Pat Flynn is one of today’s most beloved thought leaders in the areas of Internet business, online marketing, and lifestyle entrepreneurialism. I approached his fans yesterday and here is what they told me about Pat.
”What I like about Pat is that he is a regular dude, and he will be the first to tell you that. His transparency is inspiring”
”Pat is a man of integrity, honor and an all American man. One that many mothers dream of for their daughters. Who is Pat Flynn-IMO, a selfless, inspiring man that has a heart for people. He is successful and shares what brought him success all free…”
”Inspiring, funny, thoughtful, intelligent. He’s example of what you want in a friend. He just seems like a truly great guy!”
Now, on top of his accomplishment Pat can also add his new book called “Let Go’’. Let Go is Pat Flynn’s touching memoir about overcoming adversity through a commitment to pursuing your own path. It’s about how he became a happy and successful entrepreneur.
The book is not just a book in its traditional sense – it is a multimedia experience. Let Go includes links to accompanying HD videos with the author that share greater backstory about the book’s central message and specific moments.
If you share Pat’s impulse to pursue your own path, then I am sure you’ll enjoy reading Let Go.
Today Pat is celebrating a Let Go Day. What does it mean? It means that today, June 17th beginning 12:00 P.M. Pacific / 3:00 P.M. Eastern you can get online for a two-hour LIVE webinar with him and his special guests at www.letgoday.com.
I am happy to share my interview with Pat in this blog. Here is what he shared with us.
1. What made you decide to write your Let Go story?
I’ve told my story in blog posts and podcast interviews before, but I never wrote the story in book form before now because I didn’t think text alone in a book would do the story justice. There are so many components and levels to the story – not just what happened to me but psychologically what was going through my head each step of the way – it wasn’t until I had an opportunity to publish Let Go on a platform that also incorporated audio and video as well.
When the SnippetApp platform came out for iOS, I was given the opportunity to become one of the first authors for this new platform, and after I saw a demo of it I was incredibly excited because I knew that this platform would be the perfect place to share my story.
After a successful launch on the SnippetApp platform, a number of my blog readers and subscribers were upset because they didn’t have access to an iPhone or iPad to read and watch the multi media story. That’s when I published the book on Amazon and it shot up to #1 in Small Business and entrepreneurship, which I am so thankful for!
2 Your book Let Go is very personal – was it easy to open up to so many people, who would be reading it?
It wasn’t very difficult for me. On my blog I am used to sharing many personal stories and I definitely wanted to make sure I also did that in my book too. It helps me build a stronger relationship and deeper connection with my audience, which makes the content that much more enjoyable, in my opinion.
3. I am sure that there were times, when you were thinking about giving up. What kept you moving forward at those times?
Many times – too many to mention actually. I remember wanting to give up when I was working on my first product, when I was trying to figure out how to sell it, and even after I was making good money and found success – there were always times when I questioned whether or not I was cut out to do what I was trying to do.
Even with my main blog at SmartPassiveIncome.com, in the first year I wanted to give up 5 or 6 different times – mainly because I wasn’t used to getting so little traffic. Luckily, I kept going and so many good things happened after I was patient with the results.
What truly kept me moving forward was thinking about the fact that something amazing could happen tomorrow. Meaning, if you put the hard work in, good things will happen. They might not happen today or tomorrow, but if you keep working at it, it eventually will. The only sure thing I knew is that if I gave up and stopped trying, that I would not see any results. At least if I kept going, I always gave myself a shot. Also, looking at all of this from my audience’s point of view. I know I had information that could help them – it would be selfish of me to stop because I didn’t get the results I wanted right away, or because I was too scared.
4. When you were writing Let Go you already had your fans and ready audience. How would you position your story if that was not the case?
I would do exactly what Tim Ferriss did when he published The 4-Hour Work Week. I would get offline and connect and build real relationships with as many people as possible. If you listen to SPI Podcast Session #51 when Tim Ferriss was a guest on my show, he goes into great detail about how he came from being a nobody first time author, to a #1 New York Times Bestseller. Connecting and building real relationships with other bloggers with the same target audience, and having them becoming interested in what you’re doing (and especially if you can already give and lend a hand to what they do) they are going to be likely to help you out when you launch your book too.
5. Many people may identify themselves with the beginning of the Let Go story and very few with the happy end of it. Why is that some eventually succeed and others don’t? Is it about hard work, luck, mindset…?
There are a lot of variables that play a role in a success story. Hard work and luck are definitely a part of that, but to me luck is actually a result of hard work. I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who said, “The harder you work, the luckier you become”, which I’ve found to be absolutely true, although I might argue that working smarter is better than working harder. You can work hard on something, and if that work isn’t helping you achieve your goals you are not going to go anywhere.
Mindset, I believe, is the biggest factor. People who are successful have a different mindset and outlook on life and the events that happen within their lives. For example, many people who are successful have also failed many many times before, and they appreciate each and every one of those failures because they were stepping stones on the path to today. Failure, in the eyes of those who are successful, is just a part of the process.
Unfortunately, too many people, thanks to the way we are brought up (especially in schools), are taught that failure means that you’re stupid or dumb – that you just don’t get it. When there’s only one right answer to something (like for questions on a standardized test), it’s real easy to feel like that – so the way we are brought up promotes that kind of thinking, which leads a lot of would-be entrepreneurs to give up when they reach failure within their business.
Of course, you don’t want to try to fail, but when you do you should take that as a learning experience, and be happy that you failed now so you can pivot and move in a different direction now knowing what you’ve learned.
Another quote that I love shares my feelings on why I think I was successful, and it’s a quote by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
If you don’t think you can do something, then there’s absolutely no way that it’s going to happen. When someone tells me that there’s no way they are going to ever succeed in business, then I tell them: “if you keep thinking like that, you are absolutely right”.
But, if you think something could happen, and better yet, that it will, whatever that is is more likely to become a reality. Although I didn’t know what I was doing and how to get to my end goal, I always knew I would do whatever it took to figure it out – that there’s no reason other people can do it, and I cannot – so I worked hard, persevered and kept believing in my abilities to figure things out along the way.
6. After each chapter of Let Go there is extra link to video illustrating and emphasizing what was written. How did you come up with this creative and original approach?
The ability to add video onto my chapters stems from the fact that I originally published Let Go on the SnippetApp platform, which again featured high quality video integration within the chapters of the book (if you as the author chose to include them). Since this feature was pretty awesome, I decided to go all out with it, hiring a videographer to create high quality videos that would add to the story and each chapter after it was read. I thought it would be awesome to show the locations that I spoke about in the chapters, and even get into the deep details of my story by interviewing people like my dad and my wife, who played significant roles in my success story.
It was a bit of a challenge to repurpose this content for Kindle, although it made sense to link to each of the videos at the end of each chapter as a nice bonus, and the overall experience, although not quite as fluid as SnippetApp, still remains of what I originally intended.
7. What would you advise to people, who are starting from scratch? How should they start?
The most important part of the process, before any product, or even website is created, is to discover and understand the real pains, problems, fears, desires and/or wants of a specific market. To truly understand what people within that market are going through and what would make their lives better will help you determine the type of business to create and how to create it.
It can be as simple as an observation from the outside, or an experience that you’ve had within a specific market (as you as someone who was a customer or consumer within that market), or even just knowing that people are always coming to you for the same type of advice and information – but whatever it is, you need to actually speak to those people who you could potentially serve, find out what would serve them best, and then be the one to serve it to them. A great episode to start with when it comes to ‘idea extraction’ or finding that market with a certain pain is SPI Podcast Session #46 with Dane Maxwell, my #1 most downloaded podcast to date.
A lot of people create a website and a product guessing or estimating that whatever they are creating is going to sell and make them money. You can’t just have a feeling, and you can’t even just know from feedback from one person. The research has to be done, and only after that can you go into a business with the confidence that you’re actually about to create something that WILL be useful and server an audience – and again the more you can serve the more you’ll get back in return.
8. Is there anything else you would to share with Life Probabilities readers?
Sure! Another critical component to my success were the connections I created with other people who were already successful, and those who were going through the same experiences as myself. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for those people who I asked questions to and gave me solid advice to keep me moving forward. There are a ton of people out there who are willing to help – you just have to ask, and yes – sometimes they will say no, and that’s okay. That’s just a ‘failure’ that isn’t a failure at all – that just means that person isn’t who you’re going to get answers from, try the next.
I’m currently in three mastermind groups, groups of 4-5 like-minded people who are all striving to achieve success in business and in life. Each week we meet and discuss business goals, the issues we’re having in our business and help each other out as much as we can. It’s truly a blessing, and when you ask any successful entrepreneur if they did it all on their own, if they were all honest with you the number of people who said they did it on their own would be zero. You absolutely need to make connections, so get uncomfortable and meet other people – both online and offline. You never know – it just takes one single person who knows someone who knows someone to make a complete difference in your life.
Thank you Pat for the great interview!
Let’s all meet at the Let Go Day in few hours.