad. They mostly don’t work and they just kind of edit things to make… You could put the seeds in a glass and then you’ll get roots. And then you can put these things in a napkin and all of a sudden you can plant it. You’ll have a mango tree or whatever. He demystifies those myths and basically tell the truth.

But he also knows that when he does that, because those videos have like eight million views, by addressing those specific videos, commenting on them, and reacting to them – I mean, they’re not the fanciest edited videos, but he has great information in them and they tie into those very popular videos and he’s getting suggested views from them. And he’s getting some people who watch those videos to go and watch his, because they want to know if this thing actually works or not. He’s getting a load of traffic that way. There’s some of his most popular videos. It’s also a great way to just kind of become the expert. Right?

If you notice that there’s some myths out there, if you notice that there are any trends or other things that you’re maybe like, “Well, I don’t know how I feel about that.” Why not write a blog post about it or host a podcast episode and bring a guest on to talk about this? Maybe that guest takes that side and you take another side, so you can have this formal, respectful debate about it. That’s really interesting. That’s very different. Maybe you create a video to show the truth behind something.

This takes me to something that I learned once from Ramit Sethi and several other people. It’s this idea that when you are in whatever space you’re in, you have to take a stand. Right? I think it was in Hamilton, “If you don’t know what you stand for, what will you…” Or “if you don’t know who you’ll fight for, what will you stand for?” Okay, I totally butchered that quote. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Hamilton. My absolute favorite musical, by the way. “In the room where it happened, the room where it happened.” Sorry.

Anyway, the incredible thing is that when you say… You don’t go, you know what? I believe that everybody should start a podcast. Or, I think that it would be good if you put your personality out online. You take a stand. Everybody needs a podcast. I truly believe that. And when I’ve embraced that, when I have owned that thought, I’ve made more sales. I’ve been more confident. The emails hit harder, more things work when you take a stand. If you start using words like “I think”, or “I believe”, or “maybe”, then how are people going to understand if that’s actually what you feel or not? How are they going to stand behind you if you don’t know what you stand for? That was a little bit better.

So take a stand for something. And it might mean that you’re going to draw a line and there’s going to be people on the other end. There’s going to be people that are upset.

I remember… This just sparks a memory for me. This was in Schaumburg, Illinois, 2011, my first speaking gig. I’m not talking about… I don’t want to talk about my first time on stage. I’ve talked about that many times. But I want to talk about the first time I saw Ramit Sethi, speaking of, who spoke there, this was the first time I saw him speak. To start his talk again, this was a personal finance blogger conference. He was in the finance space. But he always had a different tone and a different thought, and took a different stance. But he did take a stand. He was more in the camp of, instead of penny pinching, instead of putting $20 away in your account every month and then enjoying yourself finally when you’re 65, he talks about living a rich life and having that $4 latte. But getting it through bigger wins. Getting a raise, getting that dream job, starting a business, et cetera.

I resonated with him because I started a business and that changed my life financially. So I agree with him on that. Anyway, he started his talk with a, I don’t know, a three or four minute commercial. It was just like a parody. But it was Ramit going around, penny pinching in the most satirical way. Right? Let me just see if I can remember. He’d be like, “Hey, why spend money on toilet paper? It can be $1 to $2 roll when you could just use leaves from a tree. Because they’re absolutely free. I’m going to…” It got crude at some times, but the point hit home. Then his talk was about those big wins and that sort of thing. That’s really when I really resonated with him because I understood that.

But it was so funny because there were so many people there who I spoke with at dinners later, and at the bar who were like, “I hate Ramit. I don’t like him. I don’t like his style. He’s super rude. That was just disrespectful.” Maybe it was, but it got his point across and it’s very clear what he stands for. That’s why a lot of people stand with him. That’s how he became a New York Times bestseller with his book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. I think more of us need to do that. More of us need to do that.

So, in this Friday follow-up, we talked about a bunch of things. We talked about the Layoff Lifeline. We talked about Kevin and putting our personality into our work, and booping and beeping and bopping when you need to. We spoke about Ramit and taking a stand. So hopefully one of those topics today can help you get stronger, get better. Hopefully you look forward to next week’s episode where we have another, a great interview, actually, with somebody who I had just recently gotten to know. I’m really excited to share what I had learned and some of what he has to share with you. So it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Thank you so much for listening to this Friday follow-up episode today. I hope you have a grand weekend. Thank you so much, I appreciate you, and as always, Team Flynn for the win. Peace.

Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound design and editing by Paul Grigoras. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess, our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We’ll catch you in the next session.

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