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Pat Flynn is raising funds for Let Go: A Year Celebration on Kickstarter! The first ever special print edition of this life-changing story, plus. Editorial Reviews. Review. "Pat Flynn's new book Let Go is a must read for anyone new or old to the information marketing business or anyone who wants more. Let Go book. Read 50 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Let Go is Pat Flynn's touching memoir about overcoming adversity through a c.
Im here to help you engineer its wings. Ive launched several successful businesses in the past, starting in with a website dedicated to helping people pass the LEED exam, which is an exam in the architecture industry related to environmentally-friendly green building practices.
It might not sound that exciting to you, but the resource I created has helped tens of thousands of people pass their exam, and it changed my life forever. I used to be an aspiring architect. I graduated from UC Berkeley in with a B. I was ready to dedicate the rest of my life to architecture and was doing all I could to prove it. I became the youngest person in the firm to get promoted to Job Captain and everything was going according to planuntil it wasnt.
In June of , I was told I was going to be let go. After some mild depression and moving back home with my parents, I ended up turning my knowledge about the incredibly difficult LEED exam into an online business selling study guides, classes, and practice exams for this test.
Within a year, GreenExamAcademy. Today, I cant even imagine what life would be like if I hadnt been laid off and started my own business. The freedom that comes with being your own boss and having full control over your future is amazing, but for me its not about the money or owning fancy cars we have a Toyota Sienna, also known as a soccer mom van. Its not about sitting at the beach all day sipping pia coladas.
I work, and when I do, I work smart, but I have something else in my life thats more motivating than anything elsemy family. I have a beautiful wife, April, and two amazing kids, Keoni and Kailani, and I count my blessings each and every day I have with them. I go with April to bring Keoni to school and pick him up each day.
I go to Kais dance class. I get to have lunch with April at home. I love to do all of these things, and I would not have had the same opportunity to enjoy them in my previous profession.
Because youre reading this book, I know you have dreams and aspirations, too. You have a why thats driving you to figure out how to make it all happen. You can visualize what it might be like on the other end, but the runway isnt very clear. Perhaps youre overwhelmed from all of the information out there and dont know what your next steps should be, or maybe you fear wasting your time and money building something that might not work out for you. Maybe its both. Whatever the case may be, dont make assumptions and rush into things the way my son rushed into his first attempt at folding a paper airplane.
As Joel Barker says, Speed is only useful if youre running in the right direction. And thats why I wrote this book to help you build your wings, and visualize your flight path. I want to make sure youre clear for takeoff first.
Does your idea have merit? Will it succeed in the market youre trying to serve, or will it just be a waste of time and resources? Is it a good idea for you and the life you want to live? In other words, will it fly? This book is here to help you find out. Im proud to see him try new designs and not worry about failure anymore.
His planes dont always fly as expected, but he has learned that failing is a part of the process of building cool stuff, and Ive shifted his thinking from I cant to I havent figured it out yet. Hes twice as old now, and its clear to my wife and me that he has definitely adopted an engineers mindset. Hes always trying to understand how things work, and if you let him, hell ask questions for days about things he doesnt understand until he gets it.
Ive especially enjoyed watching MythBusters with him. Its a show that has aired on the Discovery Channel for over a decade that uses the scientific method to put popular myths to the test to either confirm or completely bust them. For example, an episode that aired in tested the myth that a goldfishs memory lasts only three seconds. This myth was busted when the hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage were able to train a goldfish to recognize color patterns and complete an underwater obstacle course, even a month after it was initially taught.
Other experiments go much bigger, like the myth that a person can reduce their chance of being attacked by a shark by playing dead confirmed , or that a water heater, if poorly installed, could explode and shoot through the roof of a house like a rocket also confirmed. And then, there are the super practical experiments, like the myth that talking to someone on the phone hands-free while driving is safer than actually holding the phone in your hand totally busted , or that seasickness can be cured by taking a ginger pill confirmed.
How is any of this relevant? Whats the point? The point is our ideas are like these myths. We can assume outcomes one way or another, but until we put a method and data behind it to test those assumptions, were risking being pulled into something that seems right, but may prove to be completely wrong. Experimentation will illuminate the truth. Like they do on the show, youre going to take your big idea and scale it down into a controlled environment so you can understand exactly whats going on, and confidently make a decision one way or another.
They could be new, or ones youve thought about for years. It could be a couple of words on the back of a napkin, or perhaps youve already crushed through dozens of spiral notebooks detailing exactly how its all going to work and what it looks like. When we get ideas, they possess us. They take up most of our brain space and it doesnt matter what were doingwe could be taking a shower, driving, or even sleepingout of nowhere our ideas can suddenly energize us like a bolt of lightning.
At the same time, its much easier to keep ideas as ideas, because there is little consequence in imagining. Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous architect, said, An idea is salvation by imagination.
Good ideas are common, but those who are willing to take action and execute those ideas are far more rare. Here are some reasons why one might just sit on an idea without taking action. See if any of the following resonates with you: You dont know where to start or what steps are required to turn that idea into a reality. You have a lot of ideas to choose from and you dont want to choose the wrong one. Your fear of failure outweighs your fear of not getting started.
Youre not sure if youre qualified. You dont want to let others down. Youve discovered others who have executed a similar idea. You dont have the resources you need to get started. Youre just not sure if its going to work. It doesnt matter how many of the above you connected with, from this point forward you must make a commitment to take action. I cant predict everything that will happen in the future, but as John F.
Kennedy once said, There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction. In other words, a sure-fire way to predict the future is to take no action at all. When you do nothing, you get nothing. The following pages of this book are here to help you learn how to know whether or not that idea of yours is worth fighting for.
You are going to spend a lot of time and effort on whatever it is you choose to do, so its wise to invest a little bit of time upfront to put your idea through a series of litmus tests and thought experiments to give it the best chance of succeeding, or quickly get rid of it if it fails to pass.
This book is made up of a series of examinations. Not scary ones like you would take in school, where depending on how well you performed that day you are either smiling when you get your grade back, or putting your head down in shame. You cannot fail these tests, because its not you who is being tested. It is your ideas. No matter the outcome of the tests, its always going to be a win for you. Either way, youll have a clear indication of what to do next: go forth and conquer, or pull back and regroup to try again in a different way.
If you go through the book and discover that your idea doesnt merit pursuit, you will have saved yourself a ton of time and money. If by the end of this you decide youve found something that works, youre going to be completely motivated to push forward with it, because you will have bolstered your confidence and busted your excuses.
Of course, in order for a business to become successful, it takes more than just coming up with the right idea. Theres the execution of it, the design, the marketing, the copywriting, the offers, and so on, but none of those things will help if the idea isnt good. Thats why its insane to me that most people who teach business and entrepreneurship skip over this part.
Although Im writing this book for you, Im writing it with my younger self in mind too. Even though Ive created successful businesses over the years, Ive had a number of complete failures too. When I look back and carefully examine each of these failures, the fatal flaw always comes down to one of two things: 1.
Making money was more important to me than serving people.
20 Best Personal Development and Self-Help Books
I rushed into it. Number 1 is a given. You just dont make money if you dont care about people first. Putting cash over caring has never rewarded me, and Ive since learned that your earnings become a byproduct of how well you serve your audience.
And Number 2?
Well, getting excited about something and rushing into it isnt a behavior that only children possess. Its common in all ages, and especially in those of us who embody the entrepreneurial spirit. Unfortunately, we dont just grow out of this nature. We have to learn our way out of it. I used to rush into things because I didnt want to waste time, but my haste often cost me more time and a lot of money in the process.
I hired a developer before my idea was even fully fleshed out, way too early in the process. The consequences were a ton of miscommunication, wasted money, lots of stress and software that didnt even deserve a good try. One of many expensive lessons learned, and thats okay.
Ive learned that failure is a part of the process of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Yes, we have to pull the trigger or just ship as we often hear, but at the same time common sense tells us that a little bit of time up front to validate an idea can make all the difference in the world.
Can you imagine picking an idea and working on it for years, only to realize that it will never fly?
Will It Fly-How to Test Your Next Business
How depressing and demotivating would that be? This is your flight plan, and where were going to make sure that conditions are ideal for a successful launch. Part 1 is Mission Design, and its the most important phase of this book.
Through a series of thought experiments, well make sure your target idea aligns with and supports your target goals. NASA has never launched a mission just because it sounded like a good idea, and neither should you. Theres a very specific purpose behind each and every launch, and a lot of time is spent planning and considering how each newly proposed idea fits into their overall plan, purpose and mission.
Although youre not flying to the Moon or Mars, you will be putting a lot of time, effort and potentially money into what youre about to do, and if you discover that your business idea does not fit into your overall mission, then its very easy to make a decision to not move forward with it. A successful entrepreneur is one who is both successful in business and in life.
Too often, I come across successful business owners who are still unhappy because their business decisions have not supported the life they want.
The self-examination youll do in this section will help you locate early warning signs so this does not happen. In Part 2, well be going into the Development Lab to uncover important details about your target idea that you havent even thought about yet. No matter how far along you are, we need to explore these thoughts in your brain and organize them into something cohesive and shareable.
We need to define your idea. Through the exercises in this part, youll begin to see what it might look like, how it will feel and what about it makes it unique. Afterwards, youll have a lot more clarity about what it is youre really getting into, and therefore have a better understanding of what direction to take from there. Part 3 is the Flight Planning stage.
This is where youre going to assess the current conditions of the market that youre entering so that you can see what and who youre up against. Although you might worry that youre late to the party, the fact is that you have a great advantage over everyone else who is already there.
Youll get a big-picture look at how your target market is being served, whats missing, or what opportunities exist. From there, you can favorably position yourself to win. Well be keeping track of the various locations your target market resides, well discover the top players in the niche and figure out what products and services are already available to them. Well also conduct a few exercises to find out the true pains and struggles your target customers are going through, so you can come in and serve them better than they already are.
A lot of people skip this part of the process and try to wedge their way into a space they dont know anything about.
Your Flight Planning will give you a huge advantage, even from Day 1, so you can properly enter a space with confidence. In Part 4, youre going to enter the Flight Simulator where you will be combining everything youve learned through your research together to actually validate and test your idea with a small segment of your target market. The problem that a lot of startups and entrepreneurs run into, even when they do the proper research, is that they dont validate the research through real-life testing with real-life customers.
To really know if this is going to work, you need more than just interest, you need a transaction, and for many business models that means literally collecting payments or pre-orders from your prospective customers, even before you build out your product or start your service.
It might seem ludicrous to think that you can get paid for something you havent even created yet, but when you can understand your target market well enough, truly define the problems theyre going through, and become the point person who will provide that solution for them, it becomes a completely real opportunity. And lastly, in Part 5, All Systems Go, were going to do some final analysis to make sure youre ready to move forward with your idea.
In addition to that, youll get some helpful insight on your next moves, and how you can take a lot of the information youve uncovered during your research in this book forward with you, so you know your next steps.
And before we get going, Id just like to say thank you. Not just for reading this book, but for being smart about your approach with your business. The world needs you. It needs your energy and what you have to offer, so lets work together to make sure you dedicate that time and energy to something that mattersboth to the world, and to you.
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. Hi Pat, Im sorry to email you like this, but I had no one else to turn to. I feel like I know you because I listen to your voice all day. Youre like a friend, even though weve never met. Sorry if that sounds weird.
Anyway, I want to thank you. You dont know this, but youve taught me so much about how to build a successful online business. Im not as happy as I thought I was going to be. A few years ago, before I started my company, the thought of making this kind of money online was a pipedream. Now that my dream has come true, I realize that I didnt give my dream much thought at all and theres much more to life than just making money.
I dont even know why Im emailing this to you, Pat. Maybe just to get it off my chest and share it with someone who might understand because you seem to have it all figured out. I dont know. I just opened my email and started typing, which is funny now that I think about it because I jumped into it without a plan, sort of like how I started my business. Clearly I need to work on that. Anyway, I dont expect a reply because I know youre busy. Thank you Pat, for all you do. James I often travel to speak at conferences and, after the presentations are over and the last drinks are served at the sponsored networking parties, I traditionally find myself hanging out with a group of entrepreneurs at the hotel bar to extend the evening and talk business.
Business conversations turn into life conversations, and over the years Ive learned that James situation as a successful but unfulfilled business owner isnt all that uncommon.
Hows life? I always feel the need to dig deeper. I dont probe to be rude or disrespectful, I do it because Im curious and genuinely care about these people. I wouldnt be hanging out with them if I didnt. When you choose to live the life of an entrepreneur, you choose a path of freedom. You choose to live life on your own terms and can shape it into whatever you want it to be.
Interview with Pat Flynn for Let Go Day 2013
In fact, everyone is capable of this freedom, but it is the entrepreneur who has mentally turned off autopilot and has taken control of his or her own future. This is why, when I hear about an entrepreneur who is unhappy in life, it makes me wonder how they have arrived there in the first place. There is a difference, however, between being unhappy with life, and being in a momentary state of unhappiness with business.
Building a successful business is an up-and-down-and-then-up-again journey that involves a constant shower of trial, challenges, error and failure.
It is through these failures that we learn, grow and course-correct in order to build something successful and meaningful.
Failing means we missed the mark, but it doesnt ever mean were done. It simply means that weve come to a new starting point. Although failures are something we should obviously work to avoid, the reality is that they will happen.
Building a business isnt always going to be sunshine and rainbows. There will be dark and stormy days too, but knowing that they are a part of the journey allows us to enjoy the process and incorporate the struggles of our business into a life that we can enjoy.
Building a successful business, however, is not synonymous to building a successful life. As entrepreneurship becomes more and more popular and is seen as the cool thing to do, more people are leaving their current occupations to start a better life without thinking about what that better life might actually look like.
Not all businesses are created equal, and not all ideas should be built by the people who dream them up. Its when your idea supports your lifestyle goals that it becomes worth exploring more. The purpose of Mission Design is to help you understand what your goals are in all areas of your life and help you determine whether or not your target idea supports them. How your target idea will perform in the market means nothing if you cant validate how it can support you first.
Skipping over this section is why people like James feel the way they do even after theyve found success. Building a successful business takes a lot of time, so why should you spend it on something you could ultimately regret even if it were to become successful? You might be thinking that this is a completely selfish way to approach building a business.
After all, arent businesses a solution to someone elses pain or problem? If we end up ditching that idea because it doesnt fit into our life goals, isnt that greedy and self-centered? The truth is if you dont have a passion for what you are doing, your energy will eventually fizzle out. It always does. By understanding your goals and the reason why you do what you do, knowing that your target idea supports your why, will motivate you more; and most importantly it will keep you going when times get tough during your business journey.
Plus, were not getting into the micro-details of your business just yet. At this point, you probably dont even know everything thats involved with it, which is okay because Ill help you figure all of that out later. What were looking for are the red flags, the obvious disconnections between your idea, and who you want to become. Mission Design is made up of several thought experiments and exercises that will help you think about your future and how your idea supports or invalidates the life you want.
After taking these tests, you may find that your idea fully supports your desired future self, in which case you can move onto the next section of the book to learn more.
If you do find that your idea isnt one that matches the future you want, well then youll be glad you figured it out now, as opposed to years down the road. If thats the case, start over with another idea, and then proceed like you did before. Each test is quick and to-the-point so as not to waste your time, and you can easily breeze through each of these tests one by one.
Some exercises in this book may require you to write things down. To help you, Ive created a free Will It Fly? Companion Course that you can use to download worksheets and templates that are mentioned and utilized throughout this book. Ive also included some bonus videos for you to help guide you even further along the way.
This test, and all other tests in this book are not worth being nervous about because there are no wrong answers and you cannot fail. No matter what the outcome is, it will be a win for you because you will have a better understanding of why you do what you do, and where your business idea fits into your life.
As with all of these thought experiments, they are meant to put a particular lesson into context for you, and in order for you to get the best results I need you to have an open mind.
So lets begin Lets say youve climbed into a DeLorean time machine and zapped yourself five years into the future. You find yourself at the airport. As you sit in the terminal, waiting for your next flight, you feel someone tap your shoulder. You turn around and your face immediately breaks into a huge smile as you recognize an old friend from school.
Your friend exclaims, I thought that was you! Its been too long since weve connected! Yes, you agree whole-heartedly. Ive missed you! With some time to kill before each of your flights, you both decide to catch up over a cup of coffee. As you settle into a table, your friend asks you, So hows everything going? How is life treating you these days? Life couldnt get any better. And you really mean it. Now here comes the key question: Whats happening in your life five years from now that makes you respond like this?
Dont even worry about the business idea in your head right now. Just fast forward into the future and really think about what would make your life, and all of the things that matter most to you, truly amazing at that point.
Ill help you think through this, but first lets talk about where this exercise comes from and why its so important. This thought experiment, as well as the one youll find in the next chapter, is an exercise adapted from part of the hiring process within Keller Williams Realty Inc. It was through a conversation I had with Jay that I learned the details behind this exercise and why it is so important to the hiring process within Keller Williams Inc.
When conducting this exercise with a potential hire, the company is actually interviewing itself on behalf of the person being interviewed. In other words, its a way to make sure Keller Williams can support the vision and goals of a prospective employee.
If the person envisions an ideal future that the company cannot support or doesnt fit into, then its easy to say no. It becomes a win for both parties, because any future misalignments are discovered ahead of time. While Jay was describing the process to me, he said, If you put something up there that makes your life awesome thats not achievable with this job, its my duty to say no to you right now.
Pat Flynn: How to Let Go, Create Passive Income and Achieve Your Greatness
Its a unique, counter-intuitive twist to the hiring process. Usually companies hire a person because of the skills they can bring to a current position that needs to be filled right now. With the ideal future of the applicant revealed, however, a company can easily see if its a good marriage. If its a match, both parties will be more confident and happy to serve and support each other toward a common future.
If its not match, then both parties can confidently go their separate ways and avoid the monetary and time-based costs that come along with a divorce.
We can use this same exercise to discover whether or not your target idea aligns with your own ideal future. Think of it as interviewing your future self to make sure that youre making the right decision now, whether or not you move forward with this idea.
Entrepreneurs are notorious for idea churnstarting something new, only to abandon it for another idea. Sometimes this churn is fast, and sometimes its slow, but our goal here is to reduce the chances of churn happening at all. Its also important to consider why were talking specifically about five years into the future, and not just one or perhaps ten or more.
Five years is quite a long time, but not too long. Its about as far as anybody can reasonably project into the future with an executable plan to reach certain milestones and goals, but its not so far into the future that ideas go beyond the capability of immediate action. When you were into your second or third year of high school, for example, you may have started to think about what life would be like in college. As a high school student, you could potentially imagine which college youd like to attend, what your major might be, and what activities you may participate in.
Although college was still years away, you could plan accordingly and take the action necessary to achieve your goals. At that point in your life, however, it was hard to envision exactly what life would be like after college because it was so far into the future and so many life-altering things could happen in that time.
On the other hand, thinking about life only a year into the future has its own drawbacks. For some goals, thinking a year ahead is a perfect strategy because we can easily break down those days into monthly or weekly achievements. However, it can also potentially hinder our big vision, as we get boxed into thinking about our short-term goals and only whats achievable within a year.
This is why five-year plans are so popular and why this particular exercise is vital for you right now. Were going to figure out what your five-year plan is and how your target idea fits into it, if at all. If it doesnt, then you dont change your plan, you change your idea. Sure, I could have just asked you to go the traditional route and write down what youd like to achieve within five years from now, but A thats boring, and B placing it into real life context makes it more meaningful.
It puts real emotion into your search for an answer, and as a result, youll think more deeply and honestly about how you respond. Now that you know why this is important, lets get back to our little thought experiment and pick up right where we left off at the airport terminal coffee shop, five years from now: AMAZING!
And of course, like any good friend would, they react with a huge smile and say, Thats so great, Im so happy for you! Please, tell me more! Whats going on thats so great right now? To help you think this through, I have a small exercise for you to complete, and were going to do it together. EXERCISE: Before we get into the technical details of what your idea is and how it fits in the target market youre trying to enter, we have to first understand how this potential idea fits you.
Who are you and what do you want? What are your goals and ambitions? Whats important to you? All of this is vital to define now before you proceed, because what you learn about yourself is going to guide all of your future decisions. Investing your time, energy, and money into your idea without this knowledge is like piloting a plane without knowing where youre going.
You either never take off, or you get airborne but eventually run out of gas and end up on the ground again, potentially farther away from where you want to be. Lets begin. If for whatever reason you cannot access the bonus material at this point in time, dont worry. There are many takeaways from this interview which you will find summarized below. But first, please watch the video interview and let me know what you think in the comment section of this post.
Bare with me, after all it was my first and I am glad I could get Skype to work properly with the recording software that I use, thanks! The first thing you should do is trying to dissect the problem. It might be a problem that you have, that you're trying to solve or someone else or other people who always come to you to solve their specific types of problems.
You don't have to be the expert. All you have to know is a little bit more than someone else in order to become an expert in their eyes and to be able to help them and provide value to them. Share that message and knowledge you have with the world — blogging, podcasting, YouTube. Choose the platform that you are the most comfortable with.
You can also combine all three into your brand, just like Pat Flynn does, and that's something to work and strive for. Whatever platform you choose to share your message on, it is important just to start building that audience and create an email list and start to provide great value.
Start to build your email list from day one! Six steps video series, step by step, what microphones to get, how to set up everything, how to make your show interesting and how get ranked in iTunes and all that good stuff you would need.
Pat Flynn knows a thing or about podcasting. His podcast the Smart Passive Income Podcast is approaching four million downloads since the first episode in July , so if you are interested in podcasting or starting a show, do yourself a favor and check Pat's awesome in depth guide out. Nothing is left out. I am currently following this podcast and it is just epic every time I tune in, so much value they provide.
And if the podcast is good enough for Pat Flynn it should be good enough for you as well, so listen to a few episodes and find out for yourself. Absolutely great content totally delivered to you for FREE! I am a member of this course by Jeremy and Jason, and the value you get if you join is amazing. Experiences like that are truly life changing, and you get to see what is possible.
That's really hard, but just try to believe in yourself and your ability. It's very important because if you don't think it's going to happen, it's not going to happen.
If you don't think you can do something, you're right. Meet other people and being a part of like-minded people is so important. Do that right from the start, don't wait! Try to hook up with people who are trying to do the same thing as you or just find a community online where people are already doing what you want to do and just learn from them. Aks questions. Don't be afraid to ask questions and try to be friends with them. Form mastermind groups together.
Nothing is more valuable than other people who can help you achieve you goals. Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.The forum also has a Resources, General Discussion, Introductions, and other sections as well.
Well then of course your plane didnt fly, you havent learned how to make wings yet! And the celebration was massive! Although failures are something we should obviously work to avoid, the reality is that they will happen. It's a quick read, but you can tell every emotion he had at the time is in the book. I couldnt just let my sons paper plane-making career end like that!
Im not as happy as I thought I was going to be.