As part of celebrating five years of being let go and letting go with the international Let Go Day on 17 June, blogger, entrepreneur and best-selling author Pat Flynn (www.smartpassiveincome.com) agreed to be interviewed by me for bewonderfulnow.com about his road to success, having reached new heights with his best-selling book „Let Go“ climbing up Amazon’s charts.
As always Pat is very open and shares his knowledge and experience on writing, publishing, blogging, being a published author and how to be successful freely.
The structure Pat offers to you is one that not only is very sound and helpful advice for writing and publishing, he shares his take on what it takes to build success on a much more general level.
It’s five years to day since you were let go and transformed this into your personal success story. Looking back today, what you are the biggest milestones on your way?
Pat Flynn: There were several. Of course, getting Let Go, which opened up my life to all of these opportunities ahead of me, which I didn’t even realize until much later. Then it was earning my first dollar, to selling my first eBook, my first thank you note from my products – but probably the most significant was getting a call from my boss who let me go, who about a year later told me he opened up his own architecture firm and wanted me back, and I happily and confidently said no thanks.
If you were to name three qualities of yours that form an important part of your success formula, what are they?
Pat Flynn: Three qualities that are important to all success formulas, not only my own, are determination (which many people also call hustle, which I love), transparency, and serving.
The hustle is extremely important. If you really want something – anything – you’ll work your butt off for it. That is what separates those who are successful and those who fail, and also those that get incredible results, and those that get just so-so results.
Transparency, to me, is also significant because there are so many other traits and qualities that are summed up into that one word, including honesty, vulnerability and trust. Those are the kinds of qualities people look for in a friend, and it should be qualities businesses have in order to best connect and build long-term relationships with their customer.
And lastly, serving. I know that I would not be where I am today without those in my audience, from readers to customers – so my #1 priority in business is to serve them. I’ve learned that the more I give away and provide, the more comes back in return.
What’s your view on how much time a person does need to invest on daily basis to achieve long-term success in writing – be it blogging or writing and publishing books?
Pat Flynn: The most important factor when it comes to achieving long-term success with writing is to simply keep writing. It’s inevitable that the more you write, the better you get at writing. In addition, there are several times in a writer’s life (whether it’s a blog owner or author) when they’ll want to give up, or when things seem to hard or stressful or when things just seem like they aren’t coming together. It happens all of the time. As long as you keep writing, you’ll break through those low-points and eventually work your way back up to the highs that we are all working toward.
What’s the one recommendation you offer to people who find themselves now in a situation where they face substantial changes in their life?
Pat Flynn: It’s important to understand that life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to what happens to you. Things happen in our lives that are unplanned and unexpected all of the time, and you can either turn that moment into the turning point in your life when things started to go downhill, or the turning point in your life when things started to get much better. When you think about the most amazing things that happened in our lives – whatever they may be – chances are they are a result of something that was not planned or was encompassed around significant change in your life.
You build your success mainly with blogging and affiliate marketing, now you are a published and best-selling author too. Is this more of the same, or does being an author add a new quality to your work?
Pat Flynn: I think being a published author takes the author and their brand to a new level, for sure. There’s a certain kind of prestige that comes with publishing a book – probably because not everyone does it. Even though today, it’s easier now more than ever in the digital to have a published book, not everyone does it and as a result, those who do seem to have more authority. It’s a great way to stand out of the crowd within your specific niche, prove yourself as an expert and also connect with your audience in a way that’s different than just a blog.
You successfully made the step from being a top-blogger to being a successful author. What was the main challenge, you had to face?
Pat Flynn: Publishing a book was definitely not easy. The hardest part was actually the writing part – which was a big surprise to me. I was so used to portraying ideas through text in posts between 1000 and 4000 words, but putting a big idea into a book with tens of thousands of words, broken up into multiple chapter was a real challenge. The big goal of the book in it’s entirety was scary and intimidating. When I start a blog post, it’s easy to get an idea and see how much writing I have left to do.
Also, because the text in the book just seemed more ‘permanent’ (i.e. I couldn’t just re-edit something on the fly after it was published), I started to question and doubt every word and sentence I wrote. I’d ask myself, “Is this the right way to say this,” all of the time – and it was a crutch.
After I realized, after much struggle, that like a blog post I didn’t have to be perfect – and like Seth Godin says, sometimes “you just have to ship”, writing became much easier, and I did a lot of the editing after, instead of while I was writing.
Many people out there are blogging already and eye the opportunities that have opened up with the digital revolution to publishing. What are the two thoughts you want to give them, to help them on their way?
Pat Flynn: Publishing a book is a big goal. An awesome one to achieve, but a lot more difficult than writing a blog post. Take that big goal you have and the message and experience you want to share with your readers, and break it down into smaller pieces – little chunks and little milestones that soon become the division of how your book is broken up – into sections and chapters and the like. Utilize a mindmap to put all of your ideas onto a diagram that will allow you to easily see your ideas on paper, move them around, group them together and start to shape your book.
Lastly, ask for help. Seriously – it’s very difficult to do this alone, no matter what part of the process you’re at. From writing to actually getting your book up on Amazon or whatever platform you choose to publish on – ask for help and you’d be surprised at exactly how often other people are willing to help out.
Also, when it comes to marketing your book, tap into your existing audience, if you have one. They are going to be your ambassadors, the ones who help share your book with those who you would have never reached otherwise – it’s so important. Love them, give to them all you can and they will go out of their way to give back to you in return.
Thank you once again for your open and transparent answers, Pat! It’s a great pleasure to be connected with you and to follow your adventures.
These seven answers form part of a success formula that is there for you. Now it is up to you to apply it and make good use of it for your own success—and this will include letting go of some things and doing other things in a different way than you used to do.
If you want to achieve different results, you need to do things differently.
Here you can jump over to Pat’s Let Go Party and of course now is the perfect time to read, hear and see even more from Pat, so get your copy of Pat Flynn’s „Let Go“ on amazon.com or amazon.co.uk or amazon.de!
Please use the hashtag #LetGoDay, when you tweet this interview!