Entrepreneurship & Partnerships with Pat Flynn & Matt Gartland.
Entrepreneurship & Partnerships with Pat Flynn & Matt Gartland – their entrepreneurship journey and how and why they work as business partners (starting at 23:30).
Pat and Matt share their entrepreneurial experiences and how they built and grew their business, SPI. Matt had a successful corporate career, and Pat was building his career as an architect before starting their first small business.
Matthew Gartland is a 5x startup founder and co-founder with 3 meaningful exits to date. Today, Matt serves as CEO of SPI Media, a venture he co-founded with good friend Pat Flynn to take the SPI business to the next level. His entrepreneurial career spans digital media, e-commerce, and the creator economy. Beyond his own ventures, Matt is an advisor to and/or angel investor in such tech companies as Circle, Karat, Maven, and Supercast.
Pat Flynn is a father, husband, and entrepreneur who lives and works in San Diego, CA. He owns several successful online businesses and is a professional blogger, keynote speaker, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and host of the Smart Passive Income and AskPat podcasts, which have earned a combined total of over 80 million downloads, multiple awards, and features in publications such as The New York Times and Forbes. He is also an advisor to ConvertKit, Circle, and several other companies in the digital marketing arena.
Entrepreneurship & Partnerships with Pat Flynn & Matt Gartland:
- Matt Gartland shares how and why he transitioned from a successful corporate career into entrepreneurship.
- Pat Flynn shares the story of getting laid off from his architecture job, which led him to starting his first small business.
- Why did you decide to partner, and how do you make your business partnership work? (Matt has worked with ~7 co-founders.)
- Do you segregate the roles of Visionary and Integrator?
- Patt introduces SPI Pro and the All Access Pass.
- What advice would you share if someone is working a corporate job and wants to transition to small business ownership?
- What advice would you share for people who are considering working in partnership?
Episode Host: Henry Lopez is a serial entrepreneur, small business coach, and the host of this episode of The How of Business podcast show – dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business.
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The following is a full transcript of this episode. This transcript was produced by an automated system and may contain some typos and some other minor inaccuracies.
0:03:54.8 Henry Lopez: I usually start with, I’ll start with Matt is, I’m boys very curious as to how you got to where you are today. And it’s always fascinating. My audience is either someone who’s aspiring to become an entrepreneur, they’re probably in the corporate world like I was and looking for how do they make that transition? And sometimes it’s really looking for that inspiration, I know it was for me, because it’s that leap of faith that we have to take at some point, but Matt, if I got the research right, you had a career, you studied it and had a career in it before you started your first business. Correct.
0:04:32.2 S2: I didn’t co-found or started the SPI brand in a twill, maybe drift into that, that was all Pat. But I got into entrepreneurship after a successful corporate career, I did well academically, was very proud and grateful to have gone into a leadership development program, specifically with Johnson and Johnson in the health care sector, and that really just deepened my fascination with what it is to be a certain leader, which is an established type of leadership, lots of important and successful people talking about certain leadership as a concept, so yeah, I did well there and ultimately love… Yes, technology, but not like building computers or anything that was too deep into the hardware or computer science side of things, it was always kind of the exploration of how do we use progressive technologies, web technology, software to enable and ultimately deliver on the business purpose. So I would work with business partners and sales and marketing increasingly like the executive functions to imagine what could be possible with new technology. So that was my corporate career. And then eventually, just ’cause I was always an entrepreneur at heart, I was a kid like a lemonade stand, I know it’s a cliché, but ultimately I wanted to do my own thing, so I made that leap of faith, as even you said, to get out and start to my own thing.
0:05:58.4 S2: And it was just for to… It is, I’m so grateful. I had even mentioned in the intro, like the early days of the blogosphere, which was sort of that perfect intersection of progressive online technology with them, what’s possible in terms of an entrepreneurial vision in spirit. That’s how I got started. My first venture was a creative agency and that grew very well, and that’s what led me to a meeting.
0:06:23.6 S1: When did you say you were always an entrepreneur at heart, but nonetheless, you got a traditional education, went into the corporate world. Did you know even in early days, I’m gonna get what I need from this and then make the transition or…
0:06:39.4 S2: It definitely wasn’t a path, it definitely wasn’t a straight… No, for sure. I always had the motivation to do things on the side, to be experimental, and even in my academic career, I was studying technology in a lot of different capacities, but then was selectively taking classes in media and history, I’m fascinated with ancient civilizations and studying the Greeks and the Romans and the Egyptians. So there’s always this kind of pull towards what might just call it content and storyteller in certain regards, and that would be finding ways to write and to even dabble blogging in the various early stages before I even made that decision, honestly, to leave. But I had the great fortune of having mentors and some friends along the way that just continued to shape my thinking on day around what’s possible for a career for the impact that I wanted to make through a career on people, and then ultimately to obviously provide for her family later in my life, so all of those things are to line up to where… I’m not gonna show you by… It was a hard decision to leave a great corporate career, I’m sure had dealt with that as well, but if I knew it to be just kinda…
0:07:51.9 S2: Honestly, in my core, this is what I had to do. So made that decision, I’m grateful for it. And haven’t looked back.
0:08:00.0 S1: Do you feel like looking back, which you have done it sooner, or was that all part of the preparation to getting you ready, and do you leverage that knowledge that you gained in that corporate environment still today…
0:08:14.5 S2: There’s definitely things I would have done differently and hopefully better in terms of just, it’s so hard to manage relationships, oftentimes when you’re making significant changes, I know that I disappointed some people just to be straight up, that we’re investing into me as a future leader of obviously rather large organization with a lot of companies inside the January portfolio, and I was on a track for that, so it’s hard to manage and maintain some of those relationships when you’re saying kind of goodbye to that as a trajectory and going on to something else, so there’s office, things I could have done better, and I think they’re just a part of, I guess, growing up by itself in life, and certainly professionalism and whatnot, I think I did it well, but again, I would always be self-respective and try to do things differently, but in terms of who are overall timing, I think I actually did candidly do that pretty well, I didn’t get too far down the… Also in terms of life, I hadn’t gotten a… Data had started kids, so it was important that I get off for some of those other really big commitments, and generally speaking, might have been really kind of kept me there, introversion might get me there on my corporate career…
0:09:24.2 S2: Yeah.
0:09:24.9 S1: But it sounds like if I’m getting it right though, at that creative nature in you at some point was gonna reach a ceiling in that environment. Was that fair?
0:09:36.3 S2: Yeah, absolutely, and I think there’s quickly here as some parallel even with Path stuff, ’cause in that moment, and I guess life, even the Internet in children of the Facebook era, we got our invite to the Facebook when we were a couple or… Email addresses, so to speak, but just reading the books of Tim Ferriss for our work week was seminal, I think both the Pats, they’re sort of even… Again, in terms of our store, something of a kindred spirit that we found out later obviously, but I’m starting to read these books in opening a rise to what’s possible with business and creative fulfillment, finding out more about ourselves in terms of our core motivations. How do we satisfy this for motivations with the work that we do? So just reading and reading, Dan pinks really work, I was really impactful on me as another reference, so yeah, so it’s hard to have that totally scripted early on, my entrepreneurial spirit, I guess one could say just took greater shape and specificity as I learned and had more experiences.
0:10:40.7 S1: Yeah, thanks for sharing that, Pat. You’ve shared it on your podcast, you were… Or an architect. And if I got it right, it wasn’t until you got laid off that that triggered your moving to ownership, but what were your aspirations? Did you think you would be a business owner back when you were in your architecture career… No, I mean, in a sense… Actually, yes, I was thinking that in the future, as I was building out my career as an architect, that I was gonna own an architectural firm, eventually level up from drafter to senior drafter job camp and project manager, and then ultimately principal of a firm that was the path that I was on, and I was definitely on that path, I was doing really well. I was the youngest person in my firm to get promoted to Job captain and start to lead a team and all that kind of stuff, and it was a passion of mine, I absolutely loved the work that I was doing. And then 2008 rolled around and nobody was building anything, nobody needed any architects, and I believe that I was held on as long as possible, but I was eventually let go, and that was really difficult because my entire life, I had done everything to a T…
0:11:45.4 S1: Exactly the way I was taught it was supposed to from getting good grades to go into a college magnate, getting a great job, fast forward in my career there, and then yet I still got let go, and I actually had just proposed to my girlfriend at the time too, so I had this life plan already, I had of my principal of a firm family, and then all of a sudden the plans changed in a moment’s notice, and that was very difficult for me, and I actually went through a couple of months of depression, I didn’t know what I was to do. I had no other plans. And then that’s what I discovered podcasts the first time actually, and there was one particular podcast called The Internet Business Mastery, and there was one interview that I heard that changed everything for me, it was an interview with a man named Cornelius Kitchener, and he had a business teaching people online how to pass the PM Exam or the Project Management Exam, and I just… I had never heard of anything like that before, somebody who was building an audience and helping professionals pass an exam, and I said to myself…
0:12:47.7 S1: That is so amazing. Wow, I’ve taken several exams myself on my way to becoming an architect, might there be a way for me to take that information, turn it into something and do something similar to what Cornelius is doing, and so I ended up building a website called in the lead dot com-L-E-E-D, which was an acronym for an exam that was in the architecture space, very niche exam about green buildings and sustainable design, leadership in energy and environmental design was the name of the exam, and I put all my notes on this website and lo and behold, Google found it and many other people found it as a result, many of those people shared it and eventually that website became so well known in the space that it was actually on a lot of different United States Green Building Council websites as a resource. Wow. And it just was mind-blowing that I could reach people in this way, and eventually I was told… In a mastermind group I joined of other internet business owners, where I was a small fish in a big pond. They said, Pat, you should write a book and help these people with a study guide.
0:13:51.0 S1: And I was like, I don’t even know how to do that. I don’t even know where I would begin. That said, Just write it in Word and then figure it out from there. And I did that, and then in October of 2008, I launched the LEED AP exam walked through, which was a 70-page study guy that I wrote myself, and I sold it on my website for 1999. And in that month, I had generated 790855. And it was absolutely life-changing. Wow, that was two and a half times more than I was making as an architect. For one, and number two, I thought the FBI was gonna swap my house at any moment, ’cause it just didn’t feel right or real, it felt like a dream. It felt like, How could this be… And the most interesting part was not just the income that was coming in, but the fact that I was getting notes from my students, people writing me these super long emails about just how thankful they were that I was able to create a resource that finally helped them pass this very difficult exam, and then the income continued to grow and grow even more to the point at which in March of 09, I was making 30 to 35000 a month with what was now a 29 e-book.
0:15:04.2 S1: I had raised the price again, thanks to the people who I was involved with in the internet business space, and it was around this time that people were like, How did you do that, how did you not just survive the great recession, but you’re thriving in it, and I said, I don’t even know how I did this, I’m just gonna start unloading all the things that I’ve done on this website called Smart Passive Income, just to share everything… All the things I wish I had done differently, how much money I was making, where it was coming from, where I was spending money, and all the mistakes I didn’t… I wish I knew about… And people caught on on this website, they said, Oh my gosh, this person is revealing everything and look at it, he’s like real life building a business, he’s not just regurgitating with other people have taught, he’s doing it himself. And so this caught wind and I started to be a guest on different podcasts at this time, and people asked me to write guest posts on their blogs, and that of course, helped with the reach of this website, and then to fast forward, that turned into a YouTube channel and then a podcast in 2010, I started writing books, and that’s where Matt and I crossed paths for the first time, ’cause I hired his agency to help me write my first book, and that’s where he and I connected, we had a good vibe and we decided to work together more formally from there, all the way until 2019-2020 when we decided to combine forces, combine our companies in a way, and then Matt has taken the helm as CEO, is I’m more the sort of creative podcaster on video kind of person.
0:16:30.5 S1: So that’s how we fast forward to sort of how men and I work together today, but that was the journey, and it’s been a crazy journey, and I’m just looking back, I’m so grateful I got off… I would not be here today if I was let go. I guarantee it, you needed that, that kick in the rear end to make it happen, but as you were first doing all of these other things, Pat, did you think I’ll do this until things turn around and then I’ll go back to being an architect? Yes. Oh, absolutely, that was the plan, ’cause I was like, I just need to survive. And then I’ll go back to what I had… Went to school for it. There is this thing that I learned about later in life called sunk cost fallacy, which is the idea that… Well, because I had gone to school for five years for architecture, because I had put five years of my career into it, that I should stay there, but I was presented with a lot of interesting options on my way to entrepreneurship and as an entrepreneur in this space, because now I was basically straddling two letters, I was…
0:17:29.3 S1: I had one foot in one hand on the corporate ladder, and I had one foot in one hand on the entrepreneurial letter, and then I remember in May of 2009, I got a call from my boss would let me go, he called me to check up on me, and I remember that call very vividly, and he called in, he said, Pat, in a very kind of soul invoices like, Hey, Pat, how are you? Hope everything is okay. Are we cool? I’m sorry, I had to let you go, and I was like, I’m actually doing pretty good right now, and you know what, he offered me to come back, he offered me a raise, he offered me a promotion, he told me my friends that I used to work with we’re gonna be working with him too, ’cause he branched off and started his own firm as well, and he said that clients that I was working with were ready to start working with me again. It was the best pitch, and honestly, it didn’t take me more than a half second to say also… Did not think about it at all. You didn’t have to think about it.
0:18:25.7 S1: Or you were married at that point? Or where were you… And I was about to get married at that point… Excuse me, I was married for three months at that point, and at this time I was still living with my in-laws because we actually moved, both my fiancé and I had moved back in with our parents in San Diego to save money, ’cause we had no money coming in at the time until this business venture started, but it was my gut reaction to say No way, I said it more politely, but then after hanging up, I did a check with myself and I was like, Whoa, that was my… Normally, my gut reaction to a proposal like that would be, of course, let’s do it like I’m all in, but my gut reaction was the opposite, so that was the moment, Henry, that I let go of the corporate ladder, and now I had both hands and both feet on the business ladder, and as a result of that, of course, you can’t climb two letters at the same time, I mean, at least to safely, that’s when I started arise really big in the business space, ’cause I had my full attention and time and confidence in it, yeah.
0:19:26.8 S1: You were all in at that point. Then I got laid off twice, it took me two times to figure it out, but that definitely helps with shifting for those of us, most of us who grew up in our indoctrinated to believe that’s the safer out to go get that job. For you, Matt, as well, you worked for an incredibly stable Corporation that invest in its people and creates that, and then even more a difficult place to leave because of that perceived safety, but both of you… You’re in your case, Pattaya gotta help mat. In your case, it was, you had the foresight to move on, but this is a hard thing to do for most people, is to leave that perceived safety, and I find that everybody around us at that point in time keeps pushing us in that direction, if for no, other reason I have found then it justifies why they don’t take the lead. What are your thoughts? Yeah, that’s exactly right. There are so many cases in where people are like, this business thing you’re doing… You didn’t go to architecture, or you didn’t go to business school. Why are you doing this? Or Go get a real job.
0:20:34.3 S1: I heard that several times. And those were people who had a real job. And guess what, I actually weren’t that happy and never took the lead themselves, so I was so upset that I had actually done what everybody else told me to do, you know, and still got let go, that I had made the choice and I opted out of that and I opted into, You know what, if I fail, I want it to be because of my own self, not because of anything I can’t control in this way, and of course we can’t cal everything, but I could definitely control my destiny more with the world of entrepreneurship and then eventually I learned that the ceiling as far as what I could potentially earn at the freedom I half of time was nowhere in comparison to what it would have been if I had stayed in architecture, I have way more time with my family now, I make way more money than I ever could have as an architect, and I just… As much I think I am much happier than I would have been… I think I would have made it, I would have been okay, but I’m still grateful right now.
0:21:40.5 S1: Yeah, no, I get it. And man, I’m sure for you, all of those things apply as well as I think what I find for all of us, but a particularly for you being that your curiosity, you get to go in a direction that you wanna go, and you get to explore things that nobody can really limit, you’ve got responsibilities now as your role as CEO at SPI, but I gotta think that that’s part of what entrepreneurship provides… You met.
0:22:05.6 S2: Yeah, absolutely. Big plus one to everything that PaaS saying there, and for me, it does much, I think much greater to fill the tank in terms of my own vision and my own kind of motivation, which everyone has things different, but achievement is one of mine, and that emerges in every sort of personality test, that one catheter and I love data, so I’ve taken a Carabinieri, so having the opportunity to make a lot of the decisions to set the path to come up with a vision, to work with Pat on vision, to then enroll the team, there’s just so much, just fulfillment and being able to take something out of your brain and out of your own just will to create it and actually make it real is… Yeah, I have not come across a subject to at least in a working professional capacity, only parenthood, I think is better than that… Right on, yeah. And strictly speaking, like a career sense, I think creating something of your own imagination, making it real, having that delivered the value to others in a way that you want… Obviously, tremendous respect for everyone. Has a corporate career, but for me, and as I continue to learn to get through through my early career, my own motivation to learn more just about myself…
0:23:29.1 S2: Yeah, it was the right call for me. Well said.
0:23:32.9 S1: Speaking of working together, let’s explore that a bit now, if I understand correctly, I think you shared this, maybe in another podcast, you’ve been part of at least seven co-founding, so you’ve worked with others before, I find… I’ve come to realize that I think we are either as entrepreneurs, people who would like to be loan wolves or we work better in partnerships, I tend to work better in partnerships, is that what you found out for yourself early on, or why is it that you have ended up working with partners more so than by yourself.
0:24:05.2 S2: That’s a very important component. It’s true for me, it won’t be true for everyone, the seven plus it you might be referring to when fans showed up on Jason drivers podcast is probably enter in chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, but it’s not so on trend, Rabi wanna be kinda clear with this part of the story, but I’ve always… And still to this day, and with great only reflection on that, I have that romantic sort of notion about partnership, that you can achieve more together as a unit, then you can’t individually… I do believe that I’m talented on a lot of friends, but certainly not everything, much like even in personal life, hopefully, you’ll look for friendships and partnerships and things to help you achieve your best, and then you can help bring out the best in someone else also, so that might sound corny, but I just honestly have always been motivated that way, probably goes back to my fascination with Joseph Campbell and the monument and storytelling, and just all these things we talk about with kerosene and transformation, sometimes I think that’s important, and it’s what did compelled to forage different partnerships through my career, some ended well, one at least didn’t end well at all, but all of that, I’m grateful for the good, the bad.
0:25:23.3 S2: Yule. As entrepreneurs, it’s always a real pressure and you take the bumps, I’ve had more wins and losses, and ultimately it led me… The past at this point, we’ve been friends for over a decade, were partners in actually two different companies, there’s a lot on the horizon for us in the future, so there’s no chance in heck that’d be here today, or I’d even go so far as to at least after that tour path, if we hadn’t done the stuff together and in these robes… Yeah, clearly, I’m a big proponent of the promise in the value of pursuing partnerships.
0:26:00.2 S1: Yeah, thanks for sharing that. That definitely resonates with me, Pat, as we’ve already chatted you, if I’ve got the math right for about the first 10 years, very successful. We’re doing this on your own. White, and I know, of course, he was your client of his, but what brought you to decide to now, partner… When I started business, I was definitely one to tell myself that I could do this all on my own… Yeah, right. Even very early on, there were a lot of moments where I could have gotten help and I just denied it because I was like, No, I could figure this out, and I have the ability to do this. And you know, certain things, I even said like, nobody could do this better than me. With editing my show, it has to be done my way. All these kinds of things, and slowly over time, I’ve realized that that’s the absolute wrong way to think about it, in fact, I have to credit my friend Chris Docker, who was once known as the virtual system guy, if you will… He is one of my best friends. And for years, he was like, duped.
0:26:58.9 S1: You’re gonna burn out bro, you’re gonna not have time for things because you keep saying yes to all the things… Because I know you, but you need to get help. And I was like, Oh, I can figure it out, I can build systems, I can automate, and I could… To a point… And thankfully, I never got to the point of terrible burnout, but there were moments where things were getting hard and I would look at my inbox and there were 10000 unread emails, and I noticed that I couldn’t do certain things like start a new podcast, ’cause I just literally didn’t have the time. So I remember the very first significant thing that happened, and this was thanks to Matt as well, he introduced me to somebody named Mindy, who’s on our team today, but she initially came on board to help me edit a brand new show, and this was one that would never have happened if it wasn’t for this hired help, and I said, Okay, well, I’ll give it a shot, I’ll see what it’s like to have somebody else work on my stuff, and as soon as I saw what happened, for example, I gained six hours of time back ’cause I also let her edit my other show too, I was like, Oh, dude, I should have done this earlier.
0:28:04.0 S1: What else can I hand off now? And I started almost become obsessive with, Well, what am I doing that I shouldn’t be doing? And a lot of advice came from my buddy Chris, and in fact, one of the things I help with the most was this thing called the three lists of freedom, it’s an exercise that he is in his book, Virtual Freedom, and the three lists of freedom is… You create three lists, one list is things that you have to do in your business that you do, but you don’t really enjoy, another list is what are the things that you just can’t do that you know you have to do. So those are two good lists that help you understand, Okay, well, these are things I can hand off, but the big one, the money maker one is listen number three, which is, What are the things you do in your business that you actually enjoy and love? But you probably shouldn’t do as a business owner, right? And that was the big one, ’cause those were things that I could hand off that gave me a lot of leverage back is especially with time and then where I could put it then into places that only I could do if I’m the host of my podcast, only I could post my podcast or that’s how the podcast is run, so editing other people can do that, and even if it’s 85% as well as you could do it.
0:29:14.5 S1: It’s still worth doing, but what I found out is that there are people who could do things better and faster than me, so it’s like a win all around and they enjoy doing those things. Right, and I remember when man and I started working together, I was his client, his team, and he had done an amazing job at project managing a lot of the big ideas that I had, and we executed on a lot of things together, and Matt started to get a little bit more involved in the business to a point where he was understanding more about how I ran my finances and how I plan certain things, and I’m more of a visionary type person, less of an integrator, and I’m very much more of a scrappy kind of creator versus somebody who project plans and figures everything out ahead of time, and that’s kind of the opposite, he’ll create spreadsheets about things that are completely unnecessary, which is totally fine, and I love you for it, that… But with our forces combined, we were like, just continue to talk and continue to build this relationship. We had been working together for years. It got to a point just a few years ago where it just made sense on paper to have the ability for me to not just be a client of his, but actually essentially be like the 100% client, the only client that he works with, and for that to happen, I acquired his company and his team, and Matt then came on board as CEO to better help manage the team and project manage so that I can do more of the creation side of things, which I love to do…
0:30:38.0 S1: Be more on camera, be more on the microphone, and it just worked out really, really well. And then we knew that we were gonna be working well together because we had been working together already, it’s almost as if we had been dating for this many years, and then finally I got down on one thing and I was like, Matt, will you marry me? As a business owner. And yeah, and so that’s where we’re at now. And I think this sort of this sort of visionary plus integrator kind of combo, this is something that’s spoken about in a book, call a Rocket Fuel, which is really amazing, and it talks about these partnerships that often happen in very successful companies, one person being more of a visionary, maybe thinking almost too big, sometimes an integrator coming in and saying, Okay, well, if you want that to happen, this is how it happens, this is who we need to hire, this is how the numbers work out, like almost kind of like the difference between an architect and an engineer, an architect will come up with a crazy building idea and an engineer will be like, Okay, that’s cool, it’ll cost this much, but maybe we can take this part of the building off, but then add this thing, which still fulfills the role of the client and then move it.
0:31:44.2 S1: It’s good. Now, the thing that I’ve learned in the architecture field, his architects and engineers don’t always get along, thankfully, mat and I have worked on communication, we know how to get along, Even if things don’t align, we know how to get through them together, which is really important and Matt has taught me a lot about that. I think that’s come a lot from his leadership development in his career previous to entrepreneurship, and even during entrepreneurship, he’s taught me a lot about how to run teams, how to communicate and all those kinds of things that I just never knew how to do ’cause I was essentially a lone wolf for a while, so that’s how that happened. So who plays the role of the visionary and who’s primarily the integrator… I mean, primarily, I would say Matt is the integrator. I think we both do vision really, really well, I came on primarily as the visionary, but then Matt has had so much to offer as far as new ideas as well, and the cool thing about Matt is he’ll come up with these new ideas that are big and grand, but then I’ll also have a plan for them, which is cool, me, sometimes I’ll come up with a big idea and plan, and then the teams like, Whoa, well, at slow down a little bit, you’re going in a wild here, and that’s kind of the fun saying it’s almost become a joke, but again, if I just have these big ideas, it’s one thing, and yes, I could probably execute on them in some capacity, but to have a team of people who understand how to put these things together, especially map, but then everybody else who man, and I hired, it’s become a perfect comma of people in the right roles to ultimately best serve our audience of people who wanna become entrepreneurs, and it’s just been an amazing ride, so there’s no doubt in my experience…
0:33:23.2 S1: Curious as to your thoughts, some of the keys to a successful partnership, you have to have trust and respect, it sounds like that was there because you had had that working relationship, and then the other component I found is always important is that clear understanding of roles and responsibility that… Some level of delineation. So tell me about that math, if you would, do you feel like you too clearly discussed and identified and continue to do so, ’cause I’m sure it’s an ongoing thing as to who’s doing what… Who’s responsible for what?
0:33:57.0 S2: It is absolutely organic, so it still continues, but ultimately, yes, it’s important to be clear, especially within the stage that the business is in the life cycle stage of that business, how those responsibilities change even naturally and sometimes even in ways that we can’t control it just like Okay, here’s where I clearly the business is going, and we need to be conscious and aware of that… Right, and I think that’s an important additional kind of components we’re talking about visionaries and integrators and how we make this work is that these aren’t one-time decisions, you don’t revisit these decisions on every week or every month, but as there is growth and maturity, mature growth within a team, within an organization, within a company, we have to assess for these things in terms of making sure that the team is set over success, ensure that Pat interest and mine remain aligned. So I think that’s an important point to say, it’s that commitment to each other, as one might even analogies into even personal relationships. So even with that analogy in mind, yeah, we had that dating and relationship for a while because of the past relationship we had working together through the client service lens and then becoming just closer as friends, and then me advising pod on some business of before we tie the not…
0:35:20.0 S2: So we had the benefit of a lot of trust building. And then that continues. It definitely continue. I would just take a minor off the ball there, specifically the role and responsibilities today, I think very, very much that partner both visionaries, but they’re complimentary, and I actually think that that’s often something just quite frankly, have a trapped at… A lot of entrepreneurs, I just don’t see maybe when they’re considering themselves and where they are, if they have a lot of growth, is that on the safety operations and finance side, people after that, I may be listening to this and self-identify with that, you can be a visionary for that body of work, whereas on the creator side, certainly it looks like other fantastic dignities when it comes to audience building, content creation and teaching, so yeah, they’re finding that harmony of molten responsibilities and not having… I don’t know, title sometimes or labels, I should say you get in the way of understanding that, especially at this level, when we talk about partnerships and entrepreneurship, if people are really band together with an infused together, I would say even a common vision for what a company can do, especially if it’s in entering its next chapter.
0:36:30.9 S2: I think that’s really where the magic happens.
0:36:33.0 S1: Yelled, then you touched on something as well that one of my primary business partner, David begins, mentioned is the reason our partnership worked well, and it sounds like yours as well as you’re looking out for each other’s best interest, like you’ve got each other’s back and that you could say that that’s trust or whatever, but you genuinely are looking for what’s best for the business, but also what’s best for each other, is that fair 1000.
0:36:57.6 S2: It’s only an in-person from us as retail, making sure that cats and spot where he can be present for his family and take care of what he needs to take care of and prioritize at home, and his kids are older than mine. I know I have two young kids, and I don’t doubt for a middle or second that doesn’t support me and have my back as I’m now catching up the Tibet least compared to him in terms of learning the rod, so… Fatherhood and whatnot, so yeah.
0:37:26.0 S1: Okay, so various podcasts. Now, Pat, obviously it with Smart Passive Income, now there’s ask Pat 20 and several other shows, but give me the summary of you will of everything that you’re offering now. Oh wow. So right now, actually the big focus is community in 2019, Matt and I and the rest of the team put together an event in San Diego to live, bring entrepreneurs together in our community together, and we had some amazing speakers, this was a live event, a conference, two and a half days. It was amazing. Some of the best times I’ve had with my audience, and I remember we ran a survey afterwards, and it was really interesting because in the survey, we had asked, what were your favorite parts? What were the things that you remember? The number one thing was all the stuff in between the things we planned, it was all the moments in the hallway, meeting people and collaborating and just kind of having dinner with people and coffee breaks and stuff, it wasn’t the giant speakers who we brought it and it wasn’t the big events that we ran and all that kind of stuff, it was the stuff in between, and we thought that was so interesting and that makes sense.
0:38:33.0 S1: Those are the parts of events when I attend that I love as well, and we were like, Okay, we gotta do this event again next year, it’s gonna be awesome, and of course, the year after 2019 was 2020, and there was no way that we were gonna host an event again. So we delayed that, we delayed it two years until we eventually said, You know what, let’s just cancel this, because we ended up creating in 2020 a way to still serve the audience in that way, but not in a way of presentations and live events like you would normally see in a virtual event, but more of an ongoing hallway, if you will, where people can connect, and so we ended up creating something called SPI Pro, and this was an online community, it’s hosted on a platform called circle circle, you might remember is in a company that both Matt and I advise. But it’s a tool that you can use to create essentially your community, and it’s sort of like a great amazing marriage between slack and how organized that is with the channels and how easy it is to use there, with the benefits of a Facebook group like all in one, plus you as the creator can control and have, it’s your place to own your community versus on somebody else’s sandbox or rented platform.
0:39:43.2 S1: So we built SPI Pro, we launched it, we had over 500 people come in upon launch, these are our founding members, we love them so much, most of them are still in, and this is our first time also getting into a monthly recurring payment or some sort of recurring instance of income in our business, so this was huge for us as well, because it’s always been one-time launches for courses or things like that, books and sponsorships and ads, this was the first time we’ve had a recurring income coming in. And not only that, more than anything, I have never… Out of the… At this point, 13 years of entrepreneurship that I’ve done, have never heard the kind of feedback that I’ve ever heard compared to what I’ve heard in SPI Pro as far as not just the access to certain things that they get as far as resources, but just the ability to connect and find people just like them, and these are people who go through an application process, these are people who already have established businesses, which is interesting ’cause most of our audience are people who are just getting started, they’re still within the first few thousand dollars of their business Spiro, we wanted to build for the to next level entrepreneur who was in our audience who wasn’t being served by the resources that we had already, ’cause they were already beyond that, but this is what they needed, they needed connection, belonging, accountability.
0:41:04.9 S1: We’ve even gone so far as to… And credit to our community team for doing this or CX team, do mastermind placement to connect people together and have them now meet formally with the SPA prost, the origin for where to find people to do that. We have experts come in. All this kind of stuff that happens in communities, we’ve done our best to serve that audience, and it’s gone so well that circle in fact now uses our community spa Pro as an example to new community members who sign up, and it’s just been incredible and really amazing in fact, we’re creating a course with them right now, which is really cool, and then recently, we’ve come up with a way to serve our people in our audience who are looking for specific information about certain things like how to podcast, how the email market, how to do affiliate marketing for years since 2017, when you serve those people who need specific solutions by creating one-off online courses, and those have worked well, we generated, I think, over 5 million in earnings from online courses since 2017, but especially post-pandemic, realized that the course completion rates have gone down, people aren’t really needing more information at this point, they need community, they need accountability, so even though the courses were still selling, we completely changed our business model to focus around what we now call community powered courses, so the ability to actually have access to our entire library of courses now, we still sell them one off if people want them, but I wouldn’t recommend that, I would recommend getting into what we now call the all-access pass, where you can get in…
0:42:47.8 S1: You get access to all the courses that you need. But access alone to them is actually… That can be overwhelming. It’s actually access to the pathways through them that we’ve now set guidance for, we actually have team members in there to guide people through those courses, you get access to a community of people who are go up, going through them with you. And then my favorite part of this is something called accelerators, where at certain times of the year, let’s say we can go, Okay, everybody who… And this is actually launching next week for us inside of Al-axis pass. Everybody who wants to do YouTube, you can go through our YouTube course, YouTube from scratch together. We’ll have a six-week curriculum, everybody’s gonna go through the lessons at the same time, you don’t need to show up on calls, but we’re just gonna all do this together, and everybody’s asking the same questions that are helping people because they’re going through it at the same time and the completion rates are mind-blowing-ly better because they are going through it with other people… Sure, that as… It’s incredible, and although we’re losing money up front because it’s the difference between a 499 payment up front for access to one course versus what is the equivalent of 59 a month.
0:43:52.8 S1: What we’re hoping is that people will now see the value that they get in here, the barrier to entry is lower, but I wanna move on to the next one and to the next one and stick around for the community, ultimately, we have a higher lifetime value of a student as well, and it’s a win for everybody, and that’s kind of how we like to do business where it’s a win for everybody, so that’s the model and where we’re focusing now, and it’s been just amazing to be able to take the lead on that because a lot of people are now coming to us saying, Well, how did you do that? Can you teach us… We’re actually, Matt and I both, we are now working with another company who hired us to launch their communities, and it’s gotten to that level now, which is really cool, so I’m very proud of that, and Matt in the team and everybody go was involved in it because this is what is best to serve our audience with right now. Excellent, thanks for sharing that. And to find that, tell us where we go. Yeah, you could check out that at Smart Passive Income dot com, All Access, and of course, there’s the Smart Passive Income podcast, we have a really great newsletter, I write a story every week and it teaches how to get unstuck in something in your business that Smart Passive Income dot com, unstuck, and books and podcasts, but if you wanna check out the all pass even, just see what that’s like and how we’re running that and get inspiration for your own business from there, Smart Passive Income dot com.
0:45:07.3 S1: All Access. Excellent, thanks for sharing, I… Alright, we’ll wrap it up here. I always ask a final question, final takeaway for each of you, Matt, for you, I think the conversation here are mostly focused on that transition, getting out of that corporate world, for both of you, different reasons as to what initiated but unless making that transition. So I’ve liked to ask you, Matt, if you could share one, take away that person who’s listening, who is into that corporate environment now, and I might be in a great corporate environment like you were, what would you share? But they have the aspiration to be an entrepreneur, what would you share with that… What piece of advice would you give them?
0:45:49.4 S2: I’d start by saying, learn a little more about what’s driving maybe that interest… I’m a big proponent, again, of self-study, personality, Hessians, different things, and one resource in particular stands out to me, motivation code… I think it’s just motivation, code dot com, there’s a great book written about it that can really help you kinda unpack potentially that drive, you have to be an entrepreneur, and seeing some of those Eisenman and how you stack up on paper is just really insightful and I think if I had had a resource more specific around motivation and not just strength finders, to illustrate finders too, that would be really helpful. So before making maybe a big decision while you’re still inside the corporate job, do a little more just self-reflection and learn more about this underlying personality traits and core motivations to help inform the decision.
0:46:44.4 S1: Excellent, thanks for sharing that, Pat, for you. The other big part of it that we’ve been talking about is partnerships working in partnerships, but what is your take away, if you would, for us on… For those of us who are considering going into a partnership, you had two things, number one, you can start small, you don’t have to get married after the first date, you can work on small projects together and see what that’s like, and take the time to really get to know each other, that you might have really good abilities that are perfectly blended with the other person, but personality is really important as well. So keep that in mind. And the second thing is, when you do get into the formalities of the partnership, especially if you’re starting a business together or there’s some sort of thing like that, you definitely want to talk to other people who have partnerships, and this is why I think you’re an amazing resource for that entry, ’cause you’ve gone through that before, you just wanna learn about what… You don’t know about yet. There are a lot of things, like I learned like, Oh, we should probably talk about, well, what happens to the business? If we have a disagreement, how do we handle that? What happens if one of us wants to exit, is that Okay, what…
0:47:55.3 S1: In all those kinds of hard decisions, hard topics need to be talked about upfront before, and I’ve seen this too many times before it happens, and then nobody knows how to figure it out, and then you’re not even friends anymore after that, and we don’t want that to happen either. So there’s a lot of great resources on YouTube and on podcast. I’ve interviewed a number of people about business partnerships that have done well and also failed, and then of course, Henry, I’m sure you have resources for that as well, so just take it slow, and also just be really respectfully honest with each other… That’s the other thing is it’s important to be up front because that’ll be better for not just the business, but also the relationship moving forward. Yeah, agree. Thanks for sharing that. Tell us again where you want us to go online to learn more about the SPI pro All Access. Thank you so much, I appreciate you. If you want to check out the alias pass, Smart Passive Income dot com, all access, and if Pro, which is more the higher level business thing, is more of interest to you, just…
0:48:54.1 S1: SPI pro dot com. Excellent. Matt, Pat, thank you so much for taking the time to be with me today and sharing your knowledge and experiences. I greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much.