How to Create a Community with Purpose with Pat Flynn
Do you want to grow a community of raving fans? It’s not that hard to do, if you start right now. This, according to Pat Flynn on this encore release of this December 2020 conversation with him.

Your community can support you in many different ways. They are your hope and support and can even become your raving fans. They can help you fight the internet trolls and help you to focus on growing your business in an authentic way. It’s important to give as much as you can to your community, but just as important to ask what they need and want too. Sometimes you’ll get back things in return without even asking. But as long as you are giving you will receive.

Pat also shares about how to build that community with purpose and while your mission evolves over time. Because your business will evolve and change and so will your goals around it.

This conversation is as relevant today as it was in December 2020 and it’s one of those rare interviews where I was pretty speechless!

Tune in now!

Links and Resources:

Time Stamps:

[2:12] How did Pat get into podcasting?
[7:58] There’s no such thing as an overnight success
[11:50] Serve first to build a community
[21:25] Challenges create a fun way for a community to interact
[26:45] The value and benefit of affiliate marketing
[28:05] Serve first and see what you get in return
[34:40] How did Pat’s mission evolve over time?
[39:02] How do you build a community with all the noise that is out there?


Amber Hawley 0:01
Business owners are increasingly being pulled in so many directions, feeling like they aren’t reaching their full potential in business in life despite their type aways. With my background as a therapist, entrepreneur, and as dropout with ADHD, I interview and coach high achieving business owners like you who want to stop struggling for success by using psychological systems, strategies, and the occasional care plantation. This is the easily distracted entrepreneur, your place to slay overwhelmed perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so that you can get done what matters most to you.

Amber Hawley 0:41
Hey, listeners, Happy Wednesday, I have been having a lot of conversations lately with people about feeling this fatigue and isolation that I think we’ve all been experiencing for the last two years especially, but that we experienced as entrepreneurs from time to time, you know, it can be really isolating and exhausting running your own business. So I started thinking about what were some of my favorite episodes that I have done on the podcast. And I thought back to when it was still called my biz bestie. And I had Maelissa as my co host, we really did focus on building community and having more fun. So of course, the first episode that came to my mind was one of my favorite ones I’ve done so far in my podcasting career. And that was when Maelissa and I interviewed Pat Flynn. Although he probably needs no introduction, Pat Flynn is the OG podcaster, a prolific writer, and an all around amazing guy. And he shares with us his insights on building community, as well as raving fans. So this is a super fun and informative, jam packed interview. And I can even remember during the interview, taking notes, and then afterwards having this thought of like, da Amber, it’s recorded, you can listen to it anytime. But you know, when you get so excited, and you get to meet somebody you really look up to, sometimes you do some silly things like that. And I just wanted to capture everything he said.

Amber Hawley 2:15
So before we get into the episode, I wanted to share with you about an upcoming free challenge that I’m running, it’s the Get your stuff done challenge, which actually, if you’re like me, it’s the Get your shit done. Just depending on how you roll, I created this challenge, because for so many of us, we know what we need to do, but it’s actually getting it done, that becomes the issue, right? We get easily distracted, we have shiny objects, we have too many things on our plate. That is the challenge for most entrepreneurs. And most of us are coming up against that, how do I focus and actually get done what I want to be getting done. If that’s you, then this will help. It’s a five day challenge where we’re going to take a look at your schedule your commitments, and I talk a lot about the brain biases and psychological things that can get us back on track and keep us from focusing in the first place. Did I mention it’s free, it has been a huge success for people who have participated in the past. They said it was really transformational and help them get a lot of clarity on how to you know get more things done in less time and actually get focused and stay focused on the things that matter to them. I hope you will join me and to sign up you just have to head on over to Amber forward slash challenge and you can get on the waitlist for get your stuff done that runs March 21 through the 25th and you know you’re not going to remember to come back later because we all know we got stuff to do. So why don’t you head on over right now and go ahead and join the waitlist and you will be all set up so that way when the challenge starts happening, all you have to do is show up.

Maelissa Hall 4:04
So I’m Melissa Hall

Amber Hawley 4:05
and I’m Amber Holly

Maelissa Hall 4:07
and today we have another epic guests we are super excited to have the one the only hot

Pat Flynn 4:17
What’s up How are you Maelissa hi Amber.

Maelissa Hall 4:21
I feel like I channeled a little bit of Lewis house there because it was good how he always introduces everybody. Everybody is the one the only

Pat Flynn 4:30
nobody’s like me alone. Nobody’s like you nobody’s like any of the listeners we’re all unique. It’s it’s what makes us Awesome.

Maelissa Hall 4:35
That’s true.

Amber Hawley 4:36
That’s it it’s very exciting for us though to have the OG Do you were my first like podcast like consistent person I listened to.

Pat Flynn 4:43
Oh, gee, at this point. Wow.

Amber Hawley 4:45
You’re my OG.

Maelissa Hall 4:48
Yeah, it’s true. No, totally. I always say that Pat saved my commute because I was commuting an hour and a half each way to and from work. So it was like three hours a day and it was in horrible time. And it was not fun. However, when I would listen to Smart Passive Income, then sometimes I would be disappointed. Or I’d be like, oh, sweet, like, I got to listen to two episodes. I’m glad it took me an hour and a half. So cool. Thank you.

Amber Hawley 5:15
I was gonna say first of all, even though we won’t be showing video, Melissa, I’m disappointed that you’re not wearing your ask Pat shirt. I know. Pat shirt. Oh, yeah. See, at least you represent. We could super comfy too.

Pat Flynn 5:28
Thank you it is and that’s why I wear it. I don’t wear it. Because I just want to tell everybody my name is like, although I’ve been to like the gym before with it. And people go ask Powell. What’s that? And I go, it’s it. I’m Pat. Do you want me to ask you then? And I’m like, No, it’s my, it’s my and then I just go. You’re doing

Amber Hawley 5:47
you should ask me anything. Like, I’m just here to answer questions, random questions about random thing?

Unknown Speaker 5:53
Well, you know, I use, I use convert, right? And then there’s a t shirt that they give to people who use their service call that says like, teach everything you know, and I’ve been like, I was at Disneyland not too long ago. And I was getting ice cream for my kids. And the woman who was serving ice cream was like, so what can you teach me? And I was like, Ha, this is a random question. But I look at my shirt says teach everything we know. And I was like, I literally was like, Do you want to start a podcast? Like, no, there’s more customers. Please leave? No.

Amber Hawley 6:23
Apparently not what she was wanting to learn that.

Pat Flynn 6:25
Oh, no. Maybe? I don’t know.

Maelissa Hall 6:28
Yes. I’m totally seeing Pat. Like potentially you could have like a booth set up. You know, if you ever want to promote ask pat a little bit more. You know, like the Lucille Ball type strategy. Yeah, a little ask Pat booth, and then just have people come up and ask you questions. Alright.

Amber Hawley 6:43
A bus tour?

Pat Flynn 6:44
That’s a Charlie Brown thing, right?

Amber Hawley 6:45
Yes, you can be Lucy with your five cents. And I mean, it would be higher than five cents, but 10. And yeah, inflation. So. But for those of you who don’t know who Pat Flynn is, which I’m pretty sure everyone does. Because we’ve talked about you many times being that we found girls so hard, Pat Flynn is the he has the Smart Passive Income podcast and the ask Pat podcast, as you already said,

Unknown Speaker 7:08
first of all, if you’re listening to this, and you don’t know who I am, that’s awesome. I love that because I love introducing myself to new people, because that means there’s more people that I could potentially help. And that’s, that’s why I’m here. I started out as an architect, interestingly enough, and I got laid off in 2008, which was very tough because I was in my dream job. And I got that taken away from me, I just proposed to my girlfriend, and we were about to get married. And then I lost my job. It was a really tough time. But to fast forward. Several months later, I had actually taken some knowledge I had about an exam that I took in the architecture industry, put that knowledge on a website started to create some study guides and selling them. And it actually took off way better than I thought it was going to it actually launched in October of 2008. And in that first month, after releasing my book, I was making two and a half times more than I was when I was in architecture. And it was funny, because I don’t know if even you guys know about this, but even several months later, after making, you know, 1015 $25,000 a month with that business, I was still looking for an architecture job. I didn’t know I was still going out for job interviews, because I was just so tied to the five years of education I had and what you know, my parents put me through school and what I had to learn and I loved architecture it like I missed it. But I remember it was several months later, I got a call on my phone from the boss who had let me go. And he actually offered me a new position at a new firm that he created. He brought some of my co workers with him. And he even offered me a year’s rent to move back to the area for free. And it didn’t take me more than a couple seconds just to go. Thanks. but no thanks. And click Lou. I wasn’t quite that rude. That’s kind of rude if somebody offers you

Maelissa Hall 8:39
think yeah, that’s totally how I see it going down. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 8:43
I politely declined. And I just sat back and I was like, wow, I cannot believe I said no to this opportunity. What does that mean? That I just so re reacted in that way. So quickly. It just meant that I knew I was on a new path as an entrepreneur now. And I then started to build a website called Smart Passive Income comm which is where most people know me from now where I decided to just share anything and everything I had learned about what I had done online to build this business because nobody was talking about it in full disclosure of just everything that happens, wins fails, how much money they were making things they would have done differently, the hard things, the great things, I just wanted to share it all on that website started to blow up because it was just parently very different than other websites that were out there teaching entrepreneurship, which were very often, hey, we have all the secrets to success, but you have to pay like $5,000 to get the secrets. I was just like, there’s no reason for me to keep any of this. I need to share this with as many people as possible because I don’t want people to have to go through the hardships I did to realize that these opportunities are in front of all of us to create a business and take some knowledge we have and share and serve others with it. So that website took off and now I have books and I speak around the world and I have a podcast several and we just passed 60 million downloads by the way, which is just insane. Wow. It’s unbelievable. And so now I’m at the point now where the other day I was at Starbucks. I’m putting in my order For a grande hot blonde Americano, and as I’m ordering, the person behind me goes, Are you Pat Flynn, I recognized your voice. And I was just like, wow, this is insane. Like he would have like, because people listen to the show. And currently, my artwork on my podcast is just half of my face. They recognize me for my voice, it’s just kind of insane what happens when you put yourself out there and you help others. And, you know, I’m doing even more things now. And so what I do on Smart Passive Income now is I actually build businesses kind of publicly, and I just share every bit of the process. And currently, the the most recent project is my first time getting into physical products. And so my videographer and I, we found this a need in the video space, and we invented something together. And we’ve worked very long and hard on it. And it’s been just a whirlwind of a process learned a lot. And we just launched it on Kickstarter not too long ago. And it’s kind of doing pretty good. It’s It’s doing pretty well, I don’t know if you guys have seen but

Maelissa Hall 10:50
it’s doing, amazingly, how much did it when did you meet your goal and like a couple hours or something

Unknown Speaker 10:56
that we set up $100,000 Because these physical products need quite a bit of money upfront to create the molds to then manufacture these products, like, again, all this stuff I’d never even knew about. So $100,000 was the funding goal. And we reached that in 11 hours in 26 minutes, which meant we had 59 days and a half or 59 and a half days left of the campaign. And now it’s currently over $305,000. And we’re already talking about packaging, and we’re talking to retail, like retailers are coming to us, like, how can we get this in the stores once it gets off a Kickstarter. And we’re just like, we were like nobody’s in this space, you know, two weeks ago. And here we are getting asked by, you know, all these photography companies to want to work with us. It’s just insane. Like, the opportunities are there. It’s just, I’ve learned through the 10 years of doing this that every single time a success has happened, it’s always been preceded with loads of hard work, a ton of consistency, a lot of failures, a lot of research, the overnight success thing is a myth. There’s no such thing, I truly believe that.

Amber Hawley 11:55
And I think that’s what I really love. I mean, what I loved about the podcast is the transparency. And I think that really is so good. Because I mean, the reason we did this podcast is there are so many ups and downs as entrepreneurs. And it is hard to weather that, especially if you feel like you’re all by yourself in it. And so being able for me, you know, before having that support structure of the, you know, my biz bestie and my friends, like having podcasts to listen to where they kind of normalize what you’re feeling and the struggles you’re saying, because like you said, if all you’re you’re comparing yourself against these pictures of like, oh, look, I did it all and it happened, you know, effortlessly. And you’re like, Well, wait, that’s not happening for me. So I must be doing something wrong. I think that’s what’s so refreshing and why so many people love the podcast, and you know, your approach to things. I think that’s huge.

Unknown Speaker 12:47
Thank you. Yeah, the, I think my favorite part about the podcast specifically is just what is done to bring people together. You know, here I am in my home office recording on a single microphone by myself yet in some way, shape, or form, it allows for people to find each other because they have the sense that they are all kind of in this together. And this is why I call my community team Flynn, like I’m the I’m the team captain, but we’re all a team, we’re all in this together. So let’s come together and support each other. And sometimes I’m gonna pass the ball to you to score a goal. And then sometimes you’re gonna pass it back to me, it doesn’t really matter. We’re all on the same team. And that’s been really fun to kind of see the community grow, see people meeting each other, like, I get tweets and Instagram messages every once in a while just randomly, Hey, look who I met, I saw this person at a meetup for something and he said, he listened to you. And then we bonded because we both listen to your podcasts. I’m just like, what, like, You guys didn’t even know each other half a day ago. And now you’re like best friends because you listen to my show. And that’s so interesting. And so cool. And so I talk a lot about on stage and in books and on my website and on the podcast about the importance of community. Because that’s really where success happens with companies these days. You know, it’s more than just the product or the service it’s you know, finding other people who are like you and you know, having other people who are in the same boat as you to to kind of riff off of to get inspired by to learn from to teach battle elevates the brand, when you really build for that community. I think it’s so important. Yeah,

Maelissa Hall 14:13
it’s interesting, because I had that sense when I found your podcast, which just like Ambra it was one of the first business podcast it was the first business podcast I listened to consistently every week and like, knew when an episode was gonna come out and, and went back and I don’t know, I think you were like, around 200 or something. No, no, you were, I don’t know. But I listened to like, you know, I had three hours a day so I listen to podcast a lot. But I felt that that sense of community just listening to the podcast, and and I even think like we were just talking about the ask Pat t shirt that you’re wearing and when you started as Pat and I was listening to that one and I remember like I can picture it. I was in the parking garage. I was almost your work and listening to ask Pat and Then my question came up and you like answered my question. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m gonna get a t shirt now. Like, this is so cool, you know. And I was like, it felt like you were like you had this in right? Like this little this part of it. And I’m curious like this was before I had met a bunch of people, it wasn’t like I had gone to a meetup that you had done. I hadn’t met you. And yet I already felt that sense of community. So I’m curious, like, what do you think has contributed to that? And maybe like, what have you purposefully done to create that?

Unknown Speaker 15:33
Yeah, I mean, when I started my business, I wasn’t like, Alright, I’m gonna create this amazing supportive community, I didn’t have like, I didn’t have that plan. And if I was smarter, I probably would have had a plan. But always, the idea has been a couple of things. Number one, serve first has been a mantra of mine, like, do what I can more than anything before money is like the the the motive, the first motive primary motive should be serving first. So that means understanding what it is my audience is going through and what it is that they need help with, and how can I better serve them with that, that in and of itself, at least, activates a person to go, wow, this person knows what I’m going through, I must stick round because they might have the answers because they know they are speaking my language. And this is what I talk about a lot. When you want to build a community, people don’t just show up and then feel like they’re a part of something, they first have to realize that they’re on the right place. And that means that they are being understood. And that means that like you, as a community leader, or future community leader, understand what are the commonalities of your audience, and how can you speak to them and help them and just that alone allows a person to go, oh, I need to, okay, this is this is cool person, or this is a great product, or this is a great brand, I’m going to stick around and see what else is here for me. And then over time, sometimes naturally, you just start to see other people like you. However, once I started to learn about the importance of community, there are purposeful things that I’ve done to build that community. So here’s a few examples. Number one is inclusion. When you include people in the decisions that you make as a business or community leader, people then are invested in what you are creating, and when people are invested, they’re more likely to transact with you. And whether that transaction is a monetary transaction, like buying something from you, or a transaction, meaning they’re going to share that thing with somebody else, or trans transaction meeting, commenting, or engagement, or just time that only happens when people feel like they’re included and also being listened to, you know, you can have people on the basketball court, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ever gonna get the ball pass to them. And this reminds me of a story when I was a little kid, I was literally a little kid. In high school, I wasn’t five feet tall until my senior year of high school.

Maelissa Hall 17:43
However, you and me both pap.

Unknown Speaker 17:46
For whatever reason, I chose tall friends, which probably wasn’t the smartest thing for me to do, in terms of, you know, my self esteem, but I had some great friends and they wanted me to feel included. So of course, I played basketball with them at lunch and after school. But even though I was on the court football, I was always last picked, because you know, this four foot nine kid is not gonna really help you. However, even when I was on a team team, I was never getting past the ball, I was never getting a chance to shoot. So even though I was on the court, I didn’t feel like I was playing the game with my friends, I didn’t feel like I was on the team. So when you are building your community, you’re building your team, you got to pass the ball to your teammates every once in a while. And I think that’s really important. And you don’t have to necessarily just let go of control of your business, which is where I think a lot of people worry about the strategy of, you know, inclusion, it’s just like, well, I, I’m the CEO or I’m the leader, I can’t possibly let anybody else run this. But me, I think that’s not always a great way to think about it. But the other thing is like, you don’t have to hand off everything, like even small things like Hey, guys, next month, we’re gonna be talking about this particular topic. What are some questions that you have that I can answer for you? I can’t pick everybody. But just the fact that you’re asking your community to participate to engage is really great. Another strategy and again, that’s that’s actually related to ask Pat, that’s why ask Pat was created because it was a way for me to facilitate the featuring of my audience and making everybody feel like they were heard even though it’s just one person even unless you were on one episode, that episode was listened to probably 40 or 50,000 times and you represented every single listener who had a very similar question. So even though a person is listening, and they’re not the ones talking, they are kinda through you channeling through you feeling like they’re participating and involve as well. So allowing for people to ask questions, you know, it’s like the suggestion box. Remember, back in the day suggestion boxes were like, literally just a box at Wendy’s with a card and you fill out and it’s like, what are complaints you have? What are comments, please rate us and you put it in there and then you never know if anybody ever sees that ever again, like you. But that was good enough back then good enough was just having a place to put a comment and know that well. Hopefully somebody will read that today. People expect a reply they expect a response or they expect that At least you as the community leader caring about when a person speaks up about something. So our suggestion box now is social media, right Twitter, Instagram, or these communities on Facebook and allowing for people to speak up and not just connect with you, but them connecting with each other. So allowing, giving permission, and even rewarding people for stepping up and even helping others in the community as well. And this is a really, really important thing. And this is why especially in a lot of my premium courses, I have a number of members who are very active in helping others that are coming in, and I’ve sort of done what I can to help sort of not just promote them up in the ladder over there, but you know, reward them and thank them for being in the discussions and helping the newbies come in. And it makes them feel great because they feel like they have something to say and they’re getting hurt. But it also makes the newbies feel good, because they know that it’s not just me all the time. But there are other people like them just a few steps ahead, that can help offer service to them as well, which is which is really neat. I think the other thing is featuring your students and your community like not just by asking them questions, but showing off the amazing people in your community and the things that they’re doing. And I know Chris Ducker for example, does this really well every year at his event up near where he Awards, the you printer community member of the year. And it’s really cool when you do that, because then the entire community feels like they’re being heard the entire community can rally with that person. And they kind of all feel like they get that award at the same time. So you don’t necessarily have to give an award for that feeling to happen. But on my podcast, for example, every once in a while, you’ll hear one of my students come on, and they’ll talk about how they struggled in the beginning how they found the content or took action and then now their lives are changed. And the cool benefit of that is they’re essentially leaving an amazing testimonial for my site and or my products. Without me even asking for it. I’m just allowing them to share their story. So the people on the other end listening, they’re like, wow, like Pat’s not the one selling me this course. But look at, you know, Dr. B here who is a student of mine, who was on my show, who created a podcast to help people with ADHD. And she has been amazing and has helped people when person when people heard her on my podcast that encourage people to go, wow, she can do it, I can do it too. Look at how amazing she’s going. She’s now being listened to in 35 different countries. And she’s cute because she told a story about how when she created a podcast, she put a map above her computer. So every time she saw that she had a new person in a new country, listening to her show, she would like put a pin in it and then encouraged her to keep going, it was so cool to hear. And by just allowing my students to have a say in a platform and showing them off a little bit, it also increases my business. And it increases the brand awareness and increases the good feelings that the entire community has. So I could go on and on and on and on and on about community as you can tell, but it’s yeah, like, it doesn’t have to be hard, you just have to care about the individuals who were there and allowing them to speak up a little bit and have a say, because when they’re invested, like I said, when they feel like they found their people they’re going to stick around, they’re going to help support that those are the people who become your raving fans, your super fans who will then step up beyond the community and almost feel like they it’s their obligation to help support your business. It’s it’s like their role now. And when you have a product come out, they’re gonna be the first ones to buy it even before you even they don’t even need to read the sales page, they’re gonna buy it, if you have trolls show up in there are many trolls on the internet that like show up, they’re going to be the ones who are gonna like be on the front lines defending you before you even know they exist. And that’s why the community is so important. Cuz that’s where raving fans and super fans can come from.

Amber Hawley 23:26
Yeah, and I see that a lot in like the actual, like everything you’re talking about, I’ve seen it come to fruition like we’re in the power up podcasting group. And when you’re talking about that person stepping up, I think of Jason Skinner, who is we’ve become really good friends with him. And we met him at Social Media Marketing World. And we were just like, we just love this guy. And you would think he was part of your actual team of people that you pay, because he’s such a part of it. And it’s so amazing. And I and I think as outsiders, Melissa and I would notice that be like, Wow, this is it is so cool to see that. And He’s genuinely giving and feeling like and he’s contributing and welcoming people. And I think that’s the kind of thing I see a lot in the people that are either listening to your podcast, or in these groups is there is that feeling of, hey, if they can do it, I can do it too. There’s like a lot of hope. But then there’s a lot of support. And I think, you know, that’s what’s kind of exciting when we think about let’s do this in a really authentic, caring way. And all of the benefit that comes from that, like yes, of course your business grows, of course, you know, your courses sell and, and this is what we ultimately want because we’re here in business, right? But it’s done in such an authentic way. And I think that really comes across

Unknown Speaker 24:41
and the other part about this is when you have a community no matter how big or small when you think about how you can get them get them to kind of all do things at the same time. Because that support like you said with each other is key. So what I’m trying to get at is, you know, there’s been this sort of movement in communities to do challenges and challenges are really great, like challenges are Little things that they could do to get an achieve something that they didn’t have before something small, but something that happens on a specific date for a certain amount of time. So one challenge that I did with my audience was the zero to 100 email challenge, which was a three day challenge, where on a particular date, it was just, this is the event that’s happening right now in the community. Alright, guys, on this date, let’s all rally we’re gonna get behind each other, if you don’t have an email list yet, you’re gonna get your first 100, you sign up here, I’m going to deliver emails to you over the next three days. But more than that, you’re going to be in this group supporting each other at the same time and sharing your wins and encouraging each other and showing that the people who don’t think this is possible can actually do it. And I’ll tell you, we had we did that a couple years ago. And I need to do it again, because it’s really powerful. It had 14,000 People all participating at the same time. And I had created a little Facebook group that was separate than my main one for just that event alone. And it was it was one of the busiest forums I’ve ever been a part of, and to see like my community members actually taking action, and then some stepping up in some asking questions. And then other people who I had never even met before answering questions for me before I could even get to them. It’s just like, Wow, it’s really important to not just have the community but like, get them to, you know, achieve. And, and challenges are a great way to do that. Communities are also great for the purpose of and you want to talk about inclusion, like if you’re if you’re trying to determine what your next business idea should be, I mean, going to your community to say, hey, community, thinking of creating this course, I would love to take 20 people through it, here’s what it does, I’ll let you go through it for free in exchange for your honest feedback on the other end of it, who’s interested. And so those are your people. And if you get nobody to raise their hand, well, then that basically tells you Well, this is not what your community wants, right. So that’s number one. But number two, if you go through there, then now they feel like they have an obligation to do that work because they’ve been selected. And then if it works for them, give you an amazing testimonial on the other end. And now you have literally your own community members sharing how this program or course or your coaching or whatever helped them. And so when you go back and recommend that program, or whatever it is to the rest of the community. Now, it’s not just like a product that was in secret. People knew it existed. And they’re probably curious about how it affected the the students who went in there is sort of like a beta group. And again, it all happens in the community. And then most people are like, Oh, I’ve got this new course I want to sell, I got to spend money on ads, and I got to spend money on, you know, Instagram sponsorships. And I got to find these influencers with their own audiences. If you build a community, you don’t need any of that stuff you have built in your own validation people. And guess what, if you do it, right, it’s a win for everybody. It’s a win for you, it’s a win for them. And if you listen to them, they can tell you exactly what they need. And then business becomes relatively easy at that point not it becomes simple, not easy, but it becomes simple. Those your people you help them they’ll tell you what they want you work with them to create it, you do all this other, like, external stuff doesn’t really matter.

Maelissa Hall 27:57
Oh, man, I love it. It’s like just like knowledge bombs. And it’s just making but it’s also like I’m what I’m thinking of when you’re talking is it really feels like almost like a pay it forward type of community. And you as the leader start that, right? Like you have this epic podcast, Smart Passive Income, which has, like, amazing interview after an amazing interview with like, multiple podcast episodes have literally made me money, because I have learned something from your free podcast, and literally sat down and did it. And you know, exactly whatever this person said. And then voila, money is is literally coming to me like an hour later. That has happened, people.

Amber Hawley 28:39
So I mean, you did implement the information from

Unknown Speaker 28:46
an action taker, right? I mean, how many people listen to podcast, hopefully, you’re not one of those people who just listens only, like you actually, hopefully are taking action. Not our listeners. Yeah, no, I know.

Maelissa Hall 28:56
I know. But I feel like, but then because I’ve had that experience, then I think like Amar’e and I talked about creating a podcast, you know? And who do I immediately go? Oh, Pat just released his course. You know, we decided to do the podcast right around that time when you released power podcasting to everybody. And then I was like, oh, podcast moment, we have to go to podcast moment. And I immediately think like, oh, let me make sure I use Pat’s affiliate link. Because you know, that’s where I heard about it like, so you’re getting a little bit back, but I’m always thinking about, like, how can I pay Pat back for what he’s given me? And then think about like, oh, yeah, other people in the community, or I learned, you know, when people come to me and they are new entrepreneurs, like they’re just getting into this, like your podcast is the one I tell them to go to first. I’m like, you can learn almost everything here. Listen to this podcast. You know, like, if you’re going to pick one,

Unknown Speaker 29:50
do it. Yeah. And that that in and of itself is a service that you’re providing to your people write the recommendation to go to the place where they can get the information that they need right now. And that’s where a lot A lot of my initial income was coming from for the first few years of my business career was beyond the architecture stuff, which was my own products, a lot of my income came from affiliate marketing, so recommending other people’s products. And sometimes the best advice you can give is, you know, don’t like get my stuff, get this person stuff. And you can get paid back with a commission for that if there is an affiliate program, but even if there isn’t, you’re still serving them, and you’re still helping that person in in turn, you’re going to get support back, like the universe just has this way of I mean, they call it the law of reciprocity, right? When you when you help people, they can’t help but want to help you back and no, not everybody is going to and it’s not a like a thing that you keep track of like, Oh, I just saw Amber listen to this podcast. So she’s got six weeks to give me something back in return. It’s not like that. You just give, give, give, give, or as Gary Vee likes to say jab, jab, jab, jab. And so then sometimes you just get back in return without even asking. However, I’ve also learned over the past couple years that that ask is really important, too, because sometimes people don’t know how to pay you back. And they won’t even be called to do that until you ask. And so that’s where like, selling becomes a great service. And this was a huge mindset shift for me as a as an entrepreneur over the last few years, because like I said, affiliate marketing was my thing for a while, it wasn’t like, Hey, let me sell you this thing. It’s like, let me recommend this thing that I have a lot of experience with it and go get it. And then and then I don’t have to worry anymore. But it was a friend of mine who said, Pat, you’re doing your audience a disservice, because you’re not selling them anything of your own. They want to learn from you. And yes, there’s a ton of other podcasting courses out there. But people want your way. They like how you teach. And they’re not podcasting, because they don’t have anybody they trust that has something that can help them. So you need to create this. And like Chalene Johnson was the one who told me that and I was like, okay, she’s like a multi multi millionaire, huge entrepreneur, I should probably listen to her advice. And so I took her advice, and it’s helped, you know, 1000s of people now like yourselves with starting a show and building your own communities, which, which is really amazing. So again, it really comes down to just service like, serve first, and don’t expect anything in return. And as a byproduct of that, guess what, you’re going to get amazing things in return. And it’s not always dollars, it’s not always a sale, it could be a share, it could be a good word, it could be help when you need it, right? It could be you know, if your site goes down, and you are struggling, maybe somebody who had absorbed your content for free for the longest time is an expert at web servers, and might go hey, Pat, like you’ve helped me out so much, and I really had nothing to ever give you. But I see you’re you’re struggling, like what could I do to help you that happened in 2013, with a guy named Brian Dwyer, a fan who would listen to the show, my site was hacked, and I couldn’t get it up for like, two weeks. And he came out from nowhere and said, Pat, I want to help you get things squared away, and your site completely secure. And I’ve been working with him ever since. Wow. So just shows you like there are multiple ways to get quote, paid back for the service that you offer. Don’t work. Like it’s gonna happen. Just give, give, give. And if you have something worth selling, sell it because you can sell and serve at the same time as well. Yes.

Amber Hawley 33:09
And that’s I think that’s such a good message. And they’re slightly the little therapist part of my brain that’s like, got the little flag up that goes. I think this is an important message that so many business owners need to hear about, really about giving in the long game. And if there is a reciprocity that will come back, and you have to believe that. But for somebody who you know, for the people who are not at the level you’re at yet where they’re starting out, or they’re kind of you know, they’ve got a decent list going and they’re like, doing all the things they’re trying to think about, what are some strategies I can implement to be building my community without being in a place of over giving? I guess, the therapist, part of me is like, what about that, you know, like burning myself out or continuing to give, you know, give so much but not having a boundary around it?

Unknown Speaker 33:55
I guess? Yeah, I mean, there are that I’ve come across many people who are just complete givers, and they burn themselves out, because they’ve just been giving for so long. And part of that is well, you haven’t asked for anything in return. Either or you You haven’t given people a way to return back to you. And I think a lot of that also has to do with law. Okay, what are your what are your goals, like, it’s one thing to build a community. But it’s another thing to have that community support a goal that you have, or a mission that you have, in which in which point you can go, you know, hey, community, this is where we’re headed. And I’d love your support with that in any which way, shape or form. And, you know, I’ve kind of them, this is why I talk about my book, will it fly in the beginning is I’ve met a ton of entrepreneurs who are successful on paper, and even they they’ve built successful businesses, but they’re not even happy. And it’s because they just kind of like do what those first opportunities tell them to do without thinking about, well, how does this fit into the life that I actually want? And so I think, you know, figuring out, you know, it’s like if you’re going on a drive somewhere, if you punch that address in the navigation menu, or in Google Maps or something that’s going to give you the directions and if you get off course well at least you can get back on course just make a U turn U turn up ahead versus just driving because you just want to stay driving. And when you drive and drive and drive with no direction, you’re gonna run out of gas, or you might end up further away than where you actually should end up being. So I think purpose and mission is really important behind the community that you are building as well. And I think that you have to put your business cap on every once in a while, right? Like you should be getting paid for the service that you do provide. And eventually, you have to get to that point where you know, that you can both sell and serve at the same time, you have to make money from what you do, or else you won’t stay around for so long. Right. You know, that’s, that’s the other thing that’s Chris Ducker taught me that he’s like, so I have a big mission to help change the world in terms of education, and helping kids learn entrepreneurship, and the more capital I have the bigger impact, I can have to do that. And for a while I was just kind of sitting and resting on my laurels and complacent with where things were. And it was only when I stepped up because I have this bigger goal and began to serve my audience in ways and ask for sort of a transaction, knowing that these things can actually serve people, it’s a win for everybody. Again, that’s the biggest thing, make, make sure it’s a win for everybody, it’s not a win for you, if you just continue to give and then you burn out eventually what’s going to happen, you’re going to burn out and not not be able to serve that community anymore. So being aware of your energy, your needs is important too. It’s just like know, when you go on a plane, and they do that little demonstration of the safety things, they go, Hey, you got to put your own mask on first. Because if you don’t, you’re gonna pass out and you can’t help anybody. Now a person has to come and help you. So being aware of your needs and your energy and the business that you’re creating is important as well.

Maelissa Hall 36:36
Yeah. And I like this sense of thinking about your mission in relation to your community and what you want to create, because that is what’s going to give you a cohesive community. Right. And I think about people who talk really specifically, like certain podcasts, for example, you know, like, there are a lot of communities around podcasts, and, you know, certain podcasts, like, our explicit language and have a lot of explicit language and like, that’s one type of community, right? And they’re telling like, and they’re like, hey, like, this is how we talk and, and our podcast, we always say, We’re gonna be like that, but then we actually don’t end up doing that really,

Amber Hawley 37:09
sometimes, every once in a while, you know, and I was like, won’t allow me in his community because I, I have a proclivity and not against.

Unknown Speaker 37:19
Like, I have said a swear word every once in a while, but I just don’t put on a podcast. And the reason is on purpose, right on purpose. And part of that is as is there there are kids listening, and I want to respect the parents of those children and the ears of those children. You know, I so want to share Gary Vee with with my son, but I just can’t. And to me, I’m like, why would you do that ad those kinds of things into I mean, but that’s Gary, and he attracts a certain kind of people. I mean, and I attract, I’m thankful that I attract other families, which is pretty cool. And people who have kids and I do have a lot of kids who listen to the show. And it’s awesome. I love it. And this is, again, ties into my my energy moving forward in terms of entrepreneurship and education for kids and stuff. So

Maelissa Hall 38:05
yeah, yeah, I’m curious, what, what would you say? Because it sounds like like that mission was not your mission? No, initially, right? As you, you were still searching for jobs. I didn’t realize how long you were still interviewing? What would you say? Was your mission? In the beginning? How did that shift?

Unknown Speaker 38:24
It was literally like, that’s what it was, I was just like, I need to make ends meet, I am about to get married to this Filipino woman, and the whole entire country of the Philippines is gonna be there, essentially. You know what I mean? And I’m half Filipino, too. So it’s like, I had to just survive, right? And that survival instinct actually was extremely helpful. Because that that pushed me to do things that I wouldn’t do. If I was just comfortable, I took actions that I wouldn’t normally have taken bolder actions. It’s the reason why I didn’t start a business. Even though deep down, I really think I was always an entrepreneur, I would have if I had never gotten laid off this, none of this would be here. And so again, I’m very thankful for that, even though is the toughest time of my life. But initially, my goal was just survival, can I make ends meet? And then the goal from there was okay, things are going well, can I be financially secure? Was my next goal. Can I then once we started having kids, can I can I pay their way through college before they turned three? And that was a pretty fun goal. And I’m excited to say that, yes, we’ve achieved that as well. And then it was philanthropy beyond me beyond my network, how can I help others who are really in desperately need of help? That’s when I got connected with Pencils of Promise, who is a company organization that was founded by Adam Braun, who builds schools around the world. And through that organization, we built a couple schools in Ghana, Africa, and I went to Africa, and I got to meet the students and the teachers and see the ribbon ceremonies when they open these schools. And it was one of the most impactful times of my life and I realized that there was so much more that I can do that I didn’t even think was possible. And so I’ve always tried to level up my my goal thinking in my mind ambitions. And you know, this is why now I’m getting like, as my goals have changed, my inspiration has changed, right? My mentors has changed. And right now my inspiration are big thinkers like Elon Musk, and you know, for the way that they treat possibilities, like anything is possible. Let’s go to Mars and colonize Mars. Okay, well, how about me? Let’s reform education. And let’s teach kids the skills that they need to succeed, whether they want to be an entrepreneur, or not. And no, that was not even in the cards. In the beginning, every new goal that I’ve met has unlocked new goals. And yes, it’s not what my community, kind of the older people in my community, not older, like older generation, but like the people who’ve been in my community for a while, they didn’t know that I was going to go down this route. But neither did I. But as long as I’m just continually being myself and honest and open and authentic about who I am the people who will want to continue to follow me will the people who aren’t about that anymore, won’t. And that’s okay, and what got me here is not going to get me there. And sometimes that means growing a different community, or in my case, I think what I’m actually doing is I’m including more people based on different missions and different values that add on to my first goal with just survival. And now I’m able to even reach and connect and teach more people. So yeah, it’s kind of weird how it how it goes like that. And who knows what the next two 510 20 years are gonna are gonna hold. But all I know is, as I’ve continued to grow, I’ve been continued to meet with new challenges. And I continue to have those voices in my head that say, No, you who are you to do this, why are you even trying this, and I have proven to myself now that those things are just there to test me that those are just things that are never going to go away. But I also have proved myself, like I have proof that I’ve been able to overcome those challenges and those voices, and that’s opening up a lot more sort of possibilities for me, and I think it’s just going to continue to grow over time.

Amber Hawley 41:50
So for those I mean, I know I feel like I wanted to say what was said, it’s like, I’m sitting there just like processing everything you’re saying. And I’m writing a lot of notes. So my brain was like, thank you for that. And thinking about for people who are now trying to hopefully not in survival mode, but a lot of us are, let’s face it. So either in survival mode or and they’re in that beginning stage where they’re like, Okay, I really want to be connecting with my people. And and I think what you said about inclusion and featuring people, it’s huge. And like we said, the transparency, it really makes a difference. But as a beginner who’s building that community, are there? Do you think it’s different? Now? Do you think it’s like harder? Because there is so there’s so many people and so many, so much noise out there, especially with all the social media stuff? Like how do you build that community now? And maybe this is for like kind of your new stuff to where how do you shift and pivot and get people to come along with you like, what do you think is an important factor of that,

Unknown Speaker 42:48
I think it’s actually easier now, because of all the noise because there’s so much noise because there is so much to consume, what people are really looking for is just a little bit of like, who is there anybody out there? Who cares about me. And if you could just share that you care, then you will grow with that person and that community will grow. And it your advantage when you’re just starting out is the fact that you have the ability to actually have these direct connections with people. For brand like myself with Smart Passive Income, there’s no way I could possibly have a direct connection with every single person who’s on my blog, or listening to my pod, it is physically impossible for me to do that with just the time, we only have 24 hours in a day. But when you’re just starting out, you just have 10 email subscribers, guess what, you have a perfect opportunity to learn as much as you can about those 10 people. And if you reach out to them, and perhaps even have a Skype conversation with them, or get on zoom with them, and you start asking them questions about how you could better serve them, don’t you think that that person is going to go wow, this person is like one of the only people out there that seems to actually care about this thing that I really need help with. And so I’m going to stick around. And so when you when you can show that you are devoting some time to them, they’re gonna devote time back to you. And that’s your huge advantage when you’re just starting out. So I actually tried to do something similar in my brand, because of how powerful that direct connection is. And what I do is actually every single month, I reach out to 10 Random new email subscribers, and I try to get on the phone with them or try to get on Skype with them. But Pat, you have 250,000 on your email list. Yeah, doesn’t matter. I want to know and hear stories and learn directly from the people who have just recently subscribed to my list. So I know, it’s like a recalibrate if I need to. So I can revisit why I do what I do. So I can hear what I could do better. So I can be so good. So I get confirmation of where people are coming from and why they’re sticking around. These conversations are gold. And so if you’re just starting out and you have in you have 50 subscribers on your email list, like try to learn everything you can about them, because then they’re going to stick around. They’re going to bring people in because they’re going to they’re going to share with their friends who are also going through similar things to come and listen to you because you’re paying, you’re paying attention to them and there comes a point where eventually you can’t possibly do that anymore. But that’s how you start. That’s how you differentiate. And that’s how you can build a community. A community doesn’t have to be 200,000 people, actually, that’s not even really a community anymore. I think I think I remember this because I was in marching band. And there were 170 people, my marching band in high school, and there are these bands in the in Texas and Arkansas, you know, in the south, that are like 500 people. And so I was like, how do you ever get to know that many people like when you’re in the band, you can’t possibly, like I knew every person in my band, could a person know everybody in their band. And there’s, there’s apparently like a magic number of just the number of people who you could know in a group of that size. And after that, that everybody’s just kind of a blur. So you have a huge advantage to create a really tight knit group very quickly at the start of your brand. And what’s cool is, the better that you learn about them, the more you’re going to attract other people like them, too. So I think it’s I think it’s easier because guess what we can connect not just on Skype. But if you build an Instagram account, and you have some people follow you because you talk about certain things, and you use the hashtags. And then you see somebody comment, love your stuff, you can send them a direct message. And in that direct message, you can send them a video and go, Hey, my name is Pat, thank you for being on my Instagram channel. What kind of stuff would you like to see? Or what do you need help with the most right now. Just the fact that a person cares about what they think is huge. Because I think the biggest thing in this noisy world we have right now, there’s just nobody is actually like, we’ll a lot of us feel like nobody’s listening. So be the person that listens, and open up that conversation and you’re gonna see some magic happen.

Maelissa Hall 46:28
And I love that you’re highlighting, you can do that in the beginning. But also your you are, you know, like, we won’t say like you’ve made it right. But like, you’re pretty big in this entrepreneur space and podcasting space. And you’re still making that effort. Like you’re still saying, like, knowing my community, this well is is my priority. So that’s, I mean, what like, at least like, that’s like 10 hours of your month, every month.

Unknown Speaker 46:55
I mean, some of those calls literally are five minutes, because it’s like, oh my gosh, like I don’t know, if you know it, which is kind of cool. But then I mean, I’ve had two hour conversations with people before too, because they talk and I just want to listen. And I want to keep digging deeper and going into their story. And really, when you get those stories, especially for anybody who’s new, like ask for the story to say something like, well tell me about a time when you when you did struggle with blank. And let’s just listen. Just listen to them. And then when you when you when you create content, or when you create a podcast or create, you know, when you are creating a product, you’re not just like, oh, what’s my ideal avatar, like, what’s their made up name, and they’re made up age with their made up kids and their makeup job. Now you actually had a real conversation and you can empathize with them. And that’s who you’re building for. And then you build the thing, or you create the content. And then you go, here you go, Janice, you inspired this. Yeah. And I think they’re gonna come back.

Amber Hawley 47:46
Absolutely, yes, I think what you’re saying is so helpful. And it’s such a different perspective where people talk about the noise. And I like the idea of thinking about it as an advantage. And I think that’s kind of exciting for people. And so it makes it it makes it feel doable, which I think, again, is the big takeaway that that probably why the your community continues to grow. And so thank you for sharing that. I honestly don’t know if we’ve ever been this speechless listening to so we’re both I can I can almost see like our wheels turning and just like, Oh, wow.

Unknown Speaker 48:22
Speaking of challenges, can I give your listeners a challenge? Yes, do and this will be simple. And along the lines of what I just said, go into your Instagram account, if you have one. Or maybe it’s Twitter and find somebody who’s following you. Maybe it’s somebody who you know, or just the person who recently commented and send them a direct message with a video just saying, Thanks. And ask them, what else can I help you with, and the responses you’re gonna get are gonna blow you away, and they’re going to be blown away, and you’re just gonna see what kind of impact 10 seconds can make. Try.

Amber Hawley 48:50
And we are going to do that challenge, as well. So head on over to the my bestie Instagram and comments, so we can pick you

Unknown Speaker 48:58
guys should totally like do that to some of your audience. overdoing it? Yes.

Maelissa Hall 49:04
Yeah, let us know. For sure. Thank you so much, Pat. That was excellent. I love the challenge. Go do it. Any final words, before we sign off?

Unknown Speaker 49:13
I mean, the biggest thing is that, you know, even for a little challenge like this, you might have a little bit of fear a little bit of, you know, well, this size is not gonna make me feel very comfortable. But you know what, like, I bet if you were to think about the most amazing things that have happened in your life, they’ve probably happened in the same space of being a little bit uncomfortable. Most of the magic and innovation happens outside of your comfort zone. And so actually, when my when I think about what I’m going to do next to my business or in life, I think about well, what would make me a little bit uncomfortable. That’s probably a sign that that’s probably where I should go. So if you are feeling a little bit of discomfort in this challenge, have that be a sign that this is probably a good thing, and that this this is something that could likely have something amazing happen on the other end of it.

Maelissa Hall 49:52
Love it. Thanks so much, Pat.

Amber Hawley 49:53
Thank you.

Pat Flynn 49:54
Thanks, everybody.

Transcribed by

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