AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hello there! Amy Porterfield here. And thank you so much for taking the time to listen to this session. It means a lot to me. I know your time is valuable and you can't get it back so I'll be sure to make every minute worth it.
Today I am extremely excited for this episode because my guest is one of my very favorite people out there. His name is Mr. Pat Flynn. First of all, if you don't know Pat– which is probably unlikely, but just in case you don't–he's a well-known and highly successful online entrepreneur. He's a podcaster, a blogger, an author and is best known for his transparent leadership style and smart business strategies. He blogs at smartpassiveincome.com and has a podcast by the same name.
Like I said, I've been excited about this interview all week. Coincidentally, I'm actually going to be with Pat next week. We’re both speaking at the PartnerCon event in Phoenix, Arizona. It's an event put on by Infusionsoft. I know it's going to be a lot of fun. Together, Pat and I are doing a meet up. He does really cool meet ups in different towns he's in all the time but I have never done one! So we're doing one together, which will be really fun because then we get to have dinner with people we've never met yet, but we've had relationships with a lot of these people online so it's so fun to put a face to a name, finally. We're doing a meet up in Arizona, we're both speaking, it's going to be a lot of fun.
But before we get there, I had to take the time to interview Pat. There are a dozen topics that Pat and I could discuss that would be really valuable to anybody that's building an online business, but I am going to do something a bit different with this interview.
Here's how this all came about. About a week ago I saw a Facebook post from Pat where he talked about all the hard work and dedication he put into one keynote presentation that he recently did for an event called FinCon. It was a financial blogger conference.
I'm going to have Pat actually read the Facebook post for you, so you get the full effect, but after I read it, I had TONS of questions for pat, and that's why I invited him to the show. After I read that Facebook post, I wanted to dive in deeper and really learn a little bit about Pat's mindset when it comes to business and building a lifestyle business, really. Because Pat has these behaviors and habits and strategies he uses to prioritize his time and to really get clear on what matters most to him. Although it sounds easy to get clear about your goals and your priorities, I think we all know that it's not the easiest thing to do. I truly believe that long-term success is rooted in mindset. That's why I've invited him to the show. I really want to talk about priorities and goal setting and figuring out where you should be spending your time.
He has a lot of good stuff to share about this topic so let's go ahead and dive in.
Pat, thanks so much for being here. I really appreciate it. I've been looking forward to this all week.
Pat: Oh, so have I, Amy. Thank you for having me!
Amy: Yeah! We have definitely a lot of stuff to cover. And this podcast is going to be different. I know you've done so many interviews, but this time I'm going to really hone in on something specific, and that is that Facebook post that you posted not too long ago on your Facebook page. I thought what we'd do is start out by you literally reading that full Facebook post. Are you cool with that?
Pat: Yeah. This is really specific. One Facebook post.
Amy: I know! We've got a whole show around one Facebook post. This is the first. Go ahead, dive in, and then I'll ask you some questions.
Pat: Okay, here we go.
It starts off, says, “Here I am, mid-opening keynote at #FinCon13”–that was a conference I just recently spoke at. This was my first opening keynote. “I definitely feel like it was the best presentation that I've ever delivered.
I put in about 250 hours of work over the course of 4 months preparing for this gig, from the initial idea through crafting the slides and rehearsing each night for the final 3 weeks leading up to the event.
When my 1-year old couldn't sleep at night (due to teething or growth spurts), I'd buckle her into our van and drive around town, practicing my presentation by speaking it out loud until she fell asleep hearing my voice.
Before bed each night, I'd run through the first 12 minutes in my head before allowing myself to fall asleep.
I “re-read” all of my favorite presentation books: Stand and Deliver by Dale Carnegie, Resonate and Slideology by Nancy Duarte & Zen Presentation by Garr Reynolds – mostly through audio while on runs.
I studied the most viewed slides on Slideshare.com, and the most viewed and shared TED Talks on Ted.com – again.
I stopped watching TV (except for Breaking Bad), and I had to put some projects aside temporarily to focus on this.
This gig was incredibly important to me because FINCON helped me get my start in 2011, allowing me to get on stage in front of a crowd for the first time. I needed to bring my A-game, and I didn't want to leave any chance that I'd fail or leave a bad first impression. When you want something so bad and put in the hard work, good things usually happen.
I can't wait to share the video with you all. Thank you for your support, and if you were there in the crowd – thank you for everything.
Amy: Is that video live now?
Pat: No, actually. I'll talk about the video in a little bit but it's not live yet.
Amy: Okay, because i was going to say I'd link to it, but we'll get to that in a minute. The reason I wanted you to come on the show to talk about this specific post is because I know many of us who are building a business, including myself, struggle with deciding what should get our undivided attention. More often than not, we take on WAY too much because there's this fear of either not doing enough or a fear we're going to miss out on something really big if we pass up an opportunity. So, the show today is dedicated to honing in on what really matters to us, both personally and professionally so ultimately we can work less while still creating high-value, meaningful content, all the while enjoying the journey along the way.
I know it's a tall order but I know it can be done and I think you're a perfect example of this. So getting back to your post, when I read it I really felt like you had your priorities in check.
I’m sure not a the time, everyone can't do it 100% of the time, b t I fee ike yo rea y are clear about that.
I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the specific experience with the keynote and just more so how you decide what you're going to put your full focus toward. I guess another way to look at it–what process do you use to make these big decisions? I know that's a loaded question, but let's just use your example here in this post. How did you know that this is something that was really important to your business when all these other great opportunities, I'm sure, are coming your way regularly?
Pat: Well, I think the first thing that people have to think about when it comes to all these decisions we can make in our business and goals that we have and projects that we want to do is that, you know, we have to realize that we have to focus on one thing at a time. At least when you are working you have to have your attention devoted to that one specific thing. You have to prioritize. You have to understand what's most important to you or what needs to be done and things like that.
At this moment in time, I told myself in my head “This presentation is what I'm going to focus on these next three or four months leading up to the event, because it's that important to me.” And so it goes even beyond what it is, it's a presentation, but why was it so important to me? And it was because, like I said in the post, FinCon, the financial blogger conference, this year it was held in St. Louis–they helped me get my start in 2011 with doing public speaking.
Public speaking was something I was deathly afraid of doing and I never, even though I knew i could possibly get the opportunity to speak, I never reached out to anybody to try to make that happen. This was back in 2011.
Philip Taylor, the person who put on the Financial Blogger Conference for the first time in 2011, he reached out to me and he gave me the perfect opportunity to do something that I wanted to do. He opened the door for me and it was my choice to go and step through and thankfully he opened the door nice and wide for me and I stepped through and I had a great time and I've been hooked on public speaking ever since.
I couldn't have scripted the story any better, you know. It was my first time public speaking. I actually was the last person to speak at the entire event so I was even more nervous then. I could've ruined the whole conference for everybody! That's what I was thinking.
But everyone there made me feel so comfortable and so welcome. They were so welcoming. I felt like this time, getting the opportunity to do the opening keynote for this event, I needed to really focus and give back for everything they'd given back to me. So in my head I knew there were a lot of things to focus on, but this took top priority. So whenever I had the opportunity to work on anything I always chose to work on this.
That doesn’t mean for fo r months, a I did was prepare the presentation. It j st meant that whenever I had extra time or the opportunity to potentially try something new, I didn't try something new. I put my focus on this. And then, you know, things went really well after that.
Again, my first keynote I wanted to knock it out of the park and set the bar for further keynotes that I'm going to be doing. I'm actually doing one next week in Arizona, and it's really cool because we're going to be able to see each other and hang out there too, Amy, so that's going to be really cool. And I knew that this was going to be talked about, hopefully, and so I did everything I could, including taking advice that I got from a coach from previous presentations and reading it as much as I could, viewing as many good examples of what makes a good presentation, and I also knew that if I focused on this, and if I do a great job, it's going to help me in other parts of my business, too. Not only for putting myself out there and getting more exposure, potentially if it went really well, but also just myself as a person.
Becoming a better communicator, which is…I feel like public speaking is the ultimate skill, that filters down into everything else that you do. How to write blog posts, how to do podcasts obviously, how to do videos. It all transpires down from there. So if you can master the skill of public speaking, which I've been trying to do–I haven't mastered it. There's still some mistakes I made during the presentation. But I feel like because I’ve really dived in to public speaking I have become a better communicator, not just in business but also in my personal life, too. I'm better at sharing my ideas with my kids and having them understand what I'm trying to teach them, and better communicating with my wife when we get in an argument, perhaps, but she's probably the best arguer in the world. She always wins. But—
Amy: Ooh, that's tough!
Pat: I'm trying! I'm trying.
But yeah, going back to your original question–how do you know what to focus on? Really, you have to look inside of you. A lot of times we just do what seems to be put in front of us, and whenever something is put in front of us we get those wide eyes and bright lights and…it's hard. You have to consciously ask yourself, okay, how much does this thing that's presented to me here mean to me? And it's hard to say no, it's probably the hardest thing to do in the world. Especially when great opportunity is coming your way, and even furthermore especially when you have your friends and people you care about coming to you for help, too, you have to focus on what you need to focus on and know that, and communicate with other people that you know you're just saying no right now, if you are indeed saying no.
Amy: Oh, that's a good point. Maybe saying no now, knowing that maybe down the road it could be a yes. Just not this moment.
Here's the deal…a few things I want to ask you, specifically about the whole keynote and preparing for it. What do you do in order to make sure that you stay the course? Meaning I felt like there were a lot of things that you could've made excuses for to not do it. In the post you mentioned your crying baby and the fact that you got in the car and you drove around. A lot of people would be like “You know, I have two little kids, there is no time for this!” And so I felt like you overcame obstacles and challenges and excuses, so you're really good at keeping your habits or your behaviors in check. How do you do that?
Pat: Well, you know, with the people around me, like my kids and my wife, communication is a big part. They knew, or my wife knew at least, that I was really focused on this. So she knew that I was really in a sort of deep moment with preparing. She knew that she might need to take the kids a little bit longer and it's tough with the kids especially, because their schedules change all the time. Like I said in that Facebook post, a lot of the times my daughter wouldn't fall asleep. She was teething, and stuff like that. So it was a perfect opportunity knowing that when she's in the car she sleeps a lot easier, that I could double up and put her to sleep while working on my presentation and trying to memorize the most important parts of my presentation.
I don't try to memorize the whole thing. That was a big mistake I made when I first started presenting, trying to memorize 20 or 30 pages of script. Short tip, I memorized the intro, typically the first 12 minutes, because you want to get that down pat. And also the outro, so that people can remember what you said and also you can leave a good lasting impression.
It's not going to be easy at first, you just have to experiment and try things out and if things work, great. Do more of that. If not, then don't do that anymore. It's hard, especially, like I said, with the kids. You just got to roll with the punches and play with the cards you're dealt with.
Amy: Yeah, so true. Tell me this–a lot of people that are just starting out in their businesses, they struggle and I get a lot of emails about this, with not knowing what to put as a priority and not knowing where they should focus in on their business. I was curious to know, especially as we're getting into the new year, do you do anything in terms of setting goals but those big priorities so you can then check against when opportunities come your way, you check against those goals to see if they fit–do you do any of that?
Pat: Yeah. Goal setting is huge. If you don't know what your goals are, how do you know where to go? It's like driving with no destination. You’re just going winding around everywhere. You're wasting gas, you're spending money. All bad things, when you don't know where you're going.
If you know where you're going, you can find the shortest B-line to get there. It's not always going to be a bee-line, it's not always going to be a straight road, but at least you know the direction you're going. So absolutely, goal setting is completely important.
And you can have a lot of different goals! And they can overlap a little bit. But at any moment in time when you're working you need to have one specific goal that you're focusing on at that very moment. When it came to this keynote presentation four months down the road, it's really easy to get off track or say “I'll put this off until tomorrow.” Or “I still have 3 months left. I still have 2 months left.”
I knew, just from my own experience speaking, that the more I wait the harder it's going to be. And so I try to make it easier for myself and tell myself “If I start working on this now, it's going to be a lot easier for me later.” And even though this is the
presentation, a big one for me and I put in all this time, it was definitely the easiest one I've ever given because of the prep work I put into it.
Part of what goes along with that, and with any sort of goal you might have, you want to break those goals down. A big goal is easy to put off until tomorrow, but when you break that goal down into 12, however many goals it might be, mini goals, steps along the way to get to that next goal, you'll see exactly “Okay, this is my next task.” And knowing that when you complete that you're one step closer to that end goal.
So what I actually did was I had a schedule out, I had “4 months down the road, presentation given at FinCon in St. Louis” and I sort of reverse engineered everything I would have to do. “Okay, I would have to rehearse for probably 3 weeks to make sure I get it down right.” Before that, “Okay, I have to have my slides done. How long is that going to take? Well, two weeks. So I need to start that by this certain time.” Reverse engineer that. “Okay, well what sort of messages do I want to share? What–” Just going backwards from there, that helps me keep on track.
And no, I didn't stick with the schedule the whole time. But when you have that schedule and those mini-goals, if you don't reach a certain deadline for one of those minigoals, you can catch up and you can put in a little bit of extra work. Or, if I finish something early, I'm like “Sweet, I can take a break from this now or do something else.” It's really important to have those goals but it's really important to break those goals down as well.”
Amy: Yes, I love that! Every time I do a big launch I do the whole reverse engineering and it's really specific. I think I work best when there are deadlines and specifics and if I'm going to outsource anything I'm really clear who's doing it, when they're getting it back. I think all of that is so important, and many of us have these big goals, but I would probably venture to guess a lot of people haven't broken them down along the way to make them really tangible.
Pat: No, nobody has. It's ridiculous–because I work with a lot of people who try to do a lot of big things and it's amazing, they're so ambitious. And when I ask them “Okay, what's the road map look like?” they just stare at me with b ank faces. And I’m ike “How do yo not know what your next step is?” That's what stopping them from moving forward. They don't even know what to do next because they just see this thing way afar and expect something amazing or a miracle to happen to just transport them there, when really it's going to take a lot of steps, a lot of work, a little bit of time. Gosh, I mean, it's just mind boggling.
You have to–you literally should write this down. Write down your goals and literally reverse engineer what it takes to get there. If you don't do that, you don't want it. And you know, that tactic might not work for everybody, but it works. When you see something on paper, it becomes real. Because what's in your brain is crazy, it's clouded, it's messy, there's a lot of other things in there.
That's why mind mapping is such a great way to organize things. I use mind maps a lot. I used a mind map to structure this presentation because I have all these ideas and they're in my head and they're floating around. Well, how do you organize that? You put it on paper so it stays in one spot and you can move it around and shift things around so it becomes organized. And then once you see it, it becomes real. You can put deadlines to it, you can meet those goals. If you don't meet them you can push a little harder the next time. Things like that.
Amy: It's so true. When I worked with Tony, he always said “You've got to schedule it to make it real.” But even beyond that “You've got to document it to make it real.”
If it's in your head, he would always say “That's not real yet.” you've got to get it out there. So I totally believe that.
He said something so important. “If you're not doing all of this, you don't want it.” And I think that's such a great way to look at things. If you are struggling with completing a project or reverse engineering every single detail–because that could be daunting. I don't know about you but, for my launches, I have 15 pages of notes, of reverse engineering, because I get really specific. And I'm looking at this like “Holy cow, this is so much.” But I know how exciting how my launches are. I love, love, love doing them so it's worth it to me.
Pat: The next time you go through that process, the procedure is right there for you.
Amy: It's done! That's another thing I really love. No need to reinvent the wheel. Do it one time and then tweak it as you go. So I totally agree with that.
But would you agree that if someone's struggling to, let's say a lot of my clients want to do product launches. They want to create a program and then launch it online. And a lot of them struggle and tell me that they're working on a program and six months later they're telling me they're still working on that program. Sometimes I wonder do they really want it enough? And maybe they don't. Maybe it's something they're working on that they need to change direction because it's not something that's
getting them excited. Would you say it's that? Or…are they lazy? I mean, what do you think about that?
Pat: I don't think it's lazy. Usually it's not laziness, especially when you talk to people that are listening to podcasts and that are your clients. Those people aren't lazy. The lazy people who are just–they're not doing anything. They're not even attempting to educate themselves. So everyone listening to this, you are not LAZY.
Amy: I am so glad you said that, yeah.
Pat: You are potentially just, either not devoting your energy and time into what you should be doing, or you're putting too much time into something that could have already been launched. I think that's the big thing that I know from the people I work with is that they try to be perfectionists. That's what's holding them back from moving forward or launching. They're scared and using perfectionism to try and make everything and put all the bells and whistles in there. That's actually just an excuse because they're scared of what's going to happen.
You don't know but there's a lot of people out there that could benefit from what you have to offer. The products you have, the product launch that you're about to do. And the more you put your fear in front of it, the more of a disservice you're doing to your audience that way.
I mean, you can change people's lives. Is putting your fear in front of that fact worth it for you? I think that was a big mindset mind hack for me when I thought about that, when I was scared to launch my recent course Breakthrough Blogging. I was like “You know what, there are so many people that could benefit from this.” This is actually something that many other people have told me. “Dude, this is really helpful. You HAVE to put this out now. What the heck are you doing?”
And I was like “I don't know what I'm doing…I'm just a little scared, or I don't know what to expect.” And yeah, that's the scary part, but that's also sort of the fun part. But if your content is good, if you know the product can help, and it does what you promise it can do, and more, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You can perfect it, you can tweak it later. It's a very, you know, I love the sort of–and this is sort of the thing now.
Ever since Eric Ries started talking about in The Lean Startup, people are doing a lot “lean” launches now, where they're launching products that aren't, necessarily, 100%
complete with all the bells and whistles and fancy things, but they're launching something that works. A minimum, viable product. A minimum effective dosage. Something that works and delivers, but then they work closely with their clients and the people that they're providing value to, to make and tweak that thing even better, and to keep their clients and their readers or customers feeling like they're an important part of the direction of where that product is going that can help them.
I would definitely recommend reading The Lean Startup because that changed my whole mindset with trying to make and put everything into the supports I just released, and instead putting everything into it, I just put what I needed to put into it. And then I've been working closely, speaking with people individually to tweak it and make it even better and put features in that I wouldn't even have thought about myself. But I'm getting feedback directly from those who I'm working with.
So, all this to say…get something out there that works. It doesn't have to be perfect. And then work with the people you are providing value to improve it, make it even better for the people who are going to come in and buy that product in the future.
Amy: It's amazing how much your confidence will grow when you actually just put it out there. I know that when I finally got my first product out there, I'm super embarrassed–if that product surfaced now, I'd be super embarrassed about it. But it went out there it made some money but it also helped a lot of people and I got so much feedback. I was able to fix it right away and make it even better. So there's something to be said about just getting it out there. Have you ever read that book Rework?
Pat: Rework: 37Signals. Jason Fried and David Hansson.
Amy: Yes! It's so good! I don't know why I was so late to the game and just recently read it a few months ago, but that book is so good for anybody that's feeling overwhelmed in your business or feeling like there's just too much coming at you or you have too many balls in the air kind of thing. They simplify it so much and they're along the lines of what you just said with the lean startup of getting it out there, even when it's not perfect and then listening to your audience to perfect it. And I think that is exactly the same line. Some of my favorite books right now for sure.
Pat: Yeah, and it's such an easy read.
Amy: Such an easy read!
Pat: It's sort of made up of a lot of little tiny blog posts, I guess, but I would've loved to read this when I was still working 9 to 5 and show it to my boss and be like “Dude, like–” One of the chapters I remember is about how evil meetings are and how nothing gets done.
Pat: I would have been like “Dude, Boss, look at–read this! Because we're just sitting here doing nothing…like, 20 man hours every day being wasted.”
Amy: I totally agree. When I was still working with Robbins, when I read the book I thought “Holy cow, if I read this four or five years ago I would've changed everything in my department with how I was running things.” Because you're right–the meetings suck your time and there are just so many good chapters just–literally, you're right. They're like, two page chapters but I have to go back to them again and again because I'm like “Yes, yes! This makes sense!”
So, totally agree. I think anyone still in a 9 to 5 job should read Rework. Anyone building a business, Rework for sure.
You said something–oh! I remember. You were talking about your priorities in general and I remember I listened to one of your podcasts and you mentioned something about folders. What is it with you and folders and how you prioritize? I thought that was really kind of nuts and bolts. I would love to hear about that.
Pat: Yeah, it is. For every new, big project that I take on, I create physical folder for it. And this is sort of a way to materialize everything we already just talked about. So one specific–a literal folder that you can open and close. I have a sheet of paper in there and I just write down what I want to have at the end, I put that at the end of the sheet. And then I reverse engineer and then I have at the end a whole checklist of steps that I need to take from where I'm at now to what I need to do.
What I love about this is, when I'm–because I have trouble focusing. I think a lot of people do. This is a tactic that helps me. When I understand what my priority is and what I want to work on, I just bring that folder out and boom, everything that I need to do and what I need to do next within that project is in my hands. That's what I’m focusing on. A of those other folders I have, the iPhone apps and the other sites I want to build and the other projects that I want to work on, they’re there, but just not right
now, because my eyes are on this folder and the next task within that is going to help me get to the bottom which is that end goal.
When you create these folders, if this is something that yo want to do, yo ’re never going to understand exactly how to get from point A to point Z, which is why I love my mastermind groups and I love talking to people like you, Amy, and just asking for help or doing research just to find out “Okay, what is it that I need to do to get from this step to this step? Where could I go?” And that's where Evernote comes in because I have folders in Evernote that connect to these physical folders where I put in information as far as what I can do to learn about these things.
And I love this because another problem that a lot of people have, and I have this too, is that there's so much great information out there, but it's not always relevant to what I want to do right now. And for a long time, I would just read this post about, you know, subject A and I'd be so focused on subject A for a while and then all of the sudden another podcast or post would come out about another thing, completely different, and then I'd be like “Wow, that'd so cool! I want to do that!” and then I want to do this one and this guy comes out with a post and they're all such good information, but it's kind of evil because those things are taking my information away from the next task in that folder for that specific project.
So this is something that I learned from Jeremy Francen from Internet Business Mastery. He calls it Just In Time Learning. Understand what your next task is, and if you don't know how to do it, just learn about that. Everything else, put aside, put it away for later.
Amy: Ooh, I like that.
Pat: That's why I use Evernote. But whatever I'm focused on now, that's all I am allowed to learn about. And then I can learn about other things later when those things apply.
Amy: Okay, this is huge, because you're right. We have so much great information at our fingertips. I mean, if we just looked up podcasts alone I could spend the entire day just listening to a million different podcasts I love.
You're saying, let's say right now I have to focus on–I'm just going to make something up–on Facebook ads. I would dig into my Evernote of the articles I've saved about
Facebook ads or I just focus right then on that topic until I really get it, before I move on to anything else?
Pat: Right. Even within Facebook ads, okay. What about Facebook ads? How to set up an account. Okay, well I look up information on how to do that or where do I go to get that? Oh, of course, Amy Porterfield has that information so I'm going to go to her and find that! So that's my next task, and that's what I'm going to learn about until I move on to the next one, and it's something–you know, if I find out something new that I have to do I add it to that list. And yes, it's a little scratched up because things move around, but I love the sort of tangible texture of it, I love the paper.
Amy: Me, too.
Pat: And being able to literally cross out or check a box, it is just so fulfilling!
Amy: It IS!
Pat: And I could see, like, progression down to the bottom where that goal is, as opposed to just doing stuff and in your head being like “Yaaay, I finished something!” You know, you can't see how much closer you are. So many people who I talk to are like “Yeah, I do the same thing in my head.” And I'm like “Okay, good for you.”
Pat: I don't know. I would bet that they are just saying that because those people are perhaps too lazy or they want to believe that their brain can do everything for them as opposed to having it written out and shown and like I said earlier with mind maps and that whole thing, seeing it on paper or on your screen does so much for motivation and accountability and goal setting, and if you share these goals, these pieces of paper or these road maps with other people, that's even further accountability and motivation to keep you going.
Amy: It is true, that's so true. And you mentioned two things, that I'm kind of jumping around a little bit but they're just so good I can't resist.
One of the things you were mentioning is getting it down on paper, reengineering it as best as you can, and you won't have all the answers, but I do believe that the quality of your questions improve as you work on something yourself and you get it down on paper, or you put it on a Google doc, or whatever that is. But a lot of the
times, someone will come to me with a question and they haven't even started. They haven't really explored it themselves. And the quality of the question is pretty weak.
However, those people that come to me and they've tried it, they've done some research, they've kind of built out an outline and then they come to me with a question? Holy cow, it changes the game. And I'm excited to jump in and really help them because I know they've put the effort there! I think there is something to be said about that.
But in addition to that, you mentioned you go to your mastermind friends and you talk to your peers and whatnot. One of the questions I get asked a lot–I'm so glad we get to talk about this because sometimes it's just me and my head with this kind of stuff–people will ask “Amy, where do you find these great masterminds?” And they are new in their niche and they are looking for a mastermind and a lot of the times when I started masterminding I paid for it. I paid Marie Forleo to be in her Rich, Happy and Hot mastermind so I could be around women that were starting their business. That was valuable to me, but what do you tell people that say “I don't know where to go but I want a mastermind like yours”?
Pat: Sure. Well, there's a few things you have to understand. A, you don't have to be in the physically same location as those people that your masterminding with. It can be anybody in the world, and that something that opens up a lot of doors for a lot of people, because they're like “Oh, I don't have to meet in person?” No! You just have to be able to connect with each other either through Skype or Google Hangout or GoToMeeting.
One of my groups meets weekly on FreeConferenceCall.com. We don't even see our faces. And we get all of the value in the world from each other there.
Another thing to think about is, you don't need to have the same people in your niche with you, in your mastermind group. To be honest it's better if you actually diversify your group a little bit, because you're going to get information and eyes from another sort of perspective into your brand and you probably wouldn't have thought of those things.
I have a person in one of my mastermind groups. He's a magician who goes in a show on the road. He's awesome, because he provides all this incredible insight, and it's been really helpful for me for public speaking and that sort of thing and showmanship, and so, you know, we're helping him with his online business and he's
helping us with communication and showmanship and things like that, stuff I wouldn't get from other people just if I were to stay in the online business industry.
Third y, if one doesn't exist and yo ’re having a hard time finding them–and you can find them, I mean, going to conferences, putting yourself in places where those people are, is a great way to go find people. That was one thing I mentioned at FinCon in my keynote, where I was like ‘Hey, you are in a perfect spot to form a mastermind group. You have to just have the courage to go and make it happen.” That's really what it comes down to is just asking! And, you know, potentially starting one yourself.
One of the–I'm actually in three mastermind groups.
Pat: Heh! Yeah. And they each meet each week. They are that–I would not be where I'm at if it wasn't the valuable input I've received from my members and friends and colleagues who I love. I absolutely love them, I would do anything for them. I wouldn't be where I'm at if it wasn't for them.
You know, there's a lot of places where you can go to start one like conferences and things like that. Meetup.com is another good one, where people actually meet in person in your local area and then you can connect with them there. And forums and groups–there might be people in your audience who might be, you know, people you can connect with. There's probably some people, if you have a blog or website, people in your community that you can invite to come and become a part of your group, too. They're going to be jazzed about that and working with you.
And another thing to keep in mind is, you know, this is something I always recommend. You want to make sure the people in your group aren't too far from where you're at, if that makes sense? Let's say you're a 5 out of a 1-to-10–I don't–just in as far as, like…what you do online. You're not an A-lister, like a 10, but you're not an absolute rookie, beginner, like a 1. You're in the middle, right?
You want to connect with people who are like 5, 6, 7 and also 5, 4, 3. I would say maybe within a 5 point range. Because if you have a 10 person in there and everyone else are 5s or 6s, that person is going to feel like they're not getting much out of it, and that they're just, all they're doing is providing you with information and they're not getting anything back.
On the flip side, if they're not getting a one in the group, that far below where you're at, and some of the other group members are at, you're going to feel like they're not pulling their weight or they're not able to provide you with value as well. You want everyone to be able to mutually help each other in the best way possible with each of their own experiences. I mean, I would recommend that.
Amy: Yeah. I love that you said that because I'm in a mastermind now that I actually started with James Wedmore, at least we had the idea to start it together and then we pulled in some people, and it's my favorite one that I've ever, ever have been in, and it would never have happened if I wasn't in another mastermind that just wasn't a good fit for me. So I will say that there's hit and misses for sure, and I think that you've been so lucky to have three that you love. That's so rare and I think that's fantastic.
But there's definitely times where you might get in one and you think “This just isn't a right fit for me” and I think you make that decision earlier than later. Don't stay too long, because a mastermind that's not a right fit for you could actually hurt your business in some ways.
I think it's important to really know yourself, know what you want to do with that, and my mastermind, I feel like everybody can blow me out of the water. I know that's probably not technically true but they're just so amazing that it makes me want to show up and be really, really amazing every single time! And so I love that masterminds push you there.
Pat: Right, absolutely. I mean, you want to be–if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room, basically.
Amy: Yes. So true. I mean, it could be a great ego boost, but that's pretty much all, so. So true for sure.
I know we're kind of getting to the end of our discussion. However, I want to ask a question that might be difficult Pat, but I think that you are a perfect person to answer it. I think a lot of people listening might be thinking “I'm struggling to figure out what is my ‘why' in all of this. And why am I doing it? Why am I working so many hours a day?” And I think that they've lost their way a little bit and feel overwhelmed or, just, quite honestly really stressed with all the work.
What can you give advice to somebody that's just really struggling with the purpose of the ‘why'? How can they get there?
Pat: That's an incredibly important question, because without the Why, why are you doing what you do? I know a lot of people who just are going through life not even thinking about why they do what they do, it's just the path they've been set on. And that was me, when I was in architecture. I loved architecture, but I didn't really–you know, it wasn't until I got laid off that I understood, really, what the possibilities were. Online business gave me the ability to actually discover my ‘why' and also be with them.
And for those of you that don't know, my Whys are my kids. Everything I do is for them. I think about them with every discussion I make online. I think about them when they're older and I want them to be like “Oh, Dad was a smart business guy, and he made good decisions” and not “Oh, I can't believe dad did that or was scammy” or any of that stuff. That's what guides me. That's my Why. I want to be a good example for them. But also, people in my audience, too.
So discovering your Why, it's not something that you can just make up. It has to be real. I think something that you could do, is sort of think about the future and when you are potentially retired and you're sitting around and you’re thinking back on life, you want to ask yourself “Did I really do what I wanted to do in life?”
When you think about it that way, you don't think about the “Oh yeah, I worked in front of a computer 40 hours a week.” That's not what you live for. You live for well, what does that 40 hours a week in front of a computer do for you? And, you know, it might take some soul searching in order to make that happen, and it's not going to come easy. It might take–it doesn't have to be another person. It could be anything, really. That's what makes us unique as people. We all have different reasons for doing what we do and why we live, and I think–you just kind of have to soul search a little bit and discover.
I think a lot of people who might not know what their why is, you have to put yourself in situations where you can go and find it. You have to experiment and you have to– for some people, you know, you hear these stories of people who don't know where they're at in life and then they travel and discover themselves. It's because they're putting them in different situations where they're able to really examine what's going on, on the inside and learn from people they've never connected with before.
The changes that happen are what makes you, you know, so–when you put yourself in a position where things are different and things change, you discover really why you
do what you do. That is a very tough question, and I don't know if you're satisfied with that answer, but—
Amy: No, I think it's good!
I think it's so important that people realize they might not have their Why yet, and it's not easy to find. But it is something that deserves your attention. Because I think it makes all of your decisions, your decisions become easier to figure out, your priorities, it's really easy to figure out what folders you're going to have for all those projects when you know what your priorities are and you know what your purpose is, I think decisions just become easier to make.
Pat: Yeah. I think you need to ask yourself why. You're just trying to figure out why, well ask yourself why. Or what makes you happy, I think would be the first question.
Lots of times you'll answer with a very surface level question, your answer. “What makes you happy?”
“Making lots of money.” “Well, why?”
“Well, because I like freedom to do whatever I want.” “Well, why?”
“Because I want to be able to spend more time with my kids.” Well, there you go.
You can keep going further and further. I mean, it's really a matter of self-discovery. There's a Japanese term, I forget what it is, but they use it in the Toyota Corporation when something fails in the factories. What happens when there's a mechanical failure, for example? They shut down the whole factory. Everything! And then they ask “What happened? Why? Well, why did that happen? Why did that happen?” Six, seven levels deep, so they can get to the core root of the problem and then start up again, instead of maybe just going 1 or 2 levels deep, fixing that until it breaks again later.
Gosh, I can't remember–
Amy: It's a good one though, I like that.
Pat: –I always use this example and I can't remember the darn term because it's–I can't pronounce it very well! But if you look up like six whys…maybe I can look it up while I'm on here, but.
Amy: Well, but I would say that I love the idea of the “Why, why, why?” Getting back to something I learned from Tony, he's always talking about the people that have the most success are asking the quality questions. You're right, that first “Why do I do what I do?”
That first answer probably is not really at the root of it. So, pushing yourself–and I challenge everybody listening to really get clear on their purpose or their why.
And, you know, even taking it further, I don't usually do this, but I would love for you to come to the show notes and actually in the comments tell us your why. I would love to hear everybody's why or their purpose or why they do it. Wouldn't that be cool?
Pat: That is cool. So I figure, I found the term, kaizen. K-A-I-Z-E-N.
Amy: Kaizen. And that's when you shut it all down to kind of back it up to the why?
Pat: …No. Kaizen is lead manufacturer. Taiichi Ohno, I think is what it is. [Note: This is actually the name of a Japanese businessman that is considered the father of the Toyota Production System, according to Wikipedia. Also according to Wikipedia, Kaizen literally means “good change” and “in English is typically applied to measures for implementing continous improvement.” -Ed.
Amy: Okay, THAT is not easy to pronounce.
Pat: Yeah. I'm even reading this and getting it wrong. So don't expect me to find the right one. But the idea is like Amy was saying. Figure out the deeper root behind what you do. And I'm really glad you asked people to actually write that down, because it's really important. Once you see it there, it becomes real, like I said.
Amy: It does, and I think that it would be kind of fun to declare your Why to everybody! So you can leave a comment on the show notes at amyporterfield.com/19, just the number 19 and I will be sure to read every single one and I'm sure Pat will take a look as well.
Amy: We would love to see that.
So, Pat, I cannot thank you enough. I think diving into your recent experience with your keynote presentation, I think it reveals so many valuable lessons about priorities and about habits and behaviors and I know those lessons will resonate with everybody listening. So again, thanks so much for taking the time to come on the show.
Pat: Thank you so much, Amy. And as far as–I know you're the Facebook queen, so I just want to say it was really cool to see the reaction when I posted that image, and that note there. It has almost 550 likes and a bunch of shares, a ton of comments.
And that's something I've noticed recently–I'm sorry to go off on this tangent, but I just want to share this really cool thing that happened as a result of sharing this post.
Pat: People talk about the things you share. And when you make a reel and you share things like this and you go behind the scenes a little bit behind what you do, that stuff resonates with people. I forgot how powerful this is, especially on a platform like Facebook where sharing happens and people love to share that sort of insider information or the things that are real that are happening in your life, so.
I put up these posts sometimes like “Hey, going out to dinner with the wifey, where should we go?” And those are cute, you know. Those are great. Those are real, people see you're a real person, have a wife and things like that. But stuff like this, where you go deep–that's the stuff that really resonates with people and Facebook has a really cool platform for things like that.
Amy: It does! And I'm going to embed that post into the show notes so people can see it. It has a really cool picture with it.
And anybody just listening right now, take a look at how he put this post together. The image he used and how he wasn't afraid to just go on and on in the post. It doesn't have to be short and sweet all the time. You’re right, you've got so many likes and shares and talking about it, and obviously I'm doing a whole podcast around it, because I thought it was just so good, and I love seeing you share behind the scenes.
So for anyone listening for your own business, what kind of epic Facebook post can you put together to share something with your listeners that they can learn from?
I think we learned a lot from that post because the dedication and hard work really pays off and it was so evident in that. So, again, so glad you shared that. I'll share it on the show notes as well. And I just really appreciate you being here.
Pat: Thank you, Amy.
Amy: Take care!
So there you have it! If you want to learn even more from Pat, you can check out his website at smartpassiveincome.com, and all of the links that we talked about and that Facebook post that started this whole conversation can be found at my show notes at AmyPorterfield.com/19.
Also, as always if you like this podcast, I would really love for you to tell your friends all about it. Just go to AmyPorterfield.com/love and you can tweet about it to help me spread the word.
Until next time, I hope you make it a great week.