Smart Passive Income & the Power of Superfans with Pat Flynn

Jun 26, 2019

Making money while you sleep is a romantic idea, but is it realistic? In this value packed interview, Pat Flynn shares just how realistic it truly can be.
  • (03:16) I wanted to take control. I wanted to do something where if I failed, it would be my own fault, not something that I didn't have control over. So I was looking at entrepreneurship as a route to go down. And around that time I discovered podcasts and there was one particular podcast where they interviewed other entrepreneurs and there was one episode where I heard a guy making six figures teaching people how to pass the PM exam, which which is the project management exam, and that was my big Aha moment because I had taken several exams, many very difficult in the architecture space, so I decided to put together this website and put all the information I knew about an exam called the lead exam. I soon became seen as an expert and a few months later I wrote a study guide where I packaged all my knowledge into an ebook for $19 and I sold it. The first month I launched it I made $7,908.55.
  • (05:21) You just need to really help a certain group of people and become their go to resource and you can build an amazing life. From that I built a new website called smart passive income, which is where most people know me from now, where I literally just share anything and everything. 
  • (05:59) You have the ability to create a life of your own with the skills and knowledge and experiences that you have. I've been able to create a business in a way that allows me to spend more time with my family. My wife and I, we walk our kids to school every day and we pick them up from school every day together. We have teachers come up to us and ask, "How are you able to do that? Did you win the lottery or something?" And I'm like, no, it's smart passive income. 
  • (07:17) Passive income is the idea of that you don't have to trade your time for money. You can create online businesses that take advantage of automation tools, build teams that allow for transactions to happen, cash flow and growth to happen without requiring a real time presence.

Invest time up front to build something that can pay you back many times over later.

  • (08:07) A person can come to my website, download an Ebook, pay for it, and get it delivered to them automatically. I don't have to have any hand in that transaction. It's all done in an automated fashion. I can literally wake up with more money in my account and it sounds sort of crazy, but it actually happens. It doesn't take much beyond just finding a group of people who need help and creating a solution.
  • (09:07) There were some challenges when I started to be an entrepreneur. It was so crazy that just on my computer or on my phone I could always be doing business and it felt like a cool thing. I could always be growing. I could always think about that next product. I could always think about that next email. But unfortunately, and this is before I had kids, my wife caught me in the middle of a conversation, not fully present. She called me out on what I was doing. I was thinking about my business when I should've been having a conversation with my wife. I felt so guilty about that when she called me out on it, but I'm so glad she did because we've had two kids since then. She really grounded me and taught me to make sure I'm present when I'm with her and the family, but also to be present in my business when I'm with my business. So it's a little bit challenging, but I have time boundaries now. Especially now that the kids are older and they're in school, there's moments when I know that I'm not going to have to worry about them, and moments when they come home I want to be fully present with them so I try to structure my day around that.
  • (10:17) I wake up pretty early. I practice "The Miracle Morning" thanks to Hal Elrod and I wake up before anybody else in the house and that allows me to work on myself first. It's like putting the mask on yourself in the airplane before you put it on other people. If I'm not okay, if I'm not in my best mental and physical health, then I'm not able to best help others. So in the morning I work on meditation, I do some affirmations, visualizations, exercising, reading and some journaling as well, all packed into about a 45 minute to one hour time slot. And then from there the kids are up and we're playing or reading and they do some journaling as well as some of my practices with personal development have gone on to them, which is really cool. So I help them with their writing and then we cook breakfast and we hang out. Then I kind of step into my office here at home or I more recently have now had an office at a local we work where I can go in and have access to podcasting equipment for the work that I do and the content that I create. And usually I'm back home in the afternoon. But what's nice is it's flexible. So if one random Wednesday we were like, hey, you know, maybe we should head up to Disneyland because we just feel like it. So, why not? 
  • (11:50) It's still a constant battle of learning how to balance entrepreneurship and life. But for me, especially with the kids and at the age that they're at now, my goal is to expose them to what their options can be because I didn't know I had this option of being an entrepreneur. I get them involved because for me, when, when my parents worked, I remember coming home from school and nobody was home until 6:00 PM when both my parents came home. So for me it was, work takes my parents away from me. And I want it to be the opposite. Work is actually what brings us together. Work is what gives us these opportunities. Work is something we can actually do together. So my son will often be in my office as I'm podcasting. Well, we even have a podcast together called "All of your Beeswax". Instead of going, "Don't touch that! It's incredibly expensive equipment.." I'm like, "Hey, look at this. Touch this. Play with it. What does this knob do? This one changes the base. Do you know what base means? No? That's how deep a sound is. Here, turn it up. See what you sound like now.." and just get them involved.
  • (17:09) There's so much involved in the mental related to entrepreneurship.
  • (20:07) I had to reframe my mind. That's one thing that I've gotten really good at, taking the negative and the thing that's making me feel bad and flipping it into a positive.
  • (22:24) I couldn't post anything new because I was so afraid of what other people would say and that, and starting to believe that we'll, maybe I am a fraud or you know, all the cylinder of like self doubts that come into play, which are not true, but it's emotions. One of my friends told me, and this is what got me working again, he said, "Pat, every second you waste thinking about this one hater is a second that you're taking away from the thousands of people who need you right now, and that's not fair to them. You have to get back on your horse for them. Who cares about this person? It's one person." And then a good friend of mine, Shannon Urban, who is a neuropsychologist said, "Hurt people, hurt people." and it changed the story. It was like, wow, this person is so hurt on the inside that they are willing to hurt others because of that. I hope this person's okay. Mentally I hope they're okay. I wish I could help them.
  • (25:22) My super fans are really the reason why I'm here. The reasons why new people come in the brand, they are my repeat customers. They are the people who support me. They are the people who defend me from trolls before I even know they exist. And this is so important because I think with where businesses are headed these days and the fact that it's the human to human connections that are going to be the most important no matter what happens in technology, no matter what the algorithm, it's the super fans who are always going to be there. And you actually don't need very many super fans to build an incredible business.
  • (25:55) Businesses are losing opportunities because we have these opportunities to create super fans right now. Unfortunately most businesses and people who are trying to build a following are so worried about getting more people and more traffic. But what happens when people find you and you're not working on what happens when they're in your ecosystem? You're losing that opportunity. And I'd much rather have people focus on what happens within your brand versus how to get people from the outside in. Because those super fans are going to bring those people from the outside in for you and they're going to be better qualified with that trusted recommendation.
  • (29:02) It comes down to serving first and creating valuable experiences over time.
  • (31:43) I can pinpoint every major event that has happened in my business career to a single person who has had an effect on my life during that time. If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self, I would tell myself that you never know. The next person you meet could be the one that changes everything and to not let the fear of meeting people or what that awkward conversation might be like, get in the way because you never know. So for me, the tactical advice I would give myself is, hey, if you are in a place where there's somebody that you want to meet, don't give yourself more than three seconds to psych yourself out, follow the three second rule. Go up to that person (if they're not in the middle of a conversation already) and just say hello and introduce yourself. You'll be able to pick it up from there. The three second rule is something that I always recommend for people who are in networking, who have a little bit of trouble doing that.

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