When Pat Flynn lost his job, that he liked very much, he set up a web page called www.smartpassiveincome.com and from that day on internet is his new working environment. It represents his source of income and gives him the opportunity to be the lord of his own time.
He agreed to speak of his beginnings, doubts and successes for Ljubljana University Incubator.
When I was reading through your posts I got really inspired by your will to change your (working) lifestyle. You had a job from 9 to 5 that you really liked, but due to though economic situation you were laid off. What made you decide to not look for another (secure) job but rather try to go solo which actually brings along much more responsibilities?
There are a number of reasons for not going back into the workforce.
Firstly, it was nearly impossible to get another job in the architectural field, since the economy was bad and no one was building anything.
No money (or even no credit!) = no buildings = no designers.
Even still, 2 years later, it’s tough for someone in the architectural field to land a new job, no matter how much experience they have.
Secondly, I was really inspired by a lot of podcasts and blogs I had been consuming right before my layoff. They spoke highly of internet business and the opportunities that it could open up for one’s life - not far-fetched motives like buying a huge house or driving fancy cards, but simply the fact that you could work less hours, become your own boss and have a lot more freedom in what you do for an income. This really appealed to me, so I gave it a shot, and I’m really glad I did.
When you started your self-entrepreneurial path did you have any doubts, whether you made the right choice? How did you overcome these? What about nowadays – do you think that you could go back to a “normal” job again? Why yes/not?
I definitely had my doubts. I think everyone who enters this business does, especially when they go to it with little or no experience. I knew it was possible to succeed doing business online though - I’ve heard it so many times in blogs and podcasts, I knew it wasn’t a myth, so I knew (and this is going to sound cliché) that if I put my mind to it, I would be able to find success.
I’ve come across times of doubt several times, and I still do sometimes, but no matter what I just keep going, stay confident in my abilities and make things work.
As much as I loved my career and where my life was headed before I was laid off, I don’t think I could ever go back. I love working for myself and the freedom I have to make decisions for my business. I love the fact that I’m in control of my own income, that if I wanted to make more money, I could create a new project or create a new business. I love the flexibility of my schedule and idea that my passive income could keep coming in even if I were to take 2 months of vacation off.
What in your opinion are the key elements to succeed on-line?
When doing business online, I think the most important thing is to truly have the passion to help people. No matter what business you’re in, if your primary purpose is helping others, you will see the rewards. Now, the rewards may not come right away, which is why many people give up, but they will come.
I mean, just think about Zappos.com, for example. They sell shoes and clothes online, which to be honest isn’t the most innovative and novel idea in the world, and I would never consider selling shoes online to be something that could be successful (I mean, doesn’t everyone try on shoes before they buy them?). Well, they are a billion dollar company simply because of their customer service abilities and the fact that they go over the top when it comes to helping people out.
When I think of all of my business endeavors, all of my most successful brands and websites have come about because they really help people, and that is the primary purpose.
Another key element is doing what you can to stand out from the crowd. There is a sea of other people out there all trying to do business online in the exact same niches and arenas that we want to do, so we have to produce content and illustrate it in a way that makes people choose us over the competition - that helps people realize that they should be coming to us for help. One easy way to do this is to put your own personality into your business, which is something I like to do. No one is like you, so it’s an easy way to connect with people and have them keep coming back for more.
We hear many people say that it was no problem to succeed on-line till a few years ago, but now the market is more or less saturated. What do you think – is there still enough web space and web opportunities for new comers to join this market? What are they?
There is absolutely room for any driven person in any niche to succeed.
Let’s take, for example, the “make money online / blogging” niche. This is probably one of the most saturated, over-populated niches online with several hundreds of thousands of blogs and business, all talking about the same thing. I was able to find my way into this niche and stand out from the crowd, and now I’m doing really well in it.
Also, think about this: everyday, most of the terms searched for in Google are for terms never searched for before.
This makes sense, because things are always changing as well as what people are interested in. New technologies come out every day, new events happen each year - so there’s definitely the ability to capitalize on those opportunities.
What advice would you give to young students, who are eager to succeed as entrepreneurs?
Get started now.
Don’t wait, because as I like to say, “every day you don’t have something online is a day of potential profits lost.”
Don’t worry about being perfect, because you don’t have to be perfect. As long as your providing something of value, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Also, don’t be afraid of failure, because a failure is one step closer to success. Learn from your mistakes and you’ll eventually reach your goals.
Thanks again for the opportunity to share my answers with you and your audience! Cheers!
Autor: Valentina Nahtigal