How to Actually Make Progress and Grow Your Business—A Conversation with James Wedmore


James Wedmore: Commitment, and people toss this word around, oh, I’m committed Pat, I’ll tell you, I’m committed. Committed is not when I feel like it and when it’s convenient and when it’s not scary. Commitment is whatever it takes. And so when—

Pat Flynn: Ooh, such powerful stuff we’re discussing today with my good friend James Wedmore, host of the Mind Your Business Podcast. He says that hustle and hard work are not essential ingredients for success. Success is created by mindset over strategy. And when it comes to who we want to be and how we can get to where we want to go, the biggest thing is the mindset. And how often do we say that we’re going to do something yet we don’t follow through? How often do we throw that word, “commitment,” around, I’m committed to doing this, whether it’s in our business for our health or even our relationships yet we don’t follow through? Today, after this episode, you’re going to know how to follow through. And it may require a little bit of deep thinking along sort of who you want to be and what is stopping you or what has stopped you in the past. So we’re going to dive into all that today again with my good friend James Wedmore. He’s been on my YouTube channel before, I’ve been on his podcast before. And it’s about time that he’s come on here to share his wisdom and his experience and his ingredients for success with you. He coaches coaches, and he’s here to coach us today. Let’s do this, Here we go.

Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, when he goes fishing it’s almost always catch-and-release. Pat Flynn.

Pat: What’s up and welcome to session 376 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. My name is Pat Flynn, here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too. Today we’re discussing all things mindset and following through, and actually how to make progress and grow your business with my good friend, James Wedmore. You can find him hosting an amazing podcast called the Mind Your Business Podcast, also at jameswedmore.com. And you may have heard of him before because everybody raves about him and his teaching style, and I’m excited to bring him on the show today to help us. So, without further ado, here he is, James Wedmore. James, welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, thank you so much for being here, man.

James: Hey, thank you for having me, it’s about time.

Pat: I was going to say it’s about time and not just because we’re both Back to the Future fans. And I saw you with a DeLorean not too long ago on one of your videos, I was just like, “Oh, I should do that too.”

James: Yeah. And it’s like the worst car ever made. Does anyone actually know that? It is like such an awful car.

Pat: I know that, but I never say that. But I heard it broke down a bunch of times.

James: It broke. So we rented it for our video series, the short version is. And when you’re filming videos, which I’m sure you’ve had this experience, you have to do something like ten takes. That’s always how it goes. To film thirty seconds, it usually takes like an hour to film it just to get it right. And so we had the guy drive the car in circles around the block. And the car is about as loud as three or four Harley Davidsons revving their engines up. And so he’s driving it in circles around this cul-de-sac. And sure enough, a neighbor calls the cops, then pulls her car out and barricades the street so we’re locked in there. And then the car breaks down there so we’re stuck there. And we had to push the car down the road, jumpstart it, and get out of there before the cops could come. It was like the most—I just wanted to fill my Back to the Future moment, and it was so stressful.

Pat: That’s so funny. Well, I’m sorry that it happened, but I’m glad you got to experience the DeLorean in all its glory.

James: Have you seen Avengers Endgame yet?

Pat: I have, no spoilers by the way.

James: The Back to the Future references.

Pat: Oh, so good, so good. I was cracking up, that’s for sure.

James: Yeah, it made me happy.

Pat: Now, you’ve done video for quite a while. And actually, when I first got tuned into your stuff, it was all about video. Did you have a background in video, and that’s kind of why you started publishing about it online?

James: That’s exactly why. Yeah, I found my mom’s camcorder, which is like the size of the ones that they put on the—

Pat: Like a pillow.

James: Yeah, it’s like the size of a pillow. It’s like this giant brick in my mom’s closet. And a total loner, introvert, so I had no friends, so I would just sit at home . . . This is so sad. I was like, I just want to start making videos. I didn’t have anyone to film, so I would just film little claymation videos. And I would just animate little balls of clay and Ninja Turtle figures. That was my, my cool kid life growing up. And I went to film school. So I went to film school, one of the top ten film schools, and I had both this love and hate relationship with it. I loved the creativity, I loved the process of telling a story through this visual medium. You’re into magic, so you know. I look at filming and videos like it’s magic. You can make something just come to life. And I hated it because you look at the end of any movie, and what’s the thing we always see, we see the credits. We see like two thousand names. And I realized that if I went down this route of going into Hollywood, I’m probably just going to be a name buried down there, like four minutes into the credits. And I don’t know, I think it’s just because I’m more entrepreneurial than I ever was a video guy, that just really bothered me. I’m just too stubborn to be a name on a list, maybe I’m going to get coffee for people for five years and then maybe one day I’ll be able to like dress a set or change a light bulb or something, no way.

So I just found any way I could to start making my own videos, and obviously timing is a beautiful thing. I started putting videos up on YouTube. And what I noticed is a lot of people just asking me like, how do you do that? But it was more like their nonverbal communication, that was a really telltale sign for me. People were blown away, impressed at this wizardry of how I was able to get a video up on the internet. And this is back in like 2008, like, “How are you doing this? This is amazing.” And this is a very interesting thing for us to remind all of ourselves about this is that there’s lesson number one was that the things that come easy to us don’t mean that they’re not a value to others. And that we tend to take for granted those things that they’re really easy to us when for somebody else, it’s probably really hard. And so I was a miracle worker because I could put a video on the internet. I remember asking a great question, Richard Bandler said the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of questions we ask. I asked a really good question, I turned to this person at an event who watched one of my videos. And I said, “Really, you think that’s valuable?” She’s like, “Are you kidding me?” I’ll never forget what I said, I said, “Would you pay for something like this?” “Yeah, I’ll pay you right now.” And that’s how my entire video marketing career started was one person kind of saying, yeah, I believe this would be valuable to me.

Pat: That’s really awesome. And I love hearing these stories, and oftentimes any stories about a person’s entrepreneurship is it always starts with one. There’s a few other people I know where they talk about their first customer or the first time they did something and somebody paid for it. And it’s just incredible how much we remember that. And I think your lesson related to remembering that all of us, we have these super powers that we don’t even know are superpowers because they’re ours. But when a person sees what you can do, to them, it’s just like you said, magic, and people will pay for that. And thank you for sharing that because I think it’s a great reminder for us that we don’t have to have a PhD or a four-year bachelor degree to be an expert that can serve somebody. And I think that’s key. Now, you don’t do a lot of video training anymore, but before people would go to you for video marketing stuff. But you’ve sort of expanded out of that, you have your Mind Your Business Podcast, and you talk a lot about coaching and a lot about just building and designing a business that will fit your lifestyle. And I’m really resonating with a lot of the content that’s coming out, especially on your podcast. If any of you are listening, make sure that when you have a moment, you subscribe to the Mind Your Business Podcast. James has a lot of great content there, I see it often in your little Instagram snippets for your show, which are really amazing. But Mind Your Business Podcast and Business by Design, what is it that you help people with now?

James: Well, I look at the journey that I went on, which was: I took this idea of like, oh, I could help people with video and I’m very passionate about teaching and helping as I know you are. So I started making courses around that. And we were able to take that to a million-plus-dollar just selling ninety-seven dollar products. And that was more than I ever even imagined what was possible for me, that was already just life changing. And what was happening in that business was you’d have a customer come in, they’d go through the program, they would take the action, and they’d come back as a testimonial or a result. And the result that they are coming back with was, “James, I did it, success. I made a video.” And some thoughts started popping into my head at that time.

The first thing, and it was kind of like negative. It was like, “Oh, this is just the beginning. There’s so much more of this journey that awaits you than just knowing how to press record on a camera and edit it.” That’s when I really started getting the feeling, the nudge of, “I want to help people more, I want to help them in a deeper level.” And even though I’d been saying video is what built my business, no—video is just a tool. And there’s a lot of people that have very successful businesses that aren’t using video, that weren’t using video. It’s just one of many tools. And at the end of the day, I just wanted to help other course creators or influencers, people that have a message, people that want to teach through leverage content, I wanted to show them how to build a business the right way. And that’s what I realized was, and you know this from so many years of experience, that business and marketing are very counterintuitive. And I realized that there were a lot of things I was doing differently that was really at cause for so much of my success. And I just wanted to start teaching that and helping people with that more.

And so I think one of the things that we help people the most with today is to really step into that role of being an entrepreneur through the context of performance. If we just look at like a course or even a podcast, which is essential, it gives you… What you’re left with—if you listen to even this podcast or if you let go through one of Pat’s courses like your podcasting course—which we have and have gone through. What you’re left with at the end is knowing. You know how to do something. But knowing isn’t the same as either having the results or accomplishing it. And what having the results will come down to will actually take more than just knowing. And I think this is where most people just stop, and this is where people are getting stuck. And then they’re going, “But I still don’t have the results.” So what do they do? They go out and they do more knowing, they go out looking for more information. And they’re operating from this lie that is the reason I don’t have what I want is because I don’t know enough yet. It takes many different forms” people say, “I don’t have all the pieces”, “I’m not quite ready”, “I don’t see all the steps”, “I don’t have all the clarity yet”. “I don’t have all,” this is the most common one I hear, “all the pieces of the puzzle, therefore I can’t begin.”

And if you look at results—because that’s what this game is about, that’s what business is about for all of us. It’s about results. And for business owners, this is very simple. We have two results in our company: income and impact. And that’s it, those are the top-line results. And we’re either generating that income and causing that impact or we’re not. But no matter what results you’re focused on, and it could be for any area of your life, there is a prerequisite to all results. And that’s action. And the funny thing is it’s not even just about taking the right actions, but taking the right actions the right way. And this is where we need to shift from knowing to being. See, if you want to learn from Pat, you should be listening less to what he’s saying and you should be paying more attention to how he shows up for you. You should be modeling who he is and how he represents himself as a leader and a voice to his community. And if you just started to take that essence and embody that, even if you’re still missing—“I don’t have all the pieces”, “I don’t have all the courses”—you would immediately start taking more of the right actions, which would ultimately lead to more of the results. And that’s where I really began to shift and had to start this podcast that I started because I was just sitting there feeling incongruent like, “A video isn’t going to save your business!” Because I saw people learning the mechanics of how to make a video. And they looked . . . I love them to death, love all my customers. So it’s not like out of disrespect, but they look like a deer in the headlights on the video. I’m like, no one’s going to connect with that, no one’s going to fall in love with that. No one’s going to say, “You’re my guide, you’re my leader, take us to victory.” And so that tends to be the last thing that entrepreneurs look at is how are they showing up? How are you showing up? Who are you being in this moment when you do that live, when you record that podcast, when you write that post? And at the end of the day, to me, it comes down to leadership. It comes down to being a leader to your marketplace, a leader to your customers, a leader to your team, a leader to your family, a leader to everybody. We never learned how to do that in school or most of us don’t.

Pat: Definitely not. That’s for sure, but that’s not to say that the customer should—

James: Long answer to your question.

Pat: No, I just was listening intently. And I love everything you said, and I want to unpack that a little bit. But going back to your customers who paid for your solution, they got what was promised. And people have to understand that these skills that you have may be something of a part of a larger whole. And that seems to what has realized for you is that, okay, you’re teaching people these videos, but there’s so much more beyond video to help a person succeed. But people are happy to pay for their solution and their problems being solved. But the idea that you’re just not like one and done with them, but that you care about them so much that you want to continue to help them through the process. And it’s very similar to me and why I have many other different kinds of offerings. And I have office hours and all these other things. And you help people in many different ways, elevated even beyond the courses that you have in your coaching programs and whatnot.

But I want to go back to the idea of just knowing, and almost kind of like knowing too much and continuing to know. I have people email me sometimes, James, and they go, “Pat, I listen to every single podcast episode. I started from the beginning, and here we are four months later, I’m finally caught up. I can’t wait ‘til your next episode.” And on one hand I’m like, “Wow, you’re amazing. Thank you for spending so much time with me.” But on the other hand, I’m like, “What? Did you literally listen to every single . . . ” I’m thankful for that, but I’m like, “During this point, are you going to take action?” I’m even thinking like, “Does that mean every time I publish a new episode I’m stopping you from taking action? Should I actually stop the podcast so you can get to work now?” How do you get a person to go from consumption behavior to action behavior when there’s so much great stuff out there. The answer might be in the next thing you listen to. I mean, you know what the truth is. How do you get out of that learning phase and into action phase?

James: Are you speaking specifically for me, what I do for myself, or helping my listeners—

Pat: I want to know what you do because I know you listen to podcasts and you consume content too. I’d love to know, you personally—and this leads me to believe that it’s different for different people—but how do you break out of the learning cycle? Or, what’s your process? And then when you teach others based on what you’ve experienced with your clients, what are the most common ways people start taking action?

James: Yeah, so here’s the first thing. And what’s so beautiful is you’ve already answered it. Ninety percent of this is the awareness, having that distinction. You see, I think most people are under the ruse that the learning is the work. And so it kind of gives this illusion that they’re making progress because they’re like, “I just spent four hours today doing the right thing, listening to this or going through that course.” And it’s a part of it. But to know that there is an absolute distinction between being in student mode versus action mode is critically important. And to understand that what we’re in is a game of accomplishing and receiving and getting results. And no result is possible without the prerequisite of action. So there must be a delineation at some point in time where we close the book and we stand out from our desk, from being the student, and we’re taking some sort of action. Now, we can get into the specifics more, but to know that distinction and to find that balance of where you’re doing both is important. But to continue to lie to ourselves that spending more time in the course that I’m going through is action is not. It’s learning.

And actually, my team just said it to me recently because I love my team and we can always talk about team stuff later. But they said something, Jilly actually said it to me today. She’s like, “Something I love observing of you is that,” she’s like, “you never stop learning.” I buy a course at least once a week. People think that’s crazy when I tell them that, but I’m constantly learning. But I have that balance of I know the difference between when I’m learning, receiving, retaining, and then implementing and taking action. And to me, today it’s like one-fourth, I would say a quarter learning and three-fourths action. Or, actually, if I’m being really honest with you, it’s about one-quarter—this is like my mixology drink for you—it’s one-fourth learning, two parts action, and one part reflection. And that is a beautiful cocktail, let me tell you right now. That’ll just be delicious. It’s not all about go, go, go, go, go, go, go. Because we can talk about where a lot of people are driven by this fear-based hustle where I can’t ever stop working. And then there’s the other side where people aren’t doing anything, where they’re not taking any action at all. And so to find that balance is beautiful. But for me, and this is a big thing I talk about on the podcast is how much of your ideas, your ingenuity, innovation, creativity will come in the not working, will come in the downtime, will come in the rest. And that’s our job.

People are still under this idea, this notion as entrepreneurs, they treat it like a job. You’re not an employee. And why that’s so important is for most of the average, a lot of employees, your value is tied much more to your effort. How long you work, how hard you work, the hours you put in, et cetera. As an entrepreneur, that is not your value. And if you’re treating your business that way of just like working harder, working longer, I’ll make more money. Well, you’re easily replaceable because anybody can work long and hard. That’s easy. But when you find your zone of genius and you realize that somewhere in that zone of genius is you creating a vision of something that no one else can see. That’s what I say is a prerequisite for successful entrepreneurs. You must have the ability to see something that no one else can see. That’s what I believe entrepreneurship is. It’s seeing what others can’t see. I just think that’s beautiful, right? But to be able to problem solve, to be able to be creative, to see new opportunities, new ideas, innovation, that’s the value of the entrepreneur. And that rarely comes in the work, that comes from reflecting from the work, that comes from taking that long walk, going for that hike or getting away from things. And so that’s really become a vital piece for me. So another long-winded answer for you. Pat, I do apologize.

Pat: No, it’s okay. I love it. The reflection piece is really important, too, because you have to sort of assess how things went and how you felt about it, is this something you want to continue to do? Do you want to continue to do it in a different way or do you want to stop and try something else? I really believe that. And I think you’re right, most people don’t even spend the time to do that because we’re already moving onto the next thing before the current thing is even finished. So do you put that into a certain day of the week or where do you put in that reflection time?

James: The first thing is—I created this fun little game for myself because I have the opportunity. My office is at the beach, I’m right across the street from the ocean. Where I say every day I go surfing. And what that does is that really becomes an indicator for me of my flow of work because it’s actually very easy for me to get really lost and absorbed in my work because I love it. And that should be the goal for us, but we still want to harness that and manage that a little bit. And so I go to the beach every day. I’ll be at the beach for as little as an hour and sometimes three to five hours. And I’m in the water, I’m just relaxing on the sand. And so I’m doing it every single day because I believe—like today, especially where we are in the business—it is the most valuable way I could be spending my time. And then of course I come back into the office and I’m like, “Guys, I’ve got an idea.” It’s fun, it’s really awesome. And so I’m trying to do that as much as I can. This isn’t just James and his weird, like, woo-woo stuff that people like to roll their eyes at. There’s actual proven, nerdy studies about . . . you start working more than—some studies have seen as little as twenty-four hours in a workweek up all the way up to thirty-six hours—you start passing that line and mistakes increase. Your productivity declines, your creativity and your inspiration all starts to decrease. And so having and scheduling, intentionally, that time, that reflection time or that just free space is vital. It’s essential, especially for us, especially as entrepreneurs.

Pat: I mean, it almost seems like meditation time. I mean, we’ve heard that over and over again how important that is. I’ve been in the water as well, I get in the water every once in awhile in the ocean here in San Diego, and that’s my time to do it as well. And I meditate at home, and different people have different ways of doing that. Some people hike and whatnot. But back to your cocktail, and I know that that has a little bit to do with your history because you used to bartend, which is kind of cool. But the cocktail that you made, which was a quarter learning, half action, and a quarter reflection. I want to speak to the podcast listeners out there who are listening to this and they’re like, “Well, here’s the reason why I’m learning so much because I drive to and from work everyday. I have more time to learn and less time to take action, so I can’t make that cocktail.” How, in that scenario, with so much time to learn—and I know you can get overwhelmed from learning so much too, which is a part of the problem—but how would you recommend a person take action when it is actually they only have more time to learn and very little time to take action?

James: Well first off, kudos to anybody who’s using that time where they can’t be in action to be learning because that’s actually, people ask me all the time, even close friends, they’re like, “How are you reading so much, and how are you going through so much?” I’m like, “Because I choose to do it in the times where I wouldn’t be working anyways like on a drive, on the plane, all these other opportunities that we have.” So I would absolutely say keep doing that. And it’s not about getting that formula right, but it is about having that distinction of action is required, and the right action is required. And so if you can’t take as much action because of your current circumstances like a job in a commute and stuff, that’s absolutely fine right now. However, when you know which times you can work, like, “Well, I get off of work at this time, and I have these hours of the day.” Now, you’ve got no excuse but to be doing anything but being in action. And this is where—to answer the other part of your question before—how do you get your students into action? One of the pieces is through the power of coaching, and coaching and content. Coaching and teaching are very different, very different. And I can go into those distinctions.

But one of the things that we teach people that changed my life will change anybody’s life here guaranteed if you adopted this. And there was this whole study done on this, and you can look this up. It’s by a professor, I believe it’s a Harvard Business professor, Dr. Steven Jensen [ed. Dr. Michael Jensen: “Integrity: Without It Nothing Works”] who did this entire study on self-integrity. And he said companies that adopted self-integrity as their number one core value, which we have in our company, saw anywhere from a two hundred to a four hundred percent increase in output without any additional increase of input. In other words, they just became more effective and productive. And integrity is not a conversation here of morality, like what is right and what is wrong and what is just. It’s a matter of being your word. I think it was a Don Miguel Ruiz who wrote The Four Agreements. Be impeccable with your word, do what you say you’re going to do or do not say it. And when you realize you are your word and you honor your word and you do what you say no matter what, then what simultaneously gets created is commitment. So integrity and commitment, these are ways of being, these aren’t things you learn in a book or a course. These are things that we already know. You already know when you’re being in integrity, you already know when you are being committed to something. For example, Pat, you have two kids, right? [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]

Pat: Two kids, yes.

James: Now, heaven forbid, and I have to paint a dark scenario here for just a moment, but if there was an economic collapse, if there was a natural disaster, if something horrible happened, is it not true that you would do whatever it takes to make sure that your entire family and your kids were safe?

Pat: Whatever it takes.

James: Whatever it takes. That is commitment. And people toss this word around, “Oh, I’m committed about it, I’ll tell you, I’m committed.” Committed is not when I feel like it and when it’s convenient and when it’s not scary. Commitment is whatever it takes. And so when we can start to create these distinctions for ourselves and operate this way, we’re going to start to get in action because we are being our word, we’re being in integrity, and we’re committed to doing what we said we’re going to do. We’re committed to the outcome. And so if you’re sitting there going, “Look, I only have two hours a day.” Fantastic, I love that because we all know examples—and I’m sure you’ve shared plenty on your podcasts—of people that have been able to start something, grow something when they had maybe even less than two hours a day. I know a fantastic example of an individual who was on my podcast. And I’m sure you know, I don’t know if he was on your podcast, but Jason Brown built a half-a-million-dollar a year business while still having a full-time corporate job. Not working at Subway or something and it was really easy. No, he was like a high level manager at a big company and was able to build a half-a-million dollar business on the side. And so to be able to say, “These are the two hours I can work today,” and be absolutely committed and in integrity with yourself is key. Because in a job it’s easy because you have someone managing you. But what entrepreneurs find out really quickly is when you’re working for yourself, there’s no one there to manage you. There’s one there holding you accountable. For a lot of people, that’s new, that’s scary, never felt that before. Integrity becomes key because you need to be your word, you need to do what you say you’re going to do or don’t say it.

Pat: Another word that pops into mind is just discipline. Having the discipline to honor what you say you’re going to do. If you put it in the schedule, to do it when it’s going to be in that hour of the day. But it’s easier said than done. It’s easier to say I’m going to commit to something and then actually commit to it. How does one live with integrity? What can you do to honor those things that you say you’re going to do when it’s just so easy to not do those things and put those off? And obviously there’s so many things working, trying to stop us from procrastination to our external factors. But above all else, how can we remain with integrity as we are doing the work?

James: Yeah, no, good question. Well, first of all, you’re absolutely right, easier said than done. That’s the thing is like, it’s our job—it’s Pat’s job, it’s my job. It’s our role to make things simple for you. Integrity is a simple concept. It’s very simple but it’s not going to be easy. And it’s going to be tough. And I believe, if you’re listening here, you’re tougher, right? You didn’t sign up for easy, you didn’t sign up for a little like preschool patty-cake hour. Entrepreneurship, not everyone is cut out for it. But you’re listening, you’re here, you’re here for a reason. It’s time to wake up to that. I remember when I started going, “Something’s wrong with me, I don’t want to be like everybody else. I don’t want to just get a job.” And I started listening to podcasts and reading books and going to conferences. And then I started confirming like, “Oh, there’s a whole other world of people that opted out of that.” And it is tougher in a lot of ways. It’s easy to not be in integrity. It’s easy, but we do it and we do it all the time. Like the times when you bump into a friend on the street and you’re like, “Yeah, I’ll call you next week,” and we don’t call them. Or when you say, “I’ll meet you at lunch at 12:00 and you show up at 12:00 . . . Even this call, I was three minutes late to the podcast.

Pat: You were installing Skype, though.

James: No, no, no, no, no, no. Don’t get me off the hook, darn it. Part of the piece of this is honoring your word. So as soon as—though I got on one minute before and I was like, “Oh, yeah, I’ll pop the link, no problem.” And I was like, “Oh, crap, I’m on my computer, I don’t have Skype.” And so, first thing I did was I texted Pat to be like, “I’m going to be late, I’m so sorry. I didn’t download, Skype and I’m going to be here at 3:03.” So I honored my word by communicating when I wasn’t able to hold it. And the thing is you’re either doing that or you’re not. This is either something you’re choosing to make a discipline, you’re choosing to make a priority, or you’re not. And there’s just no other way around it. You’re either being integrity, you’re either being self-integrity, self-integrus, or you’re not. Awareness of distinction is just such a vital piece of this. To begin, even just for the next couple of days, become aware of what you’re giving your word to, who you’re giving your word to and what you’re saying, and making a concerted effort to follow through on that.

I heard this from Werner Erhard, and he said, “Living in integrity is like climbing a mountain without a top.” And wow, that’s what it is. It’s something that you’ll never get perfect. We are humans, we’re always going to fall short in some way. But it’s not about that, it’s about making this as a value, something that’s important to you in your life. Because the fact of the matter is as an entrepreneur, there is no one managing you. The buck stops here. And if we don’t make our word golden, then think about the ripple effect, too. Even when we say we’re going to go create a new goal, like, I’m going to go write a book or I’m going to go make it a bestseller. It’s like, well, if you say you’re going to call your friend back or go to lunch with them or be here at 12:00 and you’re not doing that, are you even going to go make the book? Are you even going to get on the bestseller list? Your word becomes nothing. So to me, what really motivated me to make this a priority was realizing that when I can trust myself, when I honor what I say, what comes out of my mouth, I know that whatever I put my word on is going to happen. And that’s empowering. That’s what I’m saying, for those who adopt this, it will change your life. Because you know when you say I’ll see you tomorrow at 10:00 and you see them at 10:00. You say, I’ll be on the call at 3:00 and you’re on the call at 3:00. And then you say I’m going to go write that bestseller, you write that frickin’ bestseller. And if that’s not motivating you, if that doesn’t make being in integrity a little bit easier for you, then I don’t know what does. Does that make sense?

Pat: Yeah. And practice integrity, just start and be conscious about it. And, yes, you’re not going to be perfect all the time, but I think that those little commitments add up to big commitments; add up to big results.

James: So much, so much. And again, the shadow side of this is then we shame ourselves. And please do not do that. You’re a human being. I’m a huge fan of self-love and compassion for yourself, for forgiveness. It’s transformative. And if you’re just sitting here beating yourself up because you’re late or you forgot . . . I forget stuff all the time. The amount of stuff that comes across my desk, that goes through my mind and everything. I can’t retain it all. If you’re not forgiving yourself, there’s no amount of beating yourself up and self-loathing that’s ever going to give you the business you want, ever.

Pat: But, I mean, you can’t go back in time to change things, but you can change how you behave from this point forward.

James: Always. Yeah, always.

Pat: I just keep dropping the Back to the Future references in there.

James: I love it.

Pat: How do you know what to take action on if you’re learning all this stuff? Great, good stuff, I want to do that. No, I want to do this. Okay, now I want to do that. How would you recommend a person who is overwhelmed with all the options? How do you help them pick one and go?

James: Okay. So here’s the thing. So, first of all, when I heard the quote Stephen Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind.” That really changed everything. So we don’t want to go back in time to the past in our time machine. And I actually do this, I take my students and we do this. And I put them in a DeLorean (in their mind) and go out to the future. I’m not even joking with you, Pat. This is dead serious. I literally have a process where I take people out into the future to the place where their goal is already accomplished. And every great project that was brand new that no one knew what they were doing, chances are the majority of their thinking was starting at the finish line and working backwards. And why that’s so important to do is you start to realize that there’s a lot of stuff that you don’t really need to be doing.

A lot of things that, at the starting line of—let’s say you look ninety days out at a project you’re working on—aren’t really the things that make the difference. And a lot of things you can actually say no to. And so we have a distinction that we created inside my program that we call the five percent rule. And the five percent rule is basically the Pareto principle on steroids, which says that in a business for entrepreneurs—and I’d love what your experience has been in this is–that there’s really only five percent of activities in the business that are directly responsible for ninety-five percent of the results that you want. I’m curious for you, has that been similar? And please don’t just—

Pat: I mean, it’s very close. I would say it’s like ten/ninety. But yeah, definitely.

James: And so I create this distinction of two zones. There’s what we’re familiar with, what we call the comfort zone. Now, the comfort zone is a very interesting concept because a lot of the things that people are working on are in their comfort zone but they’re not very comforting. It can be very uncomfortable to be working a fourteen-hour day in your business. That’s not comforting in the normal sense of things. But it’s comforting in the sense that it protects you. It’s not exposing you to ridicule, rejection, and all that criticism, all that . . . other humanoids judging you, all that type of stuff. So it’s all the stuff that’s pretty safe, and that’s where this ninety to ninety-five percent of those action items live. And then there’s what I call the “genius zone.” And the genius zone is where you’re meant to be anyways. The genius zone is where you’re like, I want to start a business. I have this desire, there’s something pulling me towards it. And even when you start to envision it, when you start to get all that passion and enthusiasm and, like, I just got to get going. What you’re focusing your mind on are not all the things like, “I can’t wait to write my own policy page and link up my landing pages so that they automate with my auto-responder so I can blah, blah blah.” No, that’s not the stuff you’re thinking about that gets you excited because that’s not in the comfort zone, anyway. So the things that are actually lighting you up and fueling that fire, which is where all your energy comes from anyways are the things that are in your genius zone.

But the genius zone lives outside of your comfort zone. And so every moment, I like to tell people, you have a choice. Every month, when you open up that laptop or you go to work, you’re either choosing: am I going to operate in the comfort zone and stay safe and look at what’s familiar? That’s what people want. They want to stay with what’s familiar. Or are you going to operate from your genius zone? The genius zone is where you are in your flow, you’re operating from what you are here to do. And that’s obviously where the income and impact is going to come from. So the shortest answer, at the end of the day, to your question, Pat is the thing that scares you the most, it’s the thing you do. And it’s a thing you do first because that’s the thing that’s going to be outside the comfort zone, the thing that scares the crap out of you.

And we’ve heard it before. Because I’m like, “I didn’t invent that.” I’ve heard people say things before: “Follow your fear.” When you feel that fear, that means you must. So all I’m here to add to the conversation is somebody who listened to that long ago, who finally stopped being such a little coward that I was. I was so scared, I was so scared of . . . I needed everybody to like me. “I hope Pat likes me, I hope everyone else likes me.” It was so important to me. And that was more important than getting the results. Chances are that’s why a lot of people don’t have results in their business. Is because there’s something that’s more important than those results like their reputation or being liked or looking cool or whatever. So I had to choose that and, and that was more important for me. Where I offer anything to this conversation, I’m sure people have heard this before is—I just want to scream from the rooftops: “I know you’ve heard it before, but are you living it? Are you operating this way? Because knowing,” again, like I said, to bring this full circle, “ain’t enough.” There’s a difference between knowing it and living it. And the differences happen, the results appear when you’re living it. And that’s the difference we have to make. We have to stop looking at all this content as this thing out there that I’ve just . . . “Now, I’ve put it all in my brain and now I’ve got it all, and let’s spend the rest of our lives acquiring more content.” No, let’s start performing and being and living in action with what we know and who we know ourselves to be so we can start taking more of the right actions and get more of the right results.

Pat: Wow. Thank you for that, James. That’s huge. I also know that, for me, there’s a lot of times when I know I have to do something. And a lot of times we all know we have to do something. We know we have to go to the gym or we know we have this work to do that’s scary. But not only do we go to what’s comforting, but we also go to what’s easy. Like, “Oh, I could do this big thing, I don’t exactly know how that’s going to go. So I’m going to go and now go back to my emails and just answer these twenty emails. I mean, I do have to answer them. So—because they’re easy—I’m just going to get them off my plate first and then I’ll have full clarity and time to then work on that thing.” But of course, that never happens, right?

James: It’s like the . . . Odysseus—I’m going to give something like English, high school English literature references here for Odyssey in Odysseus.

Pat: Homer, yeah.

James: Yeah, Homer and the Odyssey. Remember, Odysseus, they chained him or whatever, tied him to the mast.

Pat: When the sirens were coming.

James: As the sirens were coming. And like, that’s all those little assignments. Your email is calling your attention. Facebook, that ding, that notification, that Instagram . . . All these things are constantly going to be calling your attention, they’ll never go away. They’re lying to you that, “Oh, just take care of me and then you’ll finally be all caught up.” Nope. In eleven years—I was telling this to somebody recently. I was like in eleven… Because I love running from to-do lists and stuff, it’s just very simple for me. I just write it down. In eleven years, I’ve never completed a to-do list. There’s always something remaining. I don’t think the goal is to get it done, I think the goal is constantly reprioritizing, constantly developing, like you said, that discipline of here’s the time that I have right now in this moment. What is the most important thing right now, in this moment, for me to work on? Not what’s next on the to-do list or what’s conveniently right in front of me. That does take discipline, absolutely. And you’ll develop that discipline one of two ways. Either by just choosing to be more disciplined. Or the years of pain, of getting no results from being undisciplined will one day motivate you enough to change. And I hope you won’t because I remember just being busy for years, just staying busy and it didn’t really get me anywhere.

Pat: And we’ve only got one life to live, so we want to make sure we use that time wisely, that’s for sure. Wow, James. This has been amazing, and I think that a lot of people are going to be very inspired by this and hopefully have a lot of takeaways as well to start implementing so they can actually start implementing instead of just learning all this time. And the final thing I want to talk about is getting help, meaning coaches. You have gotten coaching yourself, you teach others how to be coaches as well. I’d love to help the audience by having you describe what a great relationship might be between a coach and a mentee, if you will. What makes a great coach is basically what I’m asking?

James: I think what will really help with this–first and foremost, I think that’s a beautiful question, is number one—making sure that everyone here knows that there’s a difference between a teacher and a coach. A teacher is someone that transfers knowledge from their mind to yours like, I’m going to teach you math, I’m going to transfer this knowledge to you. And what I tell my students today is like, get all the courses you can because that’s going to be really easy to transfer that knowledge. Do it at your own pace, it’s going to probably be the cheapest method to do it. That’s why we love courses. I really feel like I’m Neo in the Matrix where I’m just like, “Whoa, I know Instagram now. I know podcasting, thanks Pat.” I’m like, I feel like I’m cheating, I really do, in the most ethical, moral way. Pat gets to spend a decade doing podcasts and then I spent a couple hours and I know what he knows. Like, “Whoa, I know Kung Fu.” That’s powerful. But there’s a difference between a teacher and a coach. And you can actually have someone coach you on you getting your podcast out who doesn’t have a podcast.

Pat: What?

James: Yes. Actually, you can have a coach that knows nothing about the content that you’re trying to implement and still coach you. So a coach’s role, a great definition that I love is a coach’s role is simply about being someone that helps you—this is Cuba Gooding Jr.—helps you help yourself. They’re there to help you help yourself. As we go forth and we know that what we’re up to is getting specific results. If you just got your podcasting course. If someone here goes through the entire program and they’re like, okay, cool, I’ve learned all this stuff about podcasting. Well, now they know that they want to get some results like downloads, listeners, reviews. These are specific results in the context of podcasting. We know, based on listening to this episode, it was already very common sense. It’s like, well, we’re going to have to take some actions. But it doesn’t always go according to plan, where it’s like, well, “Pat laid it out in seven steps, seven major steps, I’m just going to start doing this.” All of a sudden, you find yourself doing the things like you were describing earlier. Where you’re like, “Why am I always checking my email? Why was I not getting to this? Why am I not even getting started? What’s going on here?”

And what we always find out, and this is just so important for us to become aware of these things, to . . . “know thyself” is the best advice because we become self-aware of how we’re getting our own way. We always have constraints and these self-imposed limitations. These stories we begin to tell ourselves of why the timing isn’t just right, why not now, why I can’t, why it’s not possible, why it’s not realistic. For example, here’s a great one. How many times—I’m talking to somebody listening right now and I know you’re going to know this is going to hit you—where you’ve been learning how to podcast, for example, and you’re like, “Wouldn’t it be great if I had such and such person on my podcast?” And then, as soon as you had the idea, a thought popped into your head, “Oh, no, they would never say yes.” How many times have you caught yourself doing that? “Oh, no, no, no, no, they’re too busy,” or, “Who am I to have this person? They wouldn’t even give me the time of day.” This is how we’re operating all day long. We’re talking ourselves out of our dreams. We’re telling ourselves stories that aren’t real. And ultimately, what it comes down to are beliefs.

There is a great definition of beliefs that I love” a belief is simply a thought that you continue to think. But to take that further, it’s a thought you continue to think, usually, at the subconscious level. It’s not even consciously thought about anymore. And a belief is not truth, it’s only a perceived truth. So for example, if I sit there or someone here listening says, “Yeah, I was going to ask James to come on my podcast, but he’d probably say no, he’s going to say no.” That’s already you operating from a belief because you don’t have–unfortunately like Pat or I—a time machine. So how do you know he’s going to say no? How do you know? You’ve already decided in your mind: “Nope, not going to work, not going to happen, not the right time. I’m not far enough along, I’m not ready.” And we are projecting all of these out into our world. And the thing is the way the brain works is your brain matches your life—the world outside of you, what you see and call reality—it’s creating a version of reality that is simply matching the beliefs that you already hold to be true in your mind.

So anybody who wants to ask me, “James, I know I have some limiting beliefs because I don’t have the results I want in my life.” What are they? The answer is open your eyes and look at what you see because what you see—I mean, this is like Neo going down the rabbit hole—what you see in the world around you is simply the reflection of the beliefs you have. And that’s a really crazy, crazy thing. So this is why people say things. You want to change their life, change your life, you change your beliefs. “You change the way you think about things and the things you think about change,” right? Wayne Dyer. And that’s because your brain is simply matching the world around you to match your existing beliefs. Your beliefs act as a filter to experience the world. So you sit here walking around saying, “I’m just starting out, I’m a newbie, no one would want me on their podcast or no one would want to come on my podcast.” Guess what, all you’re going to get is no big names coming on your podcast. Because the ego, then, can’t be wrong. So the beliefs have to be right, so the world that has to match the belief. And so unless we start changing the way we’re thinking, the things ain’t going to change. And that’s what Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again.” Well, thinking the same belief over and over again and expecting the reality outside to change is pretty insane as well. That’s what a coach can do. That’s what I think a great coach can do is they shift your perspective. I’d like to say: how you see business, your perspective of business, how you see business will determine what is possible for you.

So a great coach has a masterful ability to be able to shift your perspective, to shift the way you are seeing the world. Because when you shift the way you see the world, what you’re really doing is shifting their beliefs. You shift their beliefs, you change the world. And that’s why coaches are needed, that’s why coaching is so important. This is why we lean so heavily into coaching because we are entering a phase right now—if we haven’t already been in it, it’s definitely here. To me, it’s like an epidemic at this point—where people are over-frigging-whelmed. They are over-consumed, like, obese with content, and they don’t know what to do with it. And here’s where it gets scary to me is they’re still believing that they don’t know enough, that there’s still more to learn, that there’s more dots to connect and pieces to put together. And they’re not even taking action on what they do know. And so, without that coaching piece, I think people just kind of go on this endless journey of learning, learning, learning without the implementing. I don’t know if that was an answer. Too long again.

Pat: No dude, this is perfect. You’re making my job easy because you’re saying all the right things and I don’t have to follow up because you’re already answering followup questions that I had. So thank you for that. I think that the key indicator for great coaches is somebody who just doesn’t tell you what to do—”Do this, go do this, go do that.” It’s somebody who will in some sort of magical kind of way just ask you questions that will get you, like you said, to see the world a little bit differently and to then be able to go, “Hey, I think I should do that.” And that’s really what they wanted you to do in the first place. But they’ve just asked you the right question so you come up with the answer. And I just love that sort of like, Inception style of coaching. And that’s something I try to practice when I coach others, too. Would you say that’s a key indicator, more questions than telling? And are there any other sort of—

James: No, a hundred percent. I can talk about some of the qualities of it, but absolutely one of the worst things you can do as a coach is give advice. The only advice I will give here, and this is advice that I think is universal and applies to everybody. And the advice is listen to your gut, listen to your intuition, listen to your own internal advice because you are—at the end of the day—the only one that knows what’s best for you. For example, how many times have you had listeners that you meet up in person with at one of your events or something like that and they’re stuck with their niche? Like which niche? Who should I serve? And how could you ever tell them who they’re here to serve? You can’t tell somebody what their purpose is, you can’t tell them what they’re here to do. That’s for us to discover, that’s for us to uncover. And no one else knows that.

So a sign of a bad coach would be just an advice giver like they know best. And the thing is no one knows better than you do. And so a coach, a great coach knows that. A great coach knows that you already have the answers inside, and their job is to help you unlock it. I mean, that’s a sign of a great coach. And yes, the access to everything is through questions, everything. You change your life when you change the quality of questions you ask. And here’s why. Because like I said, your reality—your world around you—is a reflection of the beliefs that you hold and usually happening at a subconscious level. But your subconscious mind, it has to answer a question. If you ask it a question, it has to go to work in answering it. And so you can just notice it when someone asks you a great question, the mind starts to go there. And so the type of questions that we tend to ask ourselves is like, why does this always happen to me? Why do I never hit my goals? So that’s the type of questions that the subconscious mind has to tell, well, because you’re stupid. Well, because your teacher said you’re dumb in third grade. So you’re always going to have an answer even if it’s a crappy question. But if you train yourself . . . man, that’s a great skill.

That’s what a coach will do. Ultimately, a coach is just there to ask you a better question than you’ve been choosing to ask yourself. But you can do this yourself at any moment. You could start to be saying, what is it that I need to learn about this? What is it that I haven’t chosen to see here? What could I do differently? What’s another way in which I could do this? Not questions about why, why, why, why. Who cares about why because that’s in the past and you don’t have your DeLorean. You can’t go back and change the past anyways. We’re talking about the future, what can I do differently next time? What can I learn from this? Where’s the opportunity in this? Those are all beautiful questions that move you towards your outcome anyways.

Pat: Yeah, I mean I experience . . . especially that last question, where’s the opportunity here? My video studio was recently broken into, and that didn’t feel good because all of my camera equipment was stolen and all that stuff. And I went through a little period of just frustration and anger. Everybody saw it on my YouTube channel and I shared the security camera footage, and everybody saw how upset I got. But I then started to think, “Okay, well where is there opportunity here? How can I learn from this? Obviously, let’s get better security. But was there anything else?” And eventually this led to me forming a partnership with WeWork here in San Diego and do some fun things in partnership with them, which would have never happened. So I look back, and—very similar to my lay off—it’s like hey blessing in disguise. And it’s because I started asking myself legit questions where there was an action-based answer versus these other questions that we tend to ask ourselves like you said, like the why this or how come that happened to me? It’s like, you may never find the real answer, and does that even matter? It doesn’t change the future. It just reinforces how you feel about yourself. And so I think that’s just like keynote advice right there. I’m very thankful that you brought that up. And dude, we could talk about this kind of stuff for hours, I’m sure. And so I just want to respect your time and get everybody taking action. So let’s take some action after this.

James: Right, yeah. Stop learning.

Pat: You know what I mean? Now, obviously, we want people to go and check out your podcast because you talk about this kind of stuff all the time. So Mind Your Business Podcast, where else can people go and check you out?

James: Yeah. You know what, I’m really loving and you mentioned it already was Instagram. So by the way, we just got verified on there.

Pat: Congrats man.

James: Dude, that’s like a big deal.

Pat: Blue check mark.

James: I know. I was like, why am I making these stupid little things a big deal? That happened today. I feel really proud of that, that’s really exciting. Someone on my team just took an initiative like why don’t we get one of these things and they went did that. So we’re really loving Instagram a lot. A lot a lot. Like I do a lot of stories and lives on there and post every day.

Pat: So @JamesWedmore?

James: Yeah, it’s just my name James Wedmore. Come DM me there, I love talking to people in the DMs. Probably should be doing more productive things in my day, but I really enjoyed talking to our people and our listeners and hearing what you’re learning and stuff like that. So really helps me.

Pat: Cool. James, thank you so much for your time today, I appreciate it. And looking forward to more time together.

James: Yeah. Thanks, Pat, thanks everyone for listening.

Pat: All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview with James Wedmore. Again, you can find him, one more time at the Mind Your Business Podcast. You’re already listening to a podcast, you can go and subscribe to him right now and I’d highly recommend doing that. I also recommend you check out his website and all the other things that he has going on there too. If you are listening to this episode coming from James’ audience, thank you so much for listening in. I know you all love James so much, and I’m happy that you’re here on this show listening in.

And if you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, please do that. Just hit subscribe right now because we have a lot of great content coming your way. And just for all the reviews and the amazing things that you all have been saying about the show lately, especially because I’ve been really learning about how to step up my interviews and ask better questions. And you’ve all been sharing with me some really positive feedback about just the progression that I am making as a host here. I’m here to serve you. And the more positive reinforcement I can have, the better. The more constructive criticism I can have, the better. And I’m always open to it. So if you want to give me a shout out or our recommendation @PatFlynn on Twitter or Instagram, it would be a huge, huge help. And I appreciate you all for the amazing support, and of course, for the amazing support for my upcoming book, Super Fans, which is coming out very soon. August 13th is the launch date. However, a special thing that I have for you is if you pre-order the book before the launch date, August 13th, you’ll actually, during launch week, get the audiobook for free. So that’s a free bonus if you pre-order the book, you go to Amazon right now, smartpassiveincome.com/superfansbook, smartpassiveincome.com/superfansbook. And just go there, pre-order either the Kindle or the physical version. We are working really hard on designing it very well. So the hardcover may be a good a option for you as well. But the Kindle one, either one, whatever you prefer to read. When you go to smartpassiveincome.com/superfansbook, if it’s a during the pre-order process, you’ll be landing on a page that’ll give you some more information on how to redeem that bonus audio book and another bonus that goes along with that too and when that’s all happening. So again, smartpassiveincome.com/superfansbook. And I’m just really excited for everybody to read it. I’m so stoked that many of you have already pre-ordered it and have supported. And again, one more time, smartpassiveincome.com/superfansbook.

If you’re listening to this after the launch, that will redirect you to where you need to go as well. So thank you all so much. I appreciate you. And hey, until the next episode. Make sure you hit subscribe if you haven’t already. Keep crushing it and remember, it’s not just about working hard, it’s about working smart on the right things. And it’s all about the mindset too, just like we talked about with James today. Cheers, thanks so much. And Team Flynn for the win.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at wwwdotsmartpassiveincome.com.





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