Ep 430: How AI Will Reshape Customer and Member Experience with Pat Flynn

RV (00:02):
Oh, you are in for a treat today. You’re gonna meet one of the smartest men in this business. One of my favorite people that I have ever met in the space of personal branding. One of the godfathers of personal branding, certainly in the world of podcasting. The host of the Smart Passive Income podcast, pat Flynn. We’ve been friends, loose friends for years. Like we’ve always known each other. We’ve hung out a little bit here, a little bit there. And I, this is someone that I personally admire. He’s also the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of a book called Superfans. And and he is, will It Fly? Like he’s written, he’s written a couple books and most recently he has a YouTube channel that he’s grown to 700,000 subscribers in just over two years. So we’re gonna hear a little bit about that. He’s an advisor to many different SaaS companies, software as a service companies. I’m planning on asking a little bit about that, but I never know where it’s gonna go. We’ll see, we’ll see where the flow takes us. Anyways, pat, I’m really genuinely honored, man, that you’d make time to, to be here to share your story with our community.
PF (01:10):
Thank you, Rory. I appreciate that. And I’ve never been introduced as the godfather of anything, so I don’t know if I’ve reached that age now, where, or, or maybe it’s the beard. I don’t know. But I appreciate the amazing intro and I look forward to the chat.
RV (01:22):
Yeah, man, I, I mean, I think philosophically I’ve just, you know, we’ve been around a long time and you, there’s a lot of people who try to make a lot of money quickly from their audience. There’s a lot of people who, eh, bend the truth a little bit and kinda over sensationalize and hype up the bonuses and there’s a countdown timer, but not really, you know, and I just have always felt like you’ve not been about that stuff. You’ve been about adding value, serving people. And I wanna start there. I wanna start with the podcast. ’cause Obviously, so smart passive income. I saw this. So you’ve been podcasting now 13 years, 700 episodes, 80 million downloads. How do we do that? ? So what’s, what’s the secret to
PF (02:12):
Yeah, I mean, and I’m just a regular dude recording this out of my office at home in San Diego, you know, and that’s the cool thing. The ability to share your voice out there on a podcast and have it sort of amplify out there into the world and find your people is, is really amazing. Now, I started in 2010, actually. The, the fun story about that was I bought my equipment in 2008. I had gotten laid off from my architecture job, started a online business to help architects pass an exam. It started to do pretty well. And I started to share that information on a new blog called smart passive income.com. And I had always wanted to start a podcast. So I bought all this equipment and it was kind of just sitting there collecting dus. ’cause I was actually too afraid to put my voice out there, at least with a blog.
PF (02:51):
I could write something and edit it and make it perfect before I hit publish, but with my voice, like, that’s, that’s hardcore. And it wasn’t until I got some great advice from some mentors and finally just said, you know what? Screw it. Like, what’s the worst that can happen? Nobody’s gonna listen. But what if people do listen and then listen? They did. And not only did they listen, they shared, and then more people started to listen. And so now, 13 years later, it’s pretty crazy that I’ve, I’ve become somebody who’s like, oh, this person’s been around for a very long time. That’s not to say you can’t get started today. I think there’s a lot of opportunity in the world of podcasting. We’re still in the early days of podcasting, in my opinion. Even though it might seem saturated, there’s still, I think only two and a half to 3 million active podcasts that are out there versus, you know, with blogs and other, I mean, there’s 50 million or a hundred million of those.
PF (03:40):
We’re still in the early days of podcasting. And I think it’s because it’s a little bit more challenging, like I said, to put your voice out there. But when you do, people get to hear the real emotion, the real voice. And I think that’s my best advice is you just wanna be yourself on, on audio. And now in combination with video, with YouTube and YouTube picking up video podcasts now as well as Spotify, and there’s more and more people now going to YouTube to listen and watch podcasts the opportunity for growth is even better than when it was just audio only. And, and YouTube wasn’t really focused on that kind of long form content. So how do you do it? You gotta stay consistent, that’s for sure. But I think there’s something to be said for speaking the truth, being yourself, but also I think the, the idea of edutainment, you know, you can’t just share the information anymore.
PF (04:27):
You gotta be entertaining in some way, whether it’s the story you tell or the emotion that you put into it. I think we are now in an age, compared to when I started, when I started, information was valuable because it wasn’t always there, right? If you had the info that was worth paying for, that was worth getting access to, et cetera. Now we’re all sitting at a buffet and there’s so much information and everybody’s stuffing their plates full, right? So in this world that we’re in as like a buffet of content, and everybody’s just a glutton right now I wanna be the chef who specially prepares something in the other room. And I want it to be special and different and an experience, right? Love that. It’s not even just about the food, it’s about it how I treat you when you walk in and the place setting and the story behind this dish and why it’s so special to me, those are the things that today are standing out a lot more than just, oh, here’s the info that literally everybody else is saying too.
RV (05:21):
I love that illustration. I mean, it’s interesting when you talk about creating superfans, it’s just sort of like customer experience. In my mind I kind of put that together as like customer experience for a digital experience. Mm-Hmm. , is that kind of, that’s like kind of what you’re talking, how, how do you do that, right? Like, is it, what are the ways that you set the table, tell the story, you know, make it beautiful, especially prepare it? ’cause That was one, that was one of the things I wanted to ask you is to go, okay, we’re early in the years of podcasting, yet there’s a bazillion people doing it. You know, like this is an interview format show. Mostly there’s, we do one interview a week, and then I do a solo episode, and then AJ does an interview, and then she does a solo episode. And that’s like the format. Yeah. There’s plenty of interview episodes, there’s plenty of solos, there’s plenty of comedy, there’s plenty of politics. So it’s like, I don’t know if it’s the format, but what you’re talking about here that resonates with me to go, how do we create the equivalent of a white glove experience that you would have at a restaurant, but in a digital environment, right?
PF (06:24):
I mean, as I often say, the riches are in the niches. And if you can niche down, you almost have a place setting that has a person’s name when they sit down. Have you ever been to a restaurant that you’ve maybe had reservations at and there’s like a, a, a placard on the table with your name or your, you know, you and your date’s name on it or something like that? Alone is an amazing first impression. Now, you can’t put anybody’s name at the beginning of the podcast and, you know, serve that to everybody. But if you can connect with who it is that you’re creating this for, what are their issues, speaking their language, and really get to know who it is the audience is. The more you can nail that niche, the more the episode, the audio, the stories you tell are gonna feel like it’s just for them.
PF (07:04):
And that’s what you wanna happen. You want to have the listener feel like that you made this episode just for them. And so, again, I keep saying the S word stories, tell stories, get emotional. If you can get a person to laugh, cry, smile, get angry, fight with you, fight against you, some sort of emotion, then it’s gonna, it’s just gonna resonate more and, and, and, and connect more. And, and that’s where it goes one level deeper than just information. It’s now emotionally affecting a person. And, and, and that’s where a person then will wanna come back or have something to say and engage or something to share, Hey, you gotta listen to this ’cause this made me, you know, this got me fired up. Right? Those are the things that are gonna get you to grow. And then beyond that, like connecting with the individual listeners in some way, shape, or form is very important.
PF (07:54):
Yes, it’s a scalable thing, much like anything, YouTube, blogging, podcasting, et cetera. But if you ever give yourself the opportunity to try to connect with an individual or individuals who are actually listeners, one thing that surprised a lot of people, I shared this on stage a number of years ago, but I still do this. I still try to make a connection, whether it’s through a DMM or a Skype call. It’s no longer Skype. It’s usually Zoom now, but, but back then it was Skype with 10 new email subscribers every single month I try to get on an actual live call with them, just, just me and them, not recorded or anything. I just want to get to know them a little bit more. And I do that every month with 10 different people. Wow. And those are some of the most golden conversations because now I get a pulse on exactly who I’m creating content for, what are their stories.
PF (08:38):
And so when I’m actually creating content for everybody, I can actually think of, you know, Jonah, who I just spoke to, who has a problem and a specific challenge, and I can actually feel like I’m creating it for that person. And of course, if I attract the right people, it’s not just Jonah, I’m affecting, it’s everybody else who fits in the same niche. And, and plus it’s just like inspiring to talk to somebody who you know, that you can have an impact on. And you actually don’t have to play that game of just making up an avatar. You actually have a real person that you can think about.
RV (09:07):
That’s awesome, man. 10 new people every single month. I mean, that’s a good, that’s a commitment, but what a great way to stay connected to, to the audience. I love that. So I wanna I wanna ask you about the SaaS stuff because I, I, I haven’t heard you talk a lot about it, but I, I’ve always noticed it in your bio and it’s something that I respect particularly because I, you know, really respect ConvertKit, which I, you know, you’re public about that you’re one of their advisors. And Circle has got a great reputation. You know, I’ve, we’ve had Nathan Barry on the show here before. Yeah. we, we personally use Keep and Infusionsoft, and, and so that’s what we tend to resell, but we’re technically technology agnostic. But I love Nathan. I love the product. A lot of our customers use it. It, it counts for a lot to me to know that people like you are there. So how does it, how does that work? Like, what does it mean to be an advisor to a company? I certainly don’t want you to share any, you know, specific details about your relationship with any of the companies that you’re an advisor on. But I think, you know, a lot of personal brands are looking to scale their income. One of the ways to do that, I think is to sort of take equity positions or profit positions
PF (10:22):
A hundred percent. You know,
RV (10:23):
So can you just like, tell us how does it work? What do you do? How does it come up? How do you have that conversation? You know, do Yeah. Do they fly you around on private jets or is it not quite that, you know, like, just a little bit about that.
PF (10:38):
No, I’ve, I’ve never been flown around in private jets yet. Maybe if any of the companies are listening, we might need to have a conversation about that, but No, I’m just kidding. I don’t, I don’t need that really what it comes down to. Like, here’s what the deal structure is like, and then we’ll talk about how we got into that. Basically, as an official advisor, like on the advisory board of a company, I have some equity. How much is some like literally a percent or less? Like it’s very small. In most cases, I don’t see any income upfront as a result of that. But I do have now shares that are in like Carta or something, which is where shares can be located. And the exchange for that is, I, as the advisor get in most cases on a monthly call with them and advise them if they have questions or something they wanna present something that’s more prototype that they don’t wanna share with everybody.
PF (11:33):
But I’m a trusted person who’s on the advisory team, who can offer genuine feedback, brutally honest advice, all those kinds of things based on my knowledge and where I’m at in this space. And it works out with a lot of these companies because I’m actually a user of most of these products, if not all of them. And as a result, I can sort of take that approach of a, of a user and just be honest and upfront about why this sucks or why this is great, or how I would present that to, to the bigger audience. That way they can get ahead on problems and things like that. Oftentimes the relationships that I bring to the table are of, of value and, and oftentimes are more valuable than the advice, just introductions to key people who can help grow the company or support the company in some way, shape, or form.
PF (12:16):
Sometimes it’s people asking, Hey, do you know about anybody if and then other times it’s me just kind of stepping into it and saying, Hey, I thought you guys might like this introduction. ’cause I feel like there’s some synergies there. So just kind of genuinely looking out for the company in, in that way and, and being sort of supportive when, when in need. And, and that’s kind of it. I mean, sometimes it requires a little bit more work when there’s something going on. For example, there might be a, a, a launch or some big news that’s coming and they need some help with the copywriting or, you know, sometimes it gets that technical, but not usually. But how do we get there? Typically these start with me being a user and then trying to become what I like to call a super user.
PF (12:57):
And that means not just using the product, you know, like everybody else, but using it in maybe innovative ways or, or challenging the company, if you will. Challenging the product, kind of overusing it, if you will. Breaking it often. And also being able to offer advice ahead of time. This is a very, very smart thing that you can do as a personal brand, is if you use a product a lot and you know that there’s improvements that can be made, imagine if you actually were in a way, a part of the company. That’s the approach you wanna take and imagine that even before it happens a couple times I’ve written like a two or three page p d f report to these companies that I was either an affiliate for or just used and said, Hey oh, interesting. Like proactively just said, Hey, here’s some thoughts.
PF (13:40):
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I think Noah Kagan did this to try to get hired at Mint. He wanted to become marketing director there, and they were like, no, who are you? You have no experience. And then he created like a 20 page report on what they should do, and then they hired him. So you can do the same thing proactively creating a plan or support or, or just kind of, here’s what’s missing with this product. I’d love to be able to be even more involved. I know I’m an affiliate and I know I’m a user, but might we be able to have a conversation of a more formal way that I can continue to help and serve the company? And that’s of the, of interest to them, because you are a user and you can almost, in a way, kind of get ahead on things because you’re proactively thinking about it, unlike a regular customer.
PF (14:18):
Not all companies are interested in that. Not all companies are set up for that. Some will get set up for that. And, and others already have that in place. And, and we’ll just add you on. It’s really interesting because the payout comes when that company is either, you know, IPOs or goes public or gets acquired. And of the 10 companies that I’ve advised two of them have been acquired fairly recently. Teachable was one a number of years back who got acquired by Hot Mart for I think nine figures. And, you know, nine figures is a lot. And a, a a fraction of a percentage goes a long way when it’s, you know, another zero added onto the end. And then more recently I’m proud to say a, a team that I worked with squad cast, got acquired by D Script, which is pretty cool.
PF (15:07):
And I got a nice little check from that too. So it’s like, you know, you work hard, you, you, you have a way of influencing these companies without actually like, working in the company as an advisor. And that’s the coolest part. Like, I feel like I now have like so many irons in the fire where I just have to like, share my expertise or share my honest take on something and, and be there as a resource or make introductions. And if that company wins and I was able to help support that, then we all win. Especially if there’s a big payday at the end.
RV (15:35):
That’s awesome. I love that. Now with the board, so if you take a board of directors seat, now you have, there’s some liability that comes with that in the, and an advisory role. You don’t have any of that, I guess, or less of that, maybe
PF (15:51):
Not in the same kind of way. I think I know what you’re talking about, but there’s still, there, there have been times where it’s gone gotten kind of weird, if you will. For example, you know, if I’m in a, a, an advisor for company A, but then another friend of mine creates a sort of similar product, if you will, and I wanna support my friend, it’s like, well, I can’t necessarily like, you know, do an email blast for you because you’re actually a competitor to this other tool that I’m actually an advisor for. So a couple times it’s been weird like that. Or another time another company created a feature that was literally the other company that I advised, but now it’s a tool that was injected into another company that I advised. So it was like, it, it became a weird, like, which one do you choose, pat? Like, right. It’s either us or them. And it was like, pick a, this is weird. Yeah, it was
RV (16:40):
Divided .
PF (16:42):
Maybe my advisor ships are a little too close together. I don’t know. No, it, it, it, it’s great. I’m proud of like what circle’s done, ConvertKit’s done really well. Samcart as well. Just it’s fun to see these companies grow and know that you had some impact on it. And, and you know, to be there as even just a, a, a shoulder to cry on sometimes, or, or, or a piece of advice, you know, it goes a long way for a lot of these companies.
RV (17:07):
Wow. And so SamCart’s another one.
PF (17:09):
Yeah. Yeah,
RV (17:10):
Man. So you’re, that’s the other thing is you’re a affiliate of all of these. You u you u you use them, you super use them, you affiliate them, you giving a feedback ’cause you’re doing it. And, and you’re also helping promote the sales of them and then the relationships. Yeah,
PF (17:25):
That’s the other part about this. It’s like when, now when I promote ConvertKit, for example, I can say, Hey, I’m not just a user, like I’m actually an advisor. That’s how much I believe in this company. I’m actually an advisor, so you can trust my recommendation even more now. ’cause My name is like on
RV (17:39):
It, right? But you’re, you’re in, you’re in, you’re in all in on it.
PF (17:42):
Right? Which helps the affiliate earnings as well.
RV (17:45):
Yeah, I love that, man. That’s, thanks for sharing that. I know that that’s like, yeah, yeah. Pretty intimate question to ask somebody. But like, that’s really helpful. And I, I think, you know, there’s, there’s certain places where it’s strategic and it, it makes, it makes a lot of sense. So coming back to in general, how you’ve gotten to where you are. You, you’re doing, you’ve got this advisory thing going on. You, so you’re doing advi, you’ve got smart passive income, you’ve got the things going on there, you’re speaking, you’re writing books, you’re advising like it’s turned into a lot. One of the things that’s more recent is tell me about the YouTube channel and the whole Pokemon phenomenon. How did that come about? ’cause That’s growing really fast.
PF (18:35):
Yeah, this is, this is different. So in 2020, of course Covid hit, a lot of us were at home trying to figure out what to do to fill in that time. And my kids got into Pokemon, it was a trading card game. They started collecting them. Whatever the kids are into I wanna get into as well so that we can chat about these things. I don’t just want them to be interested in what I’m interested in. I wanna get interested in what they’re doing. Same thing happened in 20 18, 20 19 with Fortnite. My son and I, we entered a lot of tournaments together. It was a lot of fun. But then he got kind of outgrew that. Anyway, Pokemon came about and I started to dig into the world of YouTube and there’s a lot of YouTubers or poker tubers as they’re called, who talk about the cards and talk about the value.
PF (19:17):
And some of them are in it for more investment purposes, flipping others are in it for the passion and the collections and the completions. There’s like trophy cards, there’s more modern, there’s vintage, all this kind of nostalgic stuff. And I just went deep. And the kids eventually, after several months, like kind of just went on to something else. And I just kept going. So much so that I became involved in the community. I was a moderator for several of these channels. A lot of these creators go live and they opened these packs of Pokemon cards and there’s like a built-in mystery, right? You don’t know what’s inside until it’s open. But these guys open up these cards and there’s thousands of people around the world watching. They’re watching a person open up a pack of Pokemon cards. That’s like
RV (19:54):
Ryan’s toy review basically. Yeah.
PF (19:56):
Kind of like that. Kind of like that. And I was like, you know, all these guys are doing the same thing. I have done YouTube for a while. I think I can bring something different to this space and, and bring some story, bring some entertainment, bring some high quality footage, and all that kind of stuff. ’cause Everybody was kind of doing the same thing. So that’s what I did. And in January of 2021, deep Pocket Monster was created, and in 11 months and 27 days we hit a hundred thousand subscribers. And then we’re currently now approaching 700,000 subscribers in less than three years. Wow. And what’s crazy is we are approaching 200 million views so far which is like more than my podcast has gotten over the last 13 years more than my other YouTube channel for entrepreneurship has gotten ever 10 x more than ever.
PF (20:44):
It’s just blowing up and it’s pretty cool because community has become a big part of this. So much so that I hosted a live event in Anaheim called Card Party. And it was sort of experimental just to see like, Hey, how much does this community actually want to get together in person and hang out ? Well, 2,500 people paid for tickets and showed up in Anaheim and it was a bla it was an absolute blast. And we were able to sell like 500 tickets the next year without even mentioning location or, or date yet because people loved it so much. So we were able to fill in and, and find a gap, and it’s just me, a producer and an editor and that’s it. And with the ad revenue at times, I mean, November of 2022 was a record month for us. And that’s around the time of, you know, Christmas and holidays. So everything is much more expensive. I think the channel in that month alone needs $74,000 in, in ad revenue. Which is kind of bonkers when you think about it. So it’s classic
RV (21:42):
Youtuber model. You’re creating content for a community and you’re letting ads, you just check a box that says, let run ad let ads run on my channel. And you collect a percentage of that for the, for the views.
PF (21:52):
Correct. But it is taking a lot of mental space and not just for like, let me get on video and, and film something. And if you watch the videos, you’ll see they’re, they’re different. They’re storytelling, they’re completing challenges within 24 hours. There’s, there’s a lot of notes of Mr. Beast in there in terms of how the story is told and and such. And it’s funny ’cause our, the majority of the audiences, 30 to 40 year old men, people Wow. My age, who grew up with Pokemon, who now have the money to spend on Pokemon, right? And, and they’re bringing their kids along with it too, there was a lot of families coming to Card Party actually. But yeah, that, that’s the model. But sponsorship dollars come into play as well, not just advertising. And then the affiliate stuff, I’m an affiliate for a binder company and I’m, I’m now the number one affiliate for that binder company now.
PF (22:42):
And we’re even doing partnerships where like, now they made, like, again, remember what I said, like adding value to that company. They’ll wanna work with you because they see the value that you have to add. This binder company called Vault X, they saw that I was doing a lot of volume for them, and I said, Hey, I think it’d be cool if we did a deep pocket monster branded version of, of the binder. So that’s what this is right here. And this is a prototype. And so now we’re working together on stuff and, and now everybody can win. So I’m taking a lot of the things I learned in business into this space that hasn’t ever seen anything like this before. Right? In our space, entrepreneurship events happen all the time, not in this space. So I was able to step up and be like, Hey, let me be the person to kind of round up everybody.
PF (23:22):
And what was nice is everybody, like I didn’t have to pay speakers or nothing. It was just people wanted a space to hang out. And all the big names came to you know, affiliate marketing and, and you know, creating my own merch. Now it’s, it’s, it’s kinda wild, but all the principles remain, which is providing value to an audience and, and making every piece of content. I create a gift. And that’s something that I think I heard Ryan Trahan say, which I really love. And it, it, it, it relates to both informational channels and also entertainment channels. Like, you want what you create to be a gift to your audience and you wouldn’t serve them crap, right? So why are we just publishing something? Because we just need to hit a schedule versus let’s create something of value, something that’s worth their time, something that tells a good story so that when they unwrap it, they feel something. Right. And again, going back to emotion, what I said earlier.
RV (24:16):
Yeah, I I I love that. I mean, I think, and community is something I think you’ve done really well in general with various brands and, and things that you’ve been a part of. As you think forward, personal branding, podcasting, YouTubing, when you look ahead, what do you see? Like what do you see are the biggest trends that are coming or the things that we should be paying attention to at sort of like a a a high level? What are you thinking about of going, eh, I have my eye on this, I got my eye on that, or I’m preparing for this, or I’m really leaning into this or that.
PF (24:55):
Yeah, it’s, it’s not AI or anything AI related, although that’s obviously here and it’s gonna have an impact one way or another. But all the more reason to focus on what I’m about to share with you, which is community micro communities, communities that are very specific to a certain group of people. We’re focused on community and s p i now, in fact, we changed our business model to be from online courses, which we started selling in 2017. And I mean, to give you an example, one of our courses Power Up Podcasting is sold over two and a half million dollars worth. But even though that was working and could still work, we noticed over time, especially during 2021, that the completion rates of our courses and just the interest in taking a solo course was waning. And it made sense because people were kind of getting tired of just learning and learning and learning.
PF (25:44):
They, they wanted and needed more. They needed accountability, they needed connection. And, and, and so we actually completely changed our business model. We still have the same courses. We have, I think over a dozen courses now and workshops and other things people can participate in, but we now call it community powered courses. We’ve actually hired for this, we’ve changed our business model for this, and we have something called the All Access Pass, which has been the most successful thing we’ve ever launched. And what it is, it’s a monthly subscription to a membership that gives you access to all of our courses. Now, if I were to just say that and that alone, that would not be a value just to say like, here’s more information. What it is, the secret sauce is you get the community and the guidance along with it. So no, you don’t take all the courses, you take the three that align in sequential order with where you are at in your journey right now.
PF (26:35):
So if you’re just starting out, for example, you get into the All Access Pass, you take Smart From Scratch, which is our course to help you find your niche, then you take Email Marketing Magic so that you can grow your email list from there. And then you can kind of choose your own adventure from there. If you wanna do YouTube, take the YouTube course. If you wanna do podcasting, take the podcasting course so you can kind of like choose your own adventure. If you are a podcaster, then take our podcasting courses and make sure to take our video podcasting course next. Excuse me. So you have these guided pathways, but what is most successful in the All Access Pass is throughout the year we have these things called accelerators. And an accelerator is, you can take the course with other people and a coach at the same time.
PF (27:16):
So this happens on a time to basis. So on September, you know, 19th, for example, this year we’re gonna host our podcasting accelerator, which means anybody who’s a member of Pro or of our, of of our All Access Pass can start on that same day, get fed which lessons and modules to view what to turn in by when. And after six weeks you’ll have your podcast and if you have questions, there’s a guide, my team’s there, you’re going through it together, you’re able to support each other, find partners, et cetera. Those have been the most successful things because now people are completing them at like a 80% completion rate, which is kind of unheard of for online courses, but it’s not, it’s because it’s not just an online course, it’s community powered courses. And what’s cool is people get a result and then they wanna stick around for the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.
PF (28:04):
So we now have m r r monthly recurring revenue on our business for the first time. And we no longer feel like we just have to keep serving the same solo one-off courses at a certain price. We can continually add to this library and add more value. And, and the more people that are in there, the more valuable it, it becomes micro communities are, are the future. And if you don’t have a microcommunity in your space, if you don’t have a space for your people, whether it’s your students, your subscribers, your clients to come together and meet each other, well then you have nothing that’s keeping people there, because again, the information and even the offering, even as a, even as a service can be found elsewhere. But as you often hear people come for the content, but they stay for the community. And so community’s got, like, to me that’s absolutely vital, like, like table stakes at this point. You have to have that safe space for your people to come together. ’cause That’s gonna be your, your your safety net. As things change, as AI comes, as competitors come that community’s gonna be that barrier between, you know, a person leaving and a person staying often. Mm-Hmm.
RV (29:11):
. Yeah. I love that. I mean, it’s, it’s a, it’s sort of an irony how the more that automation stepped in, the more powerful a one-on-one phone call to 10 email subscribers is. Yeah. And I suspect that as AI comes in, it’s like the more powerful, maybe, perhaps live events even become Yeah. Because you’re like, so on that topic of ai, what are you thinking about with ai? Like how, what, how do you see it affecting where, where do you think people are underestimating its impact? Where do you think people are maybe overestimating its impact? How are you preparing for it? What are you, what are you thinking about?
PF (29:59):
Yeah, I mean, we’re already preparing for it by doing what I just said, creating community, connecting people together. Like you said, just even small human interactions are gonna be that much more special, the more automated everything else becomes. Where I think a lot of us are maybe overlooking is with eventually where AI is gonna go as far as content creation. Like there’s gonna be videos that are created by AI that you wouldn’t even know are created by ai, right? We’re already seeing a lot of that and samples and, and snippets of that, taking a mid journey photo, putting it into another tool, mind runner, I don’t know. And then actually having it animate that thing. And, you know, you can use different tools to automate voices now. Those kinds of things. People aren’t going to trust content as much as they once did.
PF (30:51):
Even if your name’s on it. So how do we get people to trust us? It’s to make a real connection. To have a human-to-human interaction in some way, shape, or form. Alive I think is gonna be really important as well because of that. Because that’s something that is a lot harder to mimic or fake. And that’s not to say it’s never gonna happen, but when a person has a question and, and you have a genuine answer that’s heartfelt, it goes a very long way. And a a lot of us are trying to automate as much as we can, and I think we’re maybe over looking or even just forgetting about how important some human interaction is. Not everything has to be automated, right? And so keep that human touch as much as you can. Obviously you can’t reach out to every single subscriber and have a 30 minute conversation with them, but even with just a few, you’re able to stay more in tune with who your audience is in whole.
PF (31:48):
And hopefully again, just be more human. I mean, I think that’s the advice moving forward, is just be more human. And that, that, that is around caring. That’s like, as Gary Vaynerchuk always talks about, like just give it f right? And human as far as bringing story and emotion. A lot of people now that chat, g p t has been around for a while are starting to notice that it’s maybe a little bit too sophisticated, it’s a little bit too formal in a lot of its answers. And people are able to now understand that, well, that’s not from this actual person. It’s actually from a, a bot or a, a chatbot instead. So bring humanness into it. And I think the last thing I’ll say is, is also be vulnerable. And I think this is advice that always makes sense, but even more now with how perfect everything is becoming with AI and all, all these tools. I think sharing mistake or being vulnerable or, or showing maybe the, the scuff marks or the scabs that you have, not literally, but figuratively can do a lot for, again, that theme of just being more human.
RV (33:00):
Yeah, I love that. I love that. It’s making me think too that like, you know, what AI can’t really do is tell a story like of its own experience of something that it’s been the emotion it’s lived through, and maybe it’ll reach a point where it can emulate some of that, but like, it’d be pretty tough to do some of that. Yeah, I so I love that. I have one more question for you, but before we do that Sure. Where do you want people to go, pat, to like, ah, thank you, connect up with you and, and you know, if, if somehow they’ve not heard of smart passive income yet you know, obviously you’ve got your podcast, but like where would you, where would you direct people?
PF (33:41):
Yeah, thank you Roy. I appreciate it. And, and thank you all for listening. The one spot I’d recommend is perhaps our email list. It’s free, it’s called Unstuck. If you go to smart passive income.com/unstuck you can subscribe and you get a five minute read every single week to your inbox about a story. I either try to make you laugh or, or, or, or something. But it always comes with a lesson of getting unstuck in some way, shape, or form. A lot of us are stuck or, or will get stuck. And hopefully these stories can, can help you get a boost of energy or information or, or inspiration to, to get unstuck. So get [email protected] slash unstuck.
RV (34:18):
Love it. We’ll link to it in the show notes, obviously.
PF (34:20):
Thanks brother.
RV (34:21):
What what’s next on Pat Flynn’s Horizon? What’s the, your personal, when you think ahead, your personal goals and what you’re like, what has your attention and focus is, is it this YouTube thing or is there other things you’re seeing?
PF (34:35):
I mean the YouTube thing is definitely I’m having a lot of fun with it. I get to be a 40 year old man playing with cardboard, with cartoons on it, , and it’s fun. And I get to make these amazing connections with people around the world in that way, like I have with S P I for sure. But even thinking more further ahead, I love the advisory work. I’m gonna be doing a lot more of that. My partner, Matt and I, we co-advise a lot of companies as well. We’re sort of like a, a, a duo that people can have on board and we’ve been doing a lot of that. We have been also consulting different communities on how to build their communities and that like helping communities being built is, is a lot of fun. But even beyond that, I mean, I think, you know, we didn’t touch on this much, but it’s like stuff outside of business you know, personal life related things.
PF (35:19):
I’ve been fishing a lot and it’s been a really nice break and a, a a way for me to get outdoors and put the devices and computer and the phone down and just kind of like, be in nature and, and meditate, if you will, and, and get focused. And I’ve been really falling in love with fishing again. I used to fish a lot with my dad when I was a kid, kid. And, and to do that and now do that with my son and my family as well, it’s been really great and, and, and really more needed than I thought, you know, when I started doing it. But of course, me being me, I’m like, oh, I should start a YouTube channel about this. And I’m trying really hard not to. But yeah, having, having a hobby and having something away from all the business stuff is, is key.
PF (35:58):
It gives me time to breathe and meditate and, and come back with more energy on, on Monday, on those, on those workdays. So that’s, that’s kind of what I’m gonna be focusing on. I will actually be competing in some tournaments next year for fishing and, and just kind of making sure to always have some space for me to do some stuff that I enjoy outside of business. ’cause I do enjoy it. But I’ve, I’ve gotten to the edge of, of burnout before and I’ve seen what it’s done to some of my friends and, and I don’t wanna have that happen to me, especially at this age where, you know, I gotta be there for my family and, and such.
RV (36:30):
Yeah. I love that brother. Well, I think probably the theme of this that will stick with me is just be more human. I mean, be more human. It’s phishing. Reaching out to your email subscribers is like creating those connections. Doing the live events community is just like probably the, the theme from today of, of just as it goes. More ai, more artificial, more automated gives, you know, hopefully a chance to be, to be more human. So thanks for being a great human man and for giving so much value to so many people for so long. And we’re cheering for you and we believe in you. And we’re just, we’re grateful for being here, for you being here. And we wish y’all the best, pat. Thank
PF (37:08):
You brother. Thanks everybody. Appreciate you.