SPI 331: The Story You Tell Yourself (That Could Crush You) – with Dr. Shannon Irvine

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy and there are always significant hurdles along the way. The biggest factor that will either help you or hold you back is what’s going on in your own head—your mindset. That’s why I invited Dr. Shannon Irvine onto the show today. We’re about to dive into a special story—your story, the story you tell yourself. Depending how you tell it, that story will either make or break your entrepreneurial journey.

The story you tell yourself, that voice you hear in your head, can have a massive impact on the actions you take, or don’t. And it’s the way you respond to adversity—a failed course launch, an unsuccessful product—that can actually make the biggest difference. Unsurprisingly, it’s after early failure that most people quit. So what do you do when you hit a wall? How do you get past it, and how do you create a mindset that shatters barriers, embraces learning, and leads to success?

Shannon has some of those answers for us today. She has a PhD in Psychology and specializes in neuro-plasticity and neuro-psychology—she applies her expertise in helping entrepreneurs pursue epic lives and businesses. Today she’s teaching us how to move forward despite failure, what to do when you’re feeling down, and how to rewrite your story and move toward success.

Adversity is a constant in business; what changes is the mindset you bring to each challenge. Your mindset in business (and in life) is the most important asset that you have. This episode is critical for anyone who wants to wire their mindset for positivity and success. That should include you, so let’s dive in!

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Pat Flynn: Being an entrepreneur, owning your own business, it’s tough. There’s a lot of things on that checklist to do. There’s a lot of big, ambitious goals that we have, and there’s a lot of hurdles along the way, but the number one thing that’s going to help you through all of that is what happens in your head and how you speak to yourself, the story that you are creating for yourself.

And that voice. That voice is really whatever you want it to be, but there’s a lot of things in our past that, psychologically, we hear that voice say things that maybe we don’t want it to say. But then we start to believe it, and then it starts to determine what actions we take or don’t take and the results that we get or don’t get. What if you put in all this hard work and you try and you follow all the directions, and you still don’t get the results you want?

Perhaps you do a big launch. You validated that idea, you’ve gone through the whole process, and then nobody buys. It’s a tough thing, because it happens. It’s happened to me. It’s happened to many other entrepreneurs and yes, on the surface, from the outside, it’s very much just one of those learning experiences, those failures that we have to go through, right?

But when it’s your failure it’s tough, and you start to make up these stories about why things didn’t go well, and then you start to get down on yourself, and this is when many people quit. But I’m here to tell you that we’re going to get some help today. Dr Shannon Irvine is on with us and she’s a dear friend of mine. She’s one of my students, and she now has taken her brand-new podcast to levels that are just pretty insane in terms of how it’s helping her and her business. And we’re going to dive into that a little bit.

But really what we’re going to dive into is your story, and the story that you’re telling yourself. She comes with a PhD in psychology with a specialty in neuro-plasticity and psychology, and on this podcast you’re going to learn how to break through those moments in your life where you might be feeling down on yourself, how to move forward despite the failures, and how to rewrite that story so you have a successful life. You ready for this? This is going to be a good one. Let’s do it.

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—he says he’s still in the first chapter of the biography of his life—Pat Flynn!

Pat Flynn: Hey everybody! Welcome to Session 331 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. My Name is Pat Flynn, I’m here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too. Today, like I said, we have Dr. Shannon Irvine on the show with us. You can find her at DrShannonIrvine.com, and also the Epic Success Podcast, an amazing show that’s helping people through the tough times, and the psychology, and all the things that have to go and have to happen for us to succeed and move forward in our business.

I’m happy to have her on the show. She’s a student of mine; she was one of the original beta testers of Power-Up Podcasting, my course to help you start your podcast, and her show has grown and has helped her business quite big. I’m excited to have her on today, so let’s just get right into it—Dr. Shannon Irvine.

Shannon, welcome! Welcome back to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thanks for being here again.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Oh, I’m so stoked to be here with you today, Pat.

Pat Flynn: Last time you were on—in Session 275—we were discussing your podcast, the Epic Success Podcast, which was great—and you are a student of mine—when my course, Power-Up Podcasting came out, and your podcast has grown so much and you’ve done so much more since then. Helping people break through from six figures to seven figures, that’s what you do. You help them through all the mindset things that relate to that. We’re going to talk about that a little bit, but I just want to ask you, like, give us an update. How are things going in your business and in life?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Oh my goodness. Well, of course I’m addicted to podcasting. I love being able to serve entrepreneurs in that way and it’s been such an amazing journey to be able to speak to all of these different entrepreneurs from different backgrounds, and being able to share their stories and the things that have helped them build their businesses so that people who listen to the podcast can really take all those golden nuggets and plug them into their businesses. It’s just been a joy to watch the podcast grow and help more and more entrepreneurs build their empires as they’re getting started. So it’s been a great journey.

And then bringing my offline business online for the past year and a half or so has been humbling and a great journey as well in terms of, you know, learning how the online space works differently than my offline consulting business, and really fully being present for the tribe that is growing. So it’s been an amazing year.

Pat Flynn: That’s excellent. I know there’s a lot of people who are listening right now who have an offline business and want to transition into online. Do you have perhaps one tip that you can offer related to your transition, and something perhaps you wish you knew about before you made that transition?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Yeah, I do. I think the big key is that it does feel so different, and I’d kinda studied and mentored under a lot of online entrepreneurs before I took the leap. So I’d already been indoctrinated and kind of understood the lay of the land. I had the map. But having the map and actually driving it is a whole different ballgame, right?

So I think the biggest thing that I would recommend is, don’t forget that you know how to run a business. If you have a successful offline business and you’ve done all the work to set that up, bring all of those skills into the online community because they are honestly the pillars that will help you scale faster. And what I see a lot of times, a lot of the mistakes that I see with some of my clients that are trying to do the same thing, is they’ll get online and they just kinda throw away like, all of their business acumen because it seems so different.

But in reality, those core pieces of staying committed, consistent, always showing up, serving, customer’s always right—all of those things are the linchpins that have really propelled my business online this last year. And I feel like it’s the thing that can really help you grow so much faster than if you get in and just abandon all that.

Pat Flynn: Right? Because offline or online, it’s still business. And what works is helping people and serving and showing up and being consistent, like you said. I love that a lot. Now the name of your podcast is the Epic Success podcast. What does epic mean to you?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Epic means to me . . . it’s really building a life and a business that is completely fulfilling. So that’s why I didn’t call it like, “the Hustle Podcast,” or anything like that. I’m a very highly-driven human being, but one of the things that really drives me is how people can build their businesses to six, seven and even eight figures, but still have a life and a family and everything around them that they enjoy.

So epic success is really defined by the individual entrepreneur. What is it for you? So for you and I, Pat, we both have families and that is a priority for us. For other entrepreneurs, that’s not the case and they have different values and they’re driven differently, but my mission is to see entrepreneurs really step in and define what success looks like so when they get there, they can actually feel successful, instead of getting to that place and then realizing there’s so much more because they left their family behind, they left everything that they value behind, and they may have hit the number but they’re not successful. So epic success is really that integrated success defined by the entrepreneur.

Pat Flynn: I love that. And for those of you who have read my book, Will It Fly?, this is why the exercises in the beginning of the book are so important. It’s about who do you want to be, and I’ve just like—I’ve come across several entrepreneurs who on paper look amazing. Employees, millions of dollars, but they’re unhappy, they’re unfulfilled. I’m like, “you’re an entrepreneur, you can choose any direction you want, yet you went down this direction that doesn’t match who you want to be.” And it’s kind of sad, so I’m thankful that you’re here to help us realize these things as well, early on before perhaps it’s too late.

I always use the analogy of the ladder, right? You’re climbing the ladder and you might be at the top of the ladder, but then you realize you’re up the wrong ladder. And that’s a tough thing to do. And then my analogy for that is like, you gotta let go—which is hard in order to progress. So, that’s great.

Now for those of you listening, a lot of you may not already be at the six figure level. There is a whole set of mindset-related items that you need to go through to break through to, you know, start to first-win, first-win to thriving business, thriving business to crossing that six figure mark. Now, whether you have reached that benchmark yet or not, the things that we’re going to talk about right now are going to be really helpful to prepare you for what’s coming, and also probably just still be very relevant to what you’re going through right now.

So I’d love to ask you Shannon, you know, when people consider growing their business and especially going from six figures to seven figures, you know, it’s a lot of strategies. It’s a lot of tactics, but I know that that’s not where we should start. Where do we start when it comes to, how do we grow our business and scale it at that level?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: You know, it’s so true that as an entrepreneur starts, we really do focus in on those strategies. We’re looking at, okay, what’s the best way to do Facebook ads or whatever the strategy may be, and we spend our energy in pursuit of those things, and that’s good, right?

Because we have to build a foundation. Foundation has to be there. But what I see over and over again—and it happened to me too, I mean I was all great with just strategy and hustle until my . . . I had a six figure business. It was going great and then I got married, and then I had to kind of do the adjustment of “okay, how do I do this with another human being?” But that worked out because we were both adults, right? So we figured that out and then kids came, and then all bets were off, like, you know, my values changed.

Everything kind of turned upside down, and I had one of those moments where I was overworked, I was hustling and that got me to a six figure business. So you can hustle your way there, but there’s a point at which it just stops, and all the things, all the strategy, all the latest and greatest—whatever’s working online right now doesn’t work anymore because those are just vehicles.

So any vehicle can get you to that place, but if you haven’t slowed down to work on who you are, and actually step into the person—you know, Albert Einstein has a great quote and I see it around a lot right now, but the thinking that got you to where you are right now—that overwhelmed, overworked entrepreneur is not the thinking that’s going to get you to the next level. And it’s the hardest thing for us as driven people to slow down to speed up.

And it is by far the number one thing from every entrepreneur, including yourself, James Wedmore, Amy Porterfield, that I’ve had the blessing to be able to interview on the podcast, as well as all my clients and myself hands down: slowing down to work on who you are as an entrepreneur and who you want to be, and stepping into the thinking and the actions of an upper six or seven figure entrepreneur is the number one thing that actually allows you to get there.

And it’s hard for us because it doesn’t feel like, you know, a tick the box kind of thing in terms of building your mindset. But if you don’t do it, then you’re going to be that hamster on a hamster wheel, always feeling like you’re so busy, but your growth will literally stop on you and you won’t be able to move forward.

Pat Flynn: You know, it’s interesting. I don’t know if those of you listening know this, but I have a high level coaching/mastermind program called the SPI Accelerator, and it was only released to those who were on my email list who are at that level. So a lot of you probably have never heard of that, but it’s called the SPI Accelerator Program and it’s been running for several months now.

Shannon, you’re in there, and it’s great and the community in there’s awesome. Somebody in the group had said the other day, “you know, I know you call this the Accelerator Program, but actually what you’re helping us do is de-accelerate.” And that’s just like you said, I mean, it perfectly aligns. And these are people who are at that level, too. Like, the way to grow is to slow. And I just made that up by the way. Slow to grow. Anyway, I’m not going to figure that out right now.

But it’s so true. And I think what got you here won’t get you there. But we are so used to doing the things that got us here, and you have a background in psychology—how do we even begin to slow down when like, I think it’s easy just to say, “oh yeah, that makes sense,” but when you actually have to do that, it’s one of the hardest things to do, and I know from my own personal experience too. What can we do, how can we better execute on slowing down? How do we know what to slow down to? Do you have tips for us there?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: I do. So one of the things I really want you to hear is that a lot of times we think about doing, you know, this kind of mindset work. We think of it as kind of this kind of, out there . . . like it’s like a floating cloud. Like, you can’t quite get your hands around it, kind of woo-woo, and if you like the woo-woo thing then great. But for me, I’m like a type A. I like lists. I want to know there’s a process behind things and that’s why I took it . . . I had high level mentors, I studied their lives, but it still wasn’t enough. And so that’s why I ended up going out and getting my PhD in neuro-psychology. It’s borderline obsessive, but I really wanted to understand like, neurologically speaking, what’s different about people who have this high, high level of success, whether it be an entrepreneur or even in athletics, and some of my clients are athletes as well and they have a way of thinking that is different from somebody who is not at that level, and what’s different?

And it’s really intriguing to know, I think, and very freeing to know, is everything that they have, you can have. You actually have the capacity right now, because the way your brain is wired, it is wired for automation and it’s wired for efficiency. It’s by far the most amazing system and tool you have as an entrepreneur to scale your business. But most people, except for those in the top 5 percent, are not tapping into it. And what I mean by that is, you know—a great example of this, there’s a part of your brain called the reticular activating system, right? And its number one job is to prove, to find evidence for what you feed it.

Now, the bad news about our brains is that it’s neutral. So no matter what you feed it, whether it’s hustle and overwhelm, and “I’m not sure if I can do this and I’m not sure if I’m worth this,” and all of the stories—and we can talk about how stories kill your business too, but you’re either feeding it that or you’re feeding it the thinking and the actions and the steps of what it takes to scale. Either way, your brain is going to start working for giving you evidence that that’s true. If you’re spending your energy just saying things to yourself like, “You know I’m not sure if I’m cut out for this, I’m not sure if I can do this,” all the self-doubt, well your brain is going to start looking for evidence that that’s true.

Pat Flynn: This is where the book Think and Grow Rich actually makes sense on a psychological level. It’s the stuff that you’re telling yourself that helps make things happen. It’s not like we think, and then money will magically appear, but you will begin to behave as if you will become successful.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Absolutely. We know this practically . . . a practical example of how this part of our brains work for us is if you’ve ever gone and finally saved up and got an amazing new car, right? You’ve got your Tesla there. Before you actually went and made the purchase, you never saw that car and you were pretty sure you have the most original car that’s ever going to be on the road. Then the second you drive off the lot, thousands of people have the exact same car. Nothing shifted in the universe, but that’s your brain actually . . . you’ve told it, “I want this car. I want this car. I want this car. I want this car.” Then as soon as you have the car, there’s that evidence and then your brain says, “See, here it is everywhere!” Now you’re seeing it everywhere. It was always there, and it’s the same thing that can happen in terms of success in your business. If you’re thinking “I can,” or “I can’t,” your brain starts to go to work for you.

One of the big pieces that, when you talk about slowing down to speed up . . . “slow to grow,” that’s what you said.

Pat Flynn: Oh is it? Oh sweet. I like that, thank you.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Something like that. Whether you believe this or not, you have stories and those stories drive your actions. Those stories live in your subconscious and everyone has them. Right now, you have a story about success. You have a story about failure. You have a story about money. You have a story about your worth and identify. If you leave those stories in your subconscious then they will absolutely drive your beliefs, which drive your thoughts, which drive your actions. Those actions lead you to your success. Doesn’t it make sense that we start to do the little bit of work that it takes to start to uncover those stories, so that we can make sure that they are the stories we actually want to be hard-wiring in our brain? They are hard-wired right now.

Stories like . . . here’s a great one. We’ll start with the money thing, because the money thing is a big thing. Whether you grew up like me where I always heard, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Pat Flynn: “We can’t afford that.”

Dr. Shannon Irvine: “Can’t afford that,” or here’s a big one for us entrepreneurs, “You’ve got to really work hard if you want to be successful. If you’re not working hard, then you won’t earn enough money.” That story right there will keep you on that hustling, grind train and keep you stagnated at a level of success that you can’t break through because you’re not . . . because as soon as you get close to breaking through, your brain is going to be in conflict and you’re going to do something like procrastinate or turn on Netflix, instead of doing the things you need to do to get it done, because your brain wants to stay in balance. That story’s living in your subconscious. You’ve got to rewire that story and you can. Here’s the beautiful thing.

Pat Flynn: How?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: You absolutely can rewire, rewrite, and write the story that’s accurate so that you can get to those next levels of success in your life and your business. You have to start to become aware of them. I take my clients through a process of going through and becoming aware, writing it down, and then literally putting those beliefs and those stories on trial. Then of course writing the story that you want to have.

Pat Flynn: Can we dive deeper into that process, for those of us who are listening who, we know we have stories? A good concrete example I think a lot of us can relate to, this was reminded to me when you were talking as . . . you know when we have like, a bad day

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Mm-hmm.

Pat Flynn: Just like things keep . . . bad things keep stacking on each other. It’s because we wake up and something happens, something breaks and we’re like, “Oh that happened.” Then immediately something else happens. We’re like, “Oh man. Today is going to be a bad day.” Then you start looking for things that are bad that you wouldn’t have normally probably even paid attention to. You look down, you have a stain on your pants. Like, “Oop, this is my bad day today. Look at this. I got a stain on my pants,” where before it wouldn’t even matter. Then it just kind of snowballs, and I think that is a small reflection on a day that is perhaps something that we are living through every single week. Every single month, every single year. How do we rewrite that story like you said? This is like, the thinking part now, and now it’s the training part. How do we get out of that? You had mentioned writing it down. Being aware, right, is number one?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Being aware is number one. I have a 4 R process that I take my entrepreneurs through. The reality is—what you’re talking about is a great example, Pat, because that keys in on our embedded story about failure. We have a story, regardless of whether you think you do or not. It’s all fine and good unless the stress happens. Like you said, you woke up, something happened. It’s always in those moments of stress or those moments where you’re going beyond your comfort zone, which is what we do as entrepreneurs pretty much daily, so those are great opportunities, because we don’t get confronted with our stories if things are going fine. You’re making everything you want. Your marriage is fantastic. Your kids are all beautiful and they don’t act out. That perfect world? You never have to actually engage with your story, but your story . . . I always talk about the fact that your subconscious is where your story lives and subconscious wins. You can’t outthink your subconscious because it’s hard-wired for you.

To get into that 4 R process, you have to start recognizing. That’s the first R, is just recognizing that you have it. In that moment of stress, when you wake up and step in gum or whatever the thing is that kicks it off, start to tune in to, “what am I saying about myself? What am I thinking about failure? About success?” Depending on what trigger is happening at the moment; for this one it’s like, “what’s my story about failure?” Usually these stories come about because somehow they protected us as a child. I want you to give yourself tons of grace for having these stories. First of all, everybody has them. Even those great Pinterest-worthy people that are making millions, they have them too. They still have to deal with them. Okay? Give yourself a lot of grace on that, but recognizing it is saying, “Okay, what’s my story about failure?Yeah, so these things always happen to me.”

Instead of just thinking about it, you’ve got to grab a piece of paper and a journal. I have a journal that I have them . . . you want to work on pen and paper because it pulls it out of the subconscious and actually pulls it into a part of your brain that can actually start to work on it. You would write down on the piece of paper, “Things never go right for me.” Then the next part of that process is to read it. Not inside your head: Read it out loud, because the adult in you is going to either do one of two things. You’re either going to read it and you’re going to say, “That’s not true.” You’re going to immediately have evidence to the fact that that’s not true. You’re going to start . . . here’s a great example. I’ll use myself because it’s a little bit more concrete.

When I was starting to develop the podcast, right, I had that moment of like, “Gosh. Do I have enough worth or value to bring to the podcast?” It was just rolling around in my mind but then I’d keep pushing through, because that’s what we do. We’re like, “Ah, ah!” You kind of dismiss it and you keep driving, but it kept coming up. As I kept getting a couple bigger people saying yes to coming on, I’m like, you know, posture syndrome kicks in and all those things. We still go through it; I just know how to deal with it quicker. That’s all. I sat down and I wrote, “I’m not sure if I have enough value to bring to the podcast world.” Immediately I looked at that and I was like, “Well, that’s not true. I have this background in neural psychology, which is giving mindset and growth an actual process to work through. I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was twenty.”

I started refuting it, and that’s the next thing: You put it on trial. You just start refuting it. “Is that true?” You just ask that question. “Is this thing that I wrote down true?” You need to do a lot of this work, pen to paper, and outside of your own thinking voice, you know, actually talking. Maybe your family might think you’re a little bit off, but it’s okay. Once you put it on trial, as an adult you start to immediately say, “No. That’s not true.” Then you write the correct story, which is what is true and valid. Now, where it gets a little tricky is if you’re in that writing phase and you read it out loud to yourself and you kind of agree with it. This has happened, so I wanted to talk about that, because sometimes these are so deep-seeded from survival as a child that worth, identity things are all wrapped up in success, failure, and money. They’re just like a tangled weave.

If that happens, if you’re sitting there and you’re like, reading what you wrote out loud and you’re in agreeance with it, then you need to take it outside of yourself and put that on someone you love, or like a child or a spouse or a best friend. In this podcasting situation, because I knew that I really needed to slay this if I was going to do a decent job at serving people, I read it. I started to refute it, but then I thought about saying that to my son. “You don’t have enough value to bring to what you’re doing in the world.” Then, you know, that mom in me, that is like, “Oh no you don’t. I’ll snatch you.” You get sort of that energy, because sometimes we have to put it outside of ourselves to see the lie. That’s all it is. It’s just a lie that protected you at some point, but is actually keeping . . . I call it success-sabotaging beliefs at this point. You then rewrite it. What is the truth? You write it down and then that’s the biggest part of the work. That’s really not that painful.

Now, when the emotion comes up surrounding that stress moment again, you already have what is truth, and you just keep repeating the truth. Now what’s going on behind the scenes, so I can take it out of the esoteric place, is you’re actually starting to hard-wire the truth. The old belief you were subconsciously just believing and repeating, so you had a neural network that was built like a freeway. That freeway, that’s what our brains do. They really make it easy for us to think and not have to actually use energy to do it. It’s automated.

Now you’re taking and building a new neural network by repeating this truth every single time you come up against even the emotion of not feeling enough. Even the emotion of feeling the failure. Even when the stain gets on your shirt. It seems so simple, and this is where people get tripped up, it seems like such simple work that us driven, high-performance people kind of want to dismiss it and just move on to the tactical. But dismissing that and moving to the tactical is going to completely stunt your growth. You’ve got to be able to be willing to say, “You know what? I have a self-leadership, and I actually want to write the story that happens.” We can.

Pat Flynn: Have you ever heard of Hal Elrod and The Miracle Morning?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Oh yeah. I love Hal. I saw you recently there at his birthday. That was really cool.

Pat Flynn: He has his birthday in the world premiere of The Miracle Morning movie which I was in, and really cool, but you know what this is reminding me of? It’s the A in “SAVERS,” his strategy is silence. So this is what you do in the morning if you want to practice miracle mornings, and it doesn’t have to be very long. “SAVERS” is the acronym. Silence, affirmations, visualizations, exercise, reading, and scribing or journaling. This is what exactly you’re saying is the A, which is affirmations. It’s like saying to yourself who you want to be, or what the truth is. “I am this,” or, “I am not that. I can do this.” Just ingraining that in your head, and that then becomes what you practice.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Absolutely.

Pat Flynn: I mean, the affirmations is what you’re telling us to do.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Yes, absolutely.

Pat Flynn: For those of us who have rewritten our story, once we get to that point, how do we practice that and hard-wire it in for good? Would a daily routine like that help? Do you have any other tactics that could help?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Yes, I do. I love that, of course. Now I want you guys . . . as you’re listening I want you to hear how Pat did that, because he does this work. He immediately is like, “Okay, this is affirmation. I need to continue it.” That’s exactly truth. It’s that repetition. Here’s the beautiful thing. You hear, a lot of the times, it takes twenty-one days to change a habit, right? Well, we now know through neural science that’s not true. At twenty-one days your old neural network and your new great habit or neural network, or story replacing in this situation, are equal. At twenty-one days, either one can take over. That’s the truth. I’m just going to be real. That’s the truth. At sixty days, that’s when any habit or what you’re doing here, this work of affirmation like you said, is now the neural network that’s built.

The automation starts to kick in at that sixty-seventh day. So absolutely a daily practice, whether you have the feelings or emotions or not around your stories of success, of failure, of worth, of money, of identity, taking the time to verbally, outside of your own mind, audibly repeating the truth of the story that you’re writing, that is another piece. After the 4 Rs I take my clients through—and I would love everybody listening to start realizing that as you’re starting to rewrite the stories, you need to really click in to now defining, who do you want to be? Your brain has the ability to hard-wire that, but if you don’t fill it, those old stories do come back in. Who do you want to be?

We talked at the top about the thinking that got you where you are isn’t going to get you there. Who do you want to be? Who is it that you want to be? Start to be the person . . . if we’re talking about just business alone, talk about being that person that’s at that six-figure level. How do they think? What actions are they taking? Be the person that’s already there so that you can easily move into it. Your brain starts to, again, look for evidence. Remember that reticular activating system.

Pat Flynn: Right.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: “Oh, that’s who I am?” Okay. You’re repeating the true stories daily. Every day. It’s just part of the mantra. It’s part of a system in the morning to where you’re really owning the truth of what you’ve defined. So many of us have our thoughts and our stories and our future on autopilot, when we’ve been gifted this beautiful system of our brain that can literally automate what you want.

Now, it’s not like a thought machine. You can’t put in the “give me the eight figure lottery ticket,” and that’s going to do it. But over time your thinking starts to shift, and you start taking different actions. You start believing different things because the story that you’re starting your day with is the story of the person that you ultimately will be. Why not be that person now? That makes the journey just so much simpler and lighter and enjoyable, versus struggling to stay the person you are and then wanting to be somebody else.

Just step into it now. What are the actions? What are the thinking? Even when you’re planning your day . . . even though mindset is my thing of choice in terms of helping entrepreneurs break free . . . then you get practical. You need to set your day up like you’re a six and seven figure entrepreneur, even if you’re just getting started, because that’s going to be the thing that’s going to get you the opportunities, that you’ll be expansive enough so you can actually collaborate with people. You’ll be aware enough so you can see the long road ahead and be able to design it the way you want, versus just reaction and responding to the stimulus that’s coming at you at the time.

Pat Flynn: I love that. Behaving like a seven figure entrepreneur, even if you’re not. Now that doesn’t mean pretending you have millions of dollars and spending a bunch of money on a yacht and a boat and a house, which is what a lot of people do, and that’s not the right way to go about it.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: No.

Pat Flynn: But, for example, behave like a seven figure entrepreneur. Hang around other successful people, because you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with, Jim Rohn says. And then, I was also reminded of . . . it’s not just Hal Elrod talking about this. It’s not just you talking about it, but a book I read a long time ago from T. Harv Eker called Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, that’s a great book.

Pat Flynn: There’s a PDF you print out, and you say these things every morning. I was just reminded . . . I think he calls them your declarations. I think one of them was “I think big. I choose to help thousands and thousands of people. I promote my value to others with passion and enthusiasm. I commit to being rich.” This isn’t like, woo. It may sound woo-woo. But this is psychology, this is human behavior, this is rewiring ourselves. The story that you tell yourself is the story that you become, and I think that’s so key.

To finish off here, Shannon, this is all fantastic, great stuff that’s going to be super useful. I’d love to do a little role playing game with you, if that’s okay.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Love it, love it, yeah, absolutely.

Pat Flynn: This will be a scenario, and I’d love to know how you, as the coach essentially in this situation, would help me out.

I tell myself these affirmations every single day. I practice and I behave like an entrepreneur who is successful, and I am seeing success, and then I plan a launch and it’s based on what my audience says they want. And they are ready for this launch, and I launch this thing, and it falls flat. It just bombs. And now I’m in my own head. I am in this whirlpool going down and circling down into a deep dark hole of “I’m not worth it, I am not good enough. It is all ending. Everything I put my work into is crumbling. I should go out and get a job, a stable job. Who am I to even think I could go down this route, Shannon?” How do I . . . I had done all the things, but then, now I’m derailed. How do I get back on?

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Oh, my gosh. I love this so much. Welcome to the world of being an entrepreneur, what he just described, because as we love to say, “next level, next devil.” It doesn’t go away. You just get much, much, much, much better at identifying it and doing the work.

Before this launch, of course we would have talked about what the launch means. What does it mean about you? Because the reality is, if you’re thinking like a seven figure entrepreneur, you absolutely know you’re going to fail. You’re going to fail and learn, and fail and learn, and fail and learn, and that’s the fabric of almost every successful on and offline business owner that I know. They took risks and they failed.

So we would have done that work ahead of time, but we’re here and you’re spiraling, so I, Pat, would want to know from you, what does this failure mean about you?

Pat Flynn: My reply would be, I built the wrong audience. I built the wrong product. I wasted a bunch of money and now I don’t have any clients at all. Money is not coming in like I thought it was going to, and our projections. I feel like a failure.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: And so, does this product not help people then?

Pat Flynn: It helps people. They said it was something they needed, but for whatever reason, it just wasn’t connecting with them, and so I don’t know what to do next. If I relaunch, should I lower the price to try and get people in it? Maybe it was the price that was the issue. I think it’s going to be helpful for them, and I even had a couple of my friends go through the course and they said it was helpful, but I wasn’t making sales. I don’t know if people believe me.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Hmm. Okay, do you believe that if it sold, what kind of impact would it make on people and on their lives? Say we’re sitting here. The launch didn’t fail. It was at the right price or the right marketing message and all that, and we’re sitting her and you’ve got ten people in. What are they getting from your course? Because I know you launched this because you had a drive and a belief and you wanted to help people. What is it helping them with?

Pat Flynn: It would help them double their revenue, because it includes some really unique marketing tactics that I implement myself and I’ve shared this on a surface level on my blog and on my podcast, and it’s for people who want to execute on that, which is not easy. And so I would have these ten students going through and daily getting small wins that lead up to the big win in the end, where they launch something new, and then they double their revenue. They see something they haven’t seen before. And I know it can help them do that. That’s the big frustration here, Shannon, is that I don’t have the people in there.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Yeah. Can you identify that your worth is connected right now to this being a success, because you’re feeling like you want to give up, that maybe it wasn’t worth it? You spent all this money, you spent all this time. Do you see that there’s a story there, that this had to be successful to validate your worth in this?

Pat Flynn: Yeah, yes, this failed; therefore, I am a failure.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Okay, let’s talk about that story, because you just told me something that contradicted that which was, “oh my gosh, I’ve done this in my own business. It’s life-changing, and I’ve had a couple people do it and they said it was amazing.” I’m assuming the two people, the beta people that you had go through probably had some pretty positive things to say about it. What were some of the things that they said about it to you?

Pat Flynn: By the way, for everybody listening, we’re just kind of jamming here. This isn’t an actual thing, but I love where this is going, by the way.

They’ve gotten the results. I delivered on the outcome and it’s great. What I’m hearing is I am not a failure completely. I just didn’t launch this properly, but that does not equal “I’m a failure.”

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Right. The story you’re telling yourself is what? I want you to say it out loud. “I felt like I was . . .” because we’re moving out of it, but I want you to verbally say it. “I felt like I was a failure. . .” finish that sentence.

Pat Flynn: I didn’t sell into this course; therefore, I am not cut out to be in this business.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Is that true?

Pat Flynn: No.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Why not?

Pat Flynn: Because I’ve proven that I am cut out for it by helping other people, by the thousands of people who read my blog and listen to my podcast.This is just a outlier experience that has nothing to do with my value and self-worth.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: No, absolutely. Restate for me what is true. What is true about this product and you?

Pat Flynn: I am a person who can help people with their business. I am a valuable asset for people to have, and I will continue to find new ways to help people moving forward, despite this one particular launch that may have failed for reasons outside of who I am. I will find a way to make it work.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: There you go. And so, then I’m going to want you to stay with that and continue with that. And I don’t know how long you want to go, but I would now dive into, “all right, now you’ve separated yourself from the actual launch. Let’s talk about the launch and is the launch a failure?”

Pat Flynn: Right, right. And we won’t go down that road. I’m thinking I could totally bring this in another direction by going—

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Right, exactly.

Pat Flynn: “I forgot to put the sales button on the sale page.”

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Yeah, well, there you go.

Pat Flynn: All right, all’s good. No, I’m just kidding, but thank you for doing that with me. I know that’s a challenge to have you do that right on the spot, but that was really cool. I love how you helped me realize that what I was seeing was actually not true. It felt true, even in this scenario playing this role, but then you showed me through very specific examples that it just was not true. And you didn’t say, “That’s not true, Pat.” You had me realize it, which I think is the key here.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: And we can do this. Of course, having a coach—and that’s why I do coach people in our programs, but you can do this work. That’s the thing that I really want people to take away from this. I love that you said it felt true, because we always have a feeling of “before we have a cognition of.” The feeling is always going to be there first. And when you start to do this work, it actually feels uncomfortable. So yay!

I tell people that’s a good sign, feeling uncomfortable in this is good, but knowing that you can actually be the one who is in control of your internal game. Have that self-leadership or governance, and you have the capacity, completely and totally. You are no different than whatever person you’re looking up to, the Tim Ferrisses, the Tony Robbinses, the Pat Flynns, whoever it is that you’re looking to as being your ultimate role model, you have the same.

And we see this on PET imaging scans. That’s where I get real geeky, when you can actually see the neural network change, and it all is from this affirmation and visualization going through this 4 R process, and then hardwiring the true story that you want to walk into.

Pat Flynn: Woo, that was good. I’m excited. I hope those of you listening, you all enjoyed listening to this, and Dr. Shannon Irvine here who is with us today. Thank you, Shannon. We appreciate you. Where should people go to find out more about you and your programs and coaching and your podcasts? Give us all the goods.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: All that good stuff. Well, you can find the podcast, of course, on iTunes. You can subscribe at Epic Success Podcast with me, and I’m across all socials @DrShannonIrvine. And you can jump on the website and get ahold of the 4 R process so you can start working through it.

Pat Flynn: Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on today. We appreciate you, and I’ll see you in the Accelerator program.

Dr. Shannon Irvine: Sounds great.

Pat Flynn: All right, bye.

All right, I hope you enjoyed that episode with Dr. Shannon Irvine. You can find her at DrShannonIrvine.com or the Epic Success Podcast, which you can find anywhere you can download a podcast. Thank you, Shannon. You’re amazing. I appreciate you so much. And all of you listening, I appreciate you as well. Make sure you hit subscribe if you haven’t already and finally, make sure you head on over to the show notes page, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session331, to get all the goodies there.

If you want some free live training, some upcoming workshops are headed your way. All you have to do is check them out at SmartPassiveIncome.com/live. You can see all the upcoming trainings there and register for free so I can help you get started in your business in ways that might be interesting to you. So again, SmartPassiveIncome.com/live, and you can sign up for free. Looking forward to serving you there, as well, and you’ll have some time to ask me questions and all that good stuff. SmartPassiveIncome.com/live.

Cheers, and I’ll see you in the next episode. Bye for now.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at www.SmartPassiveIncome.com.

You can also find Shannon on the Epic Success Podcast, an incredible show which shares actionable strategies and practical steps in life and business mastery. You can also get a free worksheet on the 4 R Process she mentions in the episode by visiting her website. Shannon is a dear friend and student of mine, and she was one of the original beta testers for my course, Power-Up Podcasting. She was last on the show in Session 275, talking about her experience as a brand-new podcaster—I’m so happy to see how much she’s grown her business through podcasting!

In this episode I mention my book, Will It Fly?, which features several exercises at the beginning for helping you define what success means for your personal entrepreneurial journey.

I also mention my SPI Accelerator Program in this episode, a high-level mastermind group for online entrepreneurs. If you want to learn more about it, visit SPIAccelerator.com.

I’ve been doing a bunch of live webinars and free trainings recently, and I’d love to see you at the next one! If you want to see when the next training is, and also where I’m speaking next, go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/live. If you’re looking for help on starting a podcast, how to do affiliate marketing, or even if you’re starting a business from scratch, that’s where to go. See you there!

Thanks for Listening!

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Special thanks to Dr. Shannon Irvine for joining me this week. Until next time!

You'll Learn

  • Dr. Irvine's number one tip for transitioning from offline to online business.
  • Why it's crucial to slow down in order to grow, and how to do that.
  • How the stories we tell ourselves inform our subconsciousness, beliefs, actions, and success.
  • How our brains work in relation to mindset, and how to train your brain for success.
  • How to take your self-sabotaging beliefs outside of yourself and confront them.
  • Why the thinking that got you "here" won't get you "there."
  • How to turn off your brain's autopilot and become the entrepreneur you want to be, now.
  • What to do when you get derailed in your entrepreneurial journey, and more!


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