Pat Flynn is an entrepreneur, serial entrepreneur, and the author of Superfans. He is also the host of five top-rated podcasts, including AskPat and the Smart Passive Income podcast. His mission is to help entrepreneurs make more money, save more time, and help more people too.

In this interview, Pat shares his experience when COVID-19 hit his community while he was at Social Media Marketing World, which led him to cancel his own event (FlynnCon) and adapt his business strategy for his own projects so he could show up and serve his audience with a servant-hearted Superfans strategy.

John Meese 0:00
Pat, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you doing?

Pat Flynn 0:02
I'm doing excellent, John. Thanks for having me.

John Meese 0:06
Oh, good. Well, I'm so glad to hear that. And I appreciate you being here taking the time to share your insight and experience and I'm excited to dive in. But before we do, I don't want to jump to the conclusion and assume that everyone listening to this has had the pleasure of getting to know you online or offline. Pat, so could you do me a favor and just summarize a little bit about what gets you out of bed in the morning? And you know, what you how you spend your days?

Pat Flynn 0:31
Yeah, well, most of my days are spent with my family. I have a beautiful wife, April and two young kids 10 & 7. And I'm very thankful that and grateful that the way that my business is structured, allows me to spend more time with them, right. And I have a team I have this business that a lot of it runs on its own through automation that then opens up time for me to be more flexible with my day, which is which is really great. And I get up so that I can lead by example for that and lead by example for my audience. Another thing that gets me fired up is signing in every day to my social media streams to my email and seeing the amount of people that we've been able to change lives for the small things, the big things, I help people start and grow and scale their businesses online. And I do that by same thing leading by example. And I build a lot of businesses publicly online, so that people can follow along in the journey. I've been doing this ever since 2008, after I got laid off from an architecture job, which was a really rough time, and very similar to the kind of times that I know a lot of people are feeling right now. But thankfully, that opened up my eyes to opportunities that were always there, but I just didn't feel inclined or didn't have the push to do it. And when I finally started exploring the online business space, I took some knowledge I had about an architectural exam. I put that online I started engaging with people who might have needed help with that. And that exploded that blew up that turned into a over $200,000 business in a year. And since then, I've also been just sharing that journey plus a lot of other new businesses from physical products, digital products, software, coaching programs, online courses, you name it, I talked about it I share the wins, failures, and all the things in between, in and around that so that I can help people fast forward their way through. If they have their own journey, trying to build something of their own and help other people too at the same time, and that's, that's really my tagline, make more money, save more time, and help more people too. And you can find me on everywhere like literally I over the last 12 years have been doing this. I have a podcast, several In fact, you pause real quick there, Pat, how many podcasts do you have? Five total, two that are mostly active one that's semi active two that are sort of sunset but are still getting.

John Meese 2:36
But five?

Pat Flynn 2:37
Five. Yes. Over 1600 episodes recorded and 65 million downloads total. So yeah, it's a it's become a pretty significant part of my life. I teach other people how to start a podcast as well. And in addition to that, I have a YouTube channel with a quarter million subscribers my blog that's been up for over a decade. I also am streaming on Twitch now with my son. We have a family family. One channel. And that's really cool. I know, we just try to have fun and also build things to help others too at the same time.

John Meese 3:07
That's cool. So and on top of that, you're also an author. I know I've got, you could probably see it behind me. I've got super fans right there on the on the shelf, which is your most recent book, but it's not your it's not your first and it probably won't be your last I would assume

Pat Flynn 3:20
probably not gonna be the last one.

John Meese 3:21
Yeah. So, um, so thank you for giving us a little just kind of snapshot of who you are, Pat, I know who you are, as a human being that I know are much more than that. But it's helpful just to get that context. So for today's conversation, I really want to start by getting the personal experience really connecting to that path. So, you know, it's interesting, from an academic or just like a business kind of coaching perspective, we can talk about the economic crisis or entrepreneurship and all of that, but I love to start with the personal and so I would love to know your personal experience, Pat, in terms of when did you first realize that COVID-19 and the related lockdown global pandemic was A real threat or something to pay attention to do you remember where you were or what conversation or news item caught your eye that really caused you to perk up and pay attention?

Pat Flynn 4:09
I don't remember the specific news item. But I remember that I was in a specific location where I started to notice things were a little bit different, where things were starting to get a little serious. You know, I'd heard things here and there in February, and then come March, I attend in early March, an event in San Diego, my hometown called Social Media Marketing World. And this is where thousands of people come to, in close proximity, you know, learn business, learn social media and whatnot. And everywhere, there were signs about hand washing and sanitizer, I had never seen anything like that before. And even when I was going around, and this is when we were still allowed to shake hands. It was a little weirdness to that. And in fact, I remember a lot of people fist bumping and I was like, why is everybody fist bumping instead of shaking hands and it just started to spread that like this COVID thing would potentially come over to the US and was already here and in small areas within the US. But we had to make sure we pay attention to this. And it became a conversation in every presentation that I was in. It's just something that up. And then when I left Social Media Marketing World and everybody went back home, thankfully, there was no outbreaks during this this this time, but outbreaks were happening and it could have very well happened during this time too. That really scared me because what if I had contracted something being at this event and brought it back home to people? Yeah, you know, and there was a lot of unknowns and people were hanging out with with with their grandparents and whatnot. Like I could have been a carrier and just nobody knew what was going on at the time. And then of course, things really finally started to hit home New York started become an epic Epicenter, and it was just like, wow, we barely got by with Social Media Marketing World, right. And it made me realize how lucky we were to not have something happen. And also it made me feel well, when are we going to be able to do this again? I have no idea. I having I having my own event in July was like the first thing I was Thinking about business wise, because I was like, Okay, well, how long is this going to last? What am I going to need to do I need to address this. And that add to a lot of confusion, a lot of anxiety, a lot of frustrations, just unknowns. And so yeah, that's when I first really started paying attention to and really, kind of it became a thing.

John Meese 6:16
I do wonder, like for people listening to this in the future, and you describe an event with, you know, thousands of people, you know, milling about to, you know, hear these different speakers. If that's, you know, I do wonder how much of a, like a footnote in history that is of, you know, when it'll be when that kind of thing will be normal again, it feels really strange right now in this transition. Yeah. Well, I'd love to know, thank you for sharing your personal experience. But I'd love to know as a business owner, and you already kind of alluded to this, that you had an event of your own coming up a conference, a physical conference in July, I was there last year. So as a business owner, how did you respond not just about the event, but in general, how did you respond to crisis?

Pat Flynn 6:57
Well, it was a team effort first, right because I have my own thoughts and all Sometimes in times of crisis, we start to think about the worst case scenario, or we start to make up stories that aren't even real yet. It's really important to get grounded. I think that's the first and most important thing. And so what I did was I reached out to my team and we got together, we just had a team meeting to talk things out, everybody needed this, as much as I did to just filter what was going on in our brains, put it out there and have everybody just sort of learned from each other. And if anything, at least empathize with what we were dealing with, and what we were struggling with, and how we might be able to move forward together and that that was the most important thing. But in terms of like, what were our next action items, it was very difficult because every day, new information was coming out, right, that changed things and it was very difficult. And so what we needed to do is realize that we don't know what we're going to do now. And that has to be okay. It's unfortunate, it's frustrating, but let's be okay with adapting and put our pivoting strengths on so that we can in moments time, work together to do what we need to do right and so eventually came to the point where we are We're going to have to make a decision related to Flynn con because Flynn con, I put a big payment on a hotel, and then also had a payment coming up to the tune of $70,000, which was going to happen in a couple months after the pandemic started. And so there was a lot of conversation around the well, do you think we'll be able to have fincon in time? Should I still offer this deposit where we signed a contract? What are we going to do? So I actually started talking a lot with my attorneys about what our options were and going into the contract in what is possible, what's not possible. Thankfully, over time, after they enforce it said we had to pay no matter what, eventually they came around, because I think that just they know this is going to be a long term relationship, hopefully, that we wouldn't have to pay our next deposit, they would hold our security deposit, but we would host the event next year in 2021. Hmm. And that that's kind of where we're at. Now. I don't know if that's even going to be possible. So we'll have to come across and pivot and adjust when we come to that bridge later too. But that's we found a solution that we're For now. And then the other part of this was we were literally in the middle of the launch when the lockdown started happening. And there was a lot of hysteria about money and food and all this sort of stuff. I remember going to Trader Joe's. And it was packed. And everything was off the shelves. And I was like, What is happening here? Why are people buying toilet paper over like all this other stuff? I mean, it was just kind of a crazy time anyway, we stocked up and you know, you got to take care of your family and all that stuff first. But business wise, I mean, we were in the middle of a launch. And it felt weird to continue the launch in the way that we had planned it with the ads with a copy without even addressing what was going on. So we decided on the fly that mid launch that we were going to remove the ads cut down on all the marketing, but still carry forward with the launch and still close it on the day that we were supposed to. Because this is still a thing that you know, some people would benefit from. And at the time, I think we were promoting a podcasting course. And, you know, it just made sense that, hey, maybe maybe during this time, you can use this time to create like I did back in 2008. However, we didn't want to force the hand, we didn't want to say, oh, by this course by this certain date, or else you lose out on the discount, or you lose on bonuses. So what we did was we cut down on all the marketing messages, we just had one or two final emails that basically said, this is happening right now, we completely understand that, here's what we've done as a result, but we are going to see this campaign all the way through. However, if you feel the need to hold on to your money right now, and you're worried about not getting access to this deal, don't worry, when it makes sense for you and you feel comfortable again in the future. And again, I don't know how long this is going to be. But feel free to reach back out to us and let us know that you're ready to take advantage of this opportunity and we're not going to have you miss out on it. So you get the discount, you get the bonuses later, should it make sense for you later. So no forcing of a hand during that time. Because that that that would have just been completely tone deaf, but it would have also been tone deaf to not say anything. Right and to continue that same way forward. So I think it was just really important to understand from the audience's perspective and one thing that was really key. And this relates to my book superfans, I had a lot of conversations with people in my audience, in fact, asking them how they felt if we continued forward with our regular marketing, and our messaging, and I had a lot of very honest feedback, which you'd be, which superfans can give you that if we were to continue the way we were going to continue, it wouldn't have come across very well. And so having an insight on who our target audience is, and having direct connection to them, as a representative of the audience as a whole was absolutely key. And this is why I think building super fans in your business is so key, not just because you'll have people who buy everything that you come out with, but because in times like this, you can lean on them to give you honest feedback as a representative of the audience as a whole, huh.

John Meese 11:55
Well, I mean, that's a lot to kind of take in and process I'm sure at the time and it's interesting to kind of Look back, you know, it's we're right now we're talking about way, way, way back in time, you know, two months ago. But so we talked a little about the event. We talked a little bit about this this online course that you were launching about podcasting. Could you take us behind the curtain a little bit in your business in terms of just how the economic crisis has impacted the various aspects of your business? And I say business knowing that you're actually involved in several businesses, right, you have the physical product companies, you have the software company. So could you talk a little bit about, you know, what were your different revenue streams are and how they've been impacted or not by the economic crisis?

Pat Flynn 12:34
Yeah, I mean, the interesting thing about this is that we've actually seen increases for a lot of our stuff. The thing that we've seen a decrease for in fact, is the podcast because nobody's commuting anymore. We've had lower podcast members and this is pretty usual all around. There are some cases especially in the entertainment, podcasting space, remember up because people are looking for entertainment and an escape route for things that people normally listen to in the car. They're not listening to it anymore. So we've seen down numbers on the podcast, However, we've seen an increase in several different arenas in my physical product company, because it's for creators, and a lot of people are now taking this time to start their YouTube channels or film or videos. And because people are watching more YouTube videos, or switch pod, which is a specialized tripod for vloggers actually sold out, which is great, which is really cool. But we've had some problems with the manufacturing chair, just like we manufacture these in China. It wouldn't have been able to be made if they if they were made anywhere else to be honest. And trust me we looked, however, because of the relations there because they shut down factories there. We were delayed in getting our shipment order back to the US and as a result of that we've been sold out for a little bit of time. Thankfully, we had some stock in places like Amazon and b&h photo for a while to sort of feed people to who came across our website and saw it out of stock. But still like that. We saw a hit on Amazon as a result of that being out of stock and you know that that's I guess a good problem. In the house being out of stock, but you know, we tried to time it and this definitely got in the way. Sure, sure. In the digital space on Smart Passive Income, we've definitely seen an increase for people who are devoting more time to creation as well, in different way, people devoting more time to starting their podcast, we've had a lot of people actually take up my offer for my 201 podcasting course, I have a lot of students who took me up for my podcasting course for beginners power of podcasting, but in reaching out to a lot of them, knowing that this is a time to then move forward and actually grow and invest in their business. Many of them took me up on an offer for my 201 podcasting course, which is a more expensive course. My coaching programs have been really interesting because a lot of my own students have been really suffering as a result of what's been happening. And so I've been dedicating a lot more time to helping solve problems there to encourage people through these tough times. And that's definitely been eating up not not income, but mental bandwidth. Yeah, because, in addition to focusing on my own stuff, I'm also worried and dedicated to helping my students and my, my, what's called my accelerator students, my higher level paying students who I have direct contact with every single week. And that's been a big mental sort of exhaustion as well, but I'm dedicated to supporting them and helping them through revenue wise as well, we definitely seem to hit on some of our other courses. And, you know, it's sort of like ebb and flow, right. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Other times, we have promoted things and they've gone well, and sometimes we promote things and it just is crickets. And it's just such a weird environment right now. But I think it's really important to still move forward with your campaigns and still see things through you just have to not be tone deaf while you do that. You have to adjust for the situations that we're in. Right and it's it's it's it's experimentation. It's trying to see what works and what doesn't during this time. I think the messaging is really key. I think the openness and authenticity and transparency in your brand is going to be absolutely key to you because a lot of people are looking to change transparent brands right now, because there are also brands that are absolutely taking advantage in a negative way the situation right now and that's just leaving a bad taste in people's mouth. And to take advantage of a situation like this and use certain phrases that are more on the lines of scare tactics is not okay, in my opinion, and I think many people's opinion to probably who are listening to the show. So I think that revenue wise, it's just, you know, thankfully, we've seen an increase overall, but definitely a decrease in other areas of our business. And definitely my students are seeing a lot of decreases, especially those who are more in the travel space, for example, will be more hard. Things like that. The one thing that I did that has been really cool, is I've started a live show on YouTube. And I it wasn't named this in the beginning because I didn't know where it was gonna go. But I wanted to go live to just be there as a resource for my audience for free on YouTube. And I had hundreds of people show up on day one, and I was like, wow, this is really cool. Let me come back tomorrow. I'll continue to answer questions and help you out. More More people Shut up, like, Whoa, okay, this is really interesting. And I think that the lesson here is that people are craving, community, people or craving connection. And we all as leaders have the ability to create and facilitate those connections within our audience. And I didn't know I was doing this at the time, I just wanted to show up for my people and answer questions. But in addition to that, I was also creating a community. So this show now is called The IncomeStream. And tomorrow at the time of this recording is Episode 100. I've gone live for 100 days straight for over an hour every single day. It's become the most incredible experience, not just in the production and learning what works, what doesn't while live, I've been learning a lot and upping the production level, but what's done for the community, and it's actually saved a lot of people's lives in their businesses to be able to connect with each other people now collaborating who are within this community who wouldn't have met if I hadn't shown up and actually created the space on You Tube for it to happen. There are people in there who have gotten advice and who have reviewed their websites, or they've seen other people's reviews and have implemented and taken action and are now able to save their business as a result of that. And it's just been pretty incredible. So incredible, such that they even together created their own slack group, right? Like I had no say in this or anything. They created their own slack group to be able to communicate with each other after the show. And I've had a few people come in every single day for 100 days, was just mind blowing. And now much like what what happened with the podcast back in 2010. When I started that, I'm getting fan letters, I'm getting gifts as a result of showing up which is cool. I mean, I like receiving those gifts because it means something is working. But more importantly it means that I'm making an impact and be able to do that in a live setting has been really challenging because I'm an introvert myself and although I do speak on stages, although I do podcast, doing this live every day and meeting new people and not really knowing where the conversation is gonna go. All the time. It's, it's very challenging, but I've definitely seen an improvement in my communication and definitely a growth in the channel. Also, as a result on YouTube specifically, there's this thing called super chats where people can pay money to the Creator, to support them. And we've earned over $10,000 in super chats since we started 90 days ago, just holiday,

John Meese 19:23
just voluntary donations,

Pat Flynn 19:25
Voluntary donations, like out of nowhere, I don't even know this was the thing. It was just enabled by default. And I was like, Where's What are these highlighted comments in here that are showing up and I see that there's more money coming in now as a result of this right and what's been really cool, so we've been able to donate every single one of those dollars to different things that are happening during the times. So when COVID started, we supported the San Diego Food Bank and donated over 6000 meals to the San Diego Food Bank. The next month after that we donated to project cure, which helps people in the medical field get supplies they need. This month we've been dedicating to the Black Lives Matter movement and different organizations who help lead people who are black entrepreneurs and who need to get their voices heard and amplified, and it's just been really amazing to be able to like this is just a byproduct of showing up and creating a space and building community again, on the same lines. It's literally a chapter in superfans actually. So we'll really,

John Meese 20:21
Yeah, well, let's talk about that for a second because your book superfans it hasn't been that luck. Do you remember? I mean, I probably should know this. I've done my research. But how long has it been since the book came out? The book came out and it was actually launched. You were there at FlynnCon July 15th

Okay. I yeah, you're right. I was there. I should know that. So, you know, this is a book that you wrote relatively recently that you're saying has already allowed you to kind of step into this crisis with a plan for what to do. So maybe you could talk about that for a second. What, what are the principles in your book superfans that you think really sets you up? And to allow you to pivot and pursue opportunity in the current climate?

Pat Flynn 20:57
Yeah, I mean, in I would choose the words instead of allow you is like to earn the right to write, earn, it takes time, and you need to build trust with your audience. And this book is all about the moments that you create over time are meaningful, right? It's not just about getting them on your email list and having them run through some automation. Like that's helpful. And that's a part of the process. But that's not the whole story. It's not just about getting a person to become a customer. They make a sale, you make a sale, and then boom, you win and everybody's happy. No, it's the entire customer journey from when a person finds you for the first time how to create activation moments for them to want to dive deeper into your stuff to subscribe to follow to purchase something. That's step one. Step two, then to make them feel like they're a part of a community like what I'm doing here with the income stream every morning on YouTube or creating, you know, live streams on Facebook or an event or what have you or highlighting and spotlighting, much like how Donald Miller talks about in story brand, spotlighting the heroes within your audiences. You have them all support each other in creating moments of opportunity in that regard to then leveling them up to superfan status. You can create little personalized moments over time to ultimately help people feel like they belong. That's ultimately where we as humans want to be. We want to be with people who make us feel like we belong, who make us feel heard, who make us feel recognized, right. And so we as creators, as facilitators, as as as hosts, as creators, we have the ability to do this. We've always had the ability to do this. But we've been so focused on growing our brand with SEO and paid ads and, you know, getting on all the different platforms so we can reach new people, and it's always about finding new people. And I think that if we just focused instead, or at least maybe even half that energy on the people who are with us already, increase your experience, it's ultimately gonna help you grow your brand from within. So now a superfan or community member can invite new people in for you, sometimes without you even asking or having to pay a dime. And they're not going to come in cold anymore like they would with an ad they would come in warm from a recommendation from somebody who is within the community. And so this entire book just walks you through a bunch have different things that you can do easy to hard beginner to advanced to advance people who just discover you into superfan status. This is business insurance. My opinion is platform agnostic, it doesn't matter what happens with technology, your fans will follow you, they become the lifeblood of your business. These are the repeat customers, these are the people who are going to show up for you, when you are in dire need, they're going to be there to defend you from trolls on the frontlines before you even know they exist. And they're going to be with you, like I mentioned earlier, to give you honest feedback when you don't know what to do next, because they are your target audience. And so that's what I recommend. That's what this book is meant for. And you can get quick results with it too, which is pretty neat.

John Meese 23:38
Well, I love that one of the things you said that really stuck out to me there was that super fan strategy is business insurance, you know, and that's really what we're talking about is now's the time to call in your insurance policy. and say look, you know, we need to adapt business and, you know, it's business unusual, and so the superfans allow you to do that. So as you're thinking about opportunity for your own business, you know, and I realize that you have a couple businesses yourself, and then you're also an advisor of several other businesses. So how do you approach pivoting to pursue opportunity? because like you said, there are some people who kind of approach the current crisis with this language of kind of like life or death by my thing, or, you know, you're gonna or, or else you know, and it's, and that's kind of one extreme. And there's other people who've said, Okay, don't acknowledge it, you know, just do business as usual. Don't try to profiteer off of, you know, a crisis. You know, and I think you've kind of found this path or the middle of that of saying, like, no, there are ways we can show up and serve people without trying to scare them. So how do you approach that? Like, what's your mindset or strategy when you're pivoting to pursue opportunity and thrive in a crisis like this?

Pat Flynn 24:41
That's a great question. And the way that I answer any question like this, where I'm like, Okay, well, what's the right thing to do here? I always try to go Okay, well, what can help me not have to guess anymore? How can I just know the answer, right? Like, let's go directly to who would provide me the best answer and we've already talked about this going to your customers going to your fans. Going to your audience and saying, just being honest and upfront, here's situation. Here's what we were planning on doing. how might that come across? Or what do you need help with right now? What can we support you with in this very moment. And this is something that happened recently, for example, we had a conversation with a number of our podcasting students. And it asked them what they need help with right now that that would help them in this situation. And they say, Pat, we need to know how we can start monetizing our podcasts. In fact, we need some help with advertising. And so many people were wondering, even though I do talk about this in the course, I don't go so deep into it in a step by step process, they were like, We would love to learn from you about how you can get more advertisers and sponsors for your show. So what I did was I created a workshop. And again, it was not a guess it was a result of my target audience and a specific problem that they had. So I created this specific solution, a live workshop, two to two and a half hours of me presenting on the way that you should go about getting podcast sponsors for your show, to make some money. And how it all works, how to wheel and deal how to get, you know, a higher CPM or cost per mil, your cost per thousand listeners, which is the typical rate or language used in the advertising space for podcasters. And so I pre-sold that, again to just validate it, you get 112 people sign up, which is like, okay, like, I knew this is gonna work, but the customers, right. And so I delivered on that. And it was an amazing time I've had people in fact saved the best $99 they've ever spent, and everybody wins, right? We show money in our business, we were able to ad hoc serve our audience with something that can help them right now. And now we have this recording. In fact, when I do these workshops, I have Kayla, my videographer come in, because they are held on zoom, but we film on a camera that would allow for a really high quality recording, I don't use the Zoom recordings. And this allows us to then take this workshop that's two and a half hours, chop it up into different lessons. It's actually created that way where there's different sections as if it was an online course. And then it gets chopped up, put into Teachable, which is the online course platform I use. And now we sell it again. And we sell it later. And we actually increase the price and people buy it. And it also becomes a nice bonus for people who purchase our premium courses, you can get this real thing that has real value that actually costs real money, not just some bonus that's made up, which is often what we see in the online space. It's a real workshop that we had done, get access to it, you can buy it right now. Or you can get it included if you purchase this other course to now have a lot more assets that we can use. And so again, everybody wins, we've solved the problem. Now we have a new thing that we can use in our business to solve more people's problems. And that's become a result of, Hey, what do you need right now? Okay, well, we'll go create that for you.

John Meese 27:47
I love that. Well, Pat, what advice do you have for the business owner who's listening to this right now who's thinking okay, but how do I build or rebuild, you know, a profitable business? How do I do this in any economy, right? Like, what's the strategy that I can apply right now, that's going to be true, you know, in a month, six months or a year. And I think it's important to think about the fact I mean, you and I both spent a lot of our time in the online business space, you know, online influencers, and so on, and digital marketer, etc, entrepreneurs. But there's a lot of business owners right now who are, you know, in a brick and mortar, more traditional business, and they're really, they're really struggling to figure out how to pivot because they're kind of locked into this business model of a restaurant or a barber shop or a gym. Yeah, I mean, what advice do you have for the business owner about how to build a rebuild?

Pat Flynn 28:35
We got to get creative, right? These are these are unusual times, very unique. However, you have skills and talents that can be used in all different kinds of ways. We just have to either create a space to think about how we might be able to create different solutions and no idea is a bad idea right? Put it all o ut there. Ask people have conversations with your team. Everybody's advice is welcome. And in addition to that, where you can get some ideas, find other people who are in the same As you and see what they're up to, to get inspired by them, don't copy them, but see what they're up to, and even collaborate and work with them too. Because sometimes two is better than one, you can work together to create something, and actually, you know, collaborate and have something come out better for both of you on the other side. And then you have all these ideas, and it's about testing and validating them, right? This is about having these conversations to see if these things actually make sense. Maybe even micro testing them. Like I love the analogy of taking these all these ideas, creating a whole bunch of different petri dishes, where you're just experimenting such that if things were to completely fail there, or at least it's in this petri dish that you can then throw away and then you can move on to the next one, right? versus what we often do is okay, what's the one thing that we're going to dedicate all of our time and effort to for the next nine, nine years? It's so hard to know what that is until you micro tests and see well what works right now and where might we be able to explore right? The kids at my school before there was distant learning work this way. And I really love this school because it's very unique in the way that they teach. But what they do is for the first two weeks, during the a segment of time, they have what's called exploration in the different groups, different teachers actually each have a different thing where the with the kids can choose the thing that they're interested in doing first, to see what works and see what doesn't see what they like they can move around wherever they want, they can join their friends, they could see what topic they're most interested in. And then at the end of two weeks, they now have to make a decision on which one of those five things that they explored, do they want to focus the next six weeks on? And that's what they're going to deep dive on. That's called exploration into a deep dive. We need to do the same thing in our businesses too, because there are many options. We don't know what we like or don't like, we don't know what our customers like or don't like yet. You can explore if you want to, perhaps add some coaching into your program. Okay, instead of just going sales page. Let's make this a whole thing. Just find one person in your audience that you can coach outside of all that and just see if they need help, see if they'll even say yes, and if you do, see what that process is like, evaluate it, investigate what works, investigate what doesn't. And then you can make a decision as to whether or not that works or not, or even if you can get a result for that person and if you do, it could unlock a company. new segment of your business. And now it becomes something that you do or at least include on top of what you were doing or could potentially even replace it. But you have to test first and this is why I love if you're trying something new, just try to get one person to get a result with that thing. Or try to get one customer to say yes, or even pay up front for it, just to see if this is even gonna work for you. And then take that person through that result. And then go from there. Start small.

John Meese 31:23
I love that. pad. This has been immensely helpful. And I know this is going to be you know, there's a lot of people who are looking for help from people like you about what to do. And so I appreciate you sharing your time and your insight. Where can we go to find out more about you, what you're up to and how you can help us?

Pat Flynn 31:41
Yeah, I mean, I have my main websites been up for over 12 years helping people with tons of content and tons of organization to help you get started and or scale your business. You can find that at I also have a personal website,, where I talk about a lot of other things that you might be interested in like technology, parenting kids education. Other things that are important to me, family life, whatnot. Pat and I'm at Pat Flynn on most channels, including YouTube. So I hope to see you in one of those spots in the future.

John Meese 32:10
Well, excellent. Well, thank you Pat.

Pat Flynn 32:12
Thank you.

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John Meese is the author of the #1 bestseller Survive and Thrive: How to Build a Profitable Business in Any Economy (Including This One). An entrepreneur himself, John is on a mission to eradicate generational poverty by equipping entrepreneurs with the tools and training they need to build thriving businesses from scratch. He is the CEO of Cowork Inc, co-founder of Notable, and regularly publishes interviews and insight at

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