Michael Hyatt is the author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. It is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. His personal blog is focused on intentional leadership, with the mission to help you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.
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- Your Big Idea: Successful Entrepreneurs have One Big Idea. Follow JLD’s FREE training & you’ll discover Your Big Idea in less than an hour!
- “Never do anything that someone else can and will do, when there is so much of importance to be done which others cannot or will not do.” – Dawson Trotman
- Michael had created a great company, with tons of employees, and money flying in and out. Then, it all crashed down and he found himself sitting on the floor, in an empty office, staring at his co-founder and asking, “How did we get here?” Listen to how he clawed his way out of this pit of failure… this is truly inspirational.
Entrepreneurial AHA Moment
- “What is it about your leadership that produces this outcome?” Michael had an incredibly difficult time answering this question, but when he did, his AHA moment was not far behind.
- Michael realizes the power of recurring revenue, and he is developing an incredible platform to bring massive value to his 300,000 fans. I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like!
Small Business Resources
Best Business Book
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
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John Lee Dumas: Hire Fire Nation and thank you for joining me for another episode of EntrepreneurOnFire.com, your daily dose of inspiration. If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support by leaving a rating and review here at iTunes. I will make sure to give you a shout out on an upcoming showing to thank you!
John Lee Dumas: Okay. Let’s get started. I am simply ecstatic to introduce my guest today, Michael Hyatt. Michael, are you prepared to ignite?
Michael Hyatt: I’m not only prepared, I am on fire right this very minute.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] I love it!
Michael Hyatt: [Laughs]
John Lee Dumas: Michael is the author of “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.” It is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller. His personal blog is focused on intentional leadership with the mission to help you live with more passion, work with greater focus and lead with extraordinary influence.
I’ve given Fire Nation a little overview, Michael. Why don’t you take it from here and tell us who you are and what you do?
Michael Hyatt: Yes. I spent my entire career in the publishing industry in everything from being an editor, to being a marketing director, to being in sales, and most recently, for six years, as the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, which is the seventh largest publishing company in the world. That was awesome, a great experience, but now I’m a solopreneur. So I’m doing what a lot of guys are doing and trying to carve out my niche and make my business work.
John Lee Dumas: Well, you’ve definitely carved out a niche and I’m glad you joined us in the solopreneur ranks. It’s a great place to be. You’re a great compadre in arms, and I’m speaking from experience being a captain in the army. So thank you for that.
Michael Hyatt: Thank you.
John Lee Dumas: So listen, we’re going to transition now to our first topic, which is our success quote, because at EntrepreneurOnFire, we like to get the motivational ball rolling with a little success quote to get Fire Nation pumped up for the amazing content that you’re going to share with us. So Michael, what do you have for us today?
Michael Hyatt: Alright. So this is a quote from a guy named Dawson Trotman. I read this when I was in college and it’s probably shaped my career more than any other single quote or concept. Here’s what he said. “Never do anything that someone else can or will do when there are so much of importance to be done which others cannot or will not do.”
John Lee Dumas: Wow! That’s a quote that has a lot of different ramifications. At EntrepreneurOnFire, we really like to take it down to the ground level. Can you give us an example of how you’ve actually used this quote in your life?
Michael Hyatt: Yes. Well, I think one of the biggest transitions for me moving from the corporate world where I had hot and cold running assistance and people doing everything from booking my travel to handling my email to – I mean everything, literally. There wasn’t anything that somebody else didn’t handle. Then now all of a sudden, about 18 months ago, I’m suddenly a solopreneur. My choice. I decided that I wanted to do what I’d always dreamed of, which was to speak and to write fulltime.
But I was suddenly overwhelmed with all there was to do, and I didn’t really have a team at that point. I do now, thankfully, but I didn’t at that point. Then I began to focus back on this quote and say, “Look, there are only certain things where I add value.” I mean, as much as it sometimes pains me to admit it, I’m not good at everything. In fact, I’m only good at a few things. Then the more I can focus on those few things that I’m really terrific at, the more value that I’m going to add.
So I kind of went back and I looked at the StrengthsFinder test again. In fact, I bought the full panel of 34 test results to find out what I really was bad at. I said, “Okay. I have got to offload all these stuff that I’m not so great at so that I can continue to focus on those few things that I do well because that’s going to add the most value to me, to my family, and to the people that are around me.”
John Lee Dumas: I love that word “focus,” Michael. I actually have taped above my desk the acronym for focus, which is “Follow One Course Until Success.”
Michael Hyatt: That is fabulous. I’m going to steal that, totally.
John Lee Dumas: Please steal that. I mean, as entrepreneurs, we’re always passionate people and we like to chase that bright and shiny object, wherever it may take us. Sometimes we just really need to realize what we’re really passionate about, what we’re really adding value to, and just go with that. We need to focus on whatever our passions are. For me, it’s EntrepreneurOnFire. I am passionate about this podcast. Five days a week, it consumes all of me, all of my time, and that’s where my focus is.
Michael Hyatt: I think that’s exactly what it takes. It takes getting really focused. I’m the same way. I’m in the midst of a big product launch, and for the last three weeks – it hasn’t been my exclusive focus because there are other things I have to do. I’ve got speaking engagements and so forth. But I mean every moment that’s not consumed with another commitment, that’s what I’m focused. I find that I’ve got to get in kind of the headspace where I’m really creative, and it’s hard to leave that space and be productive. So I try to stay in it as long as I can.
John Lee Dumas: I love that, and I look forward to delving in to that product launch you have coming up later on in this interview. It’s going to be real exciting.
So listen Michael, let’s transition now to the next topic, and that’s failure. As an entrepreneur, our journey is consumed with failures, or if we don’t want to define it with that word “failure,” challenges or obstacles that we need to overcome. It’s what defines us as an entrepreneur – how we react to these challenges, to these obstacles, to these failures. Can you take us back to a point in your journey where you encountered a situation along these lines and how you reacted to that?
Michael Hyatt: Yes, absolutely. I founded a publishing company in 1986 with a business partner, and we had this dream, this aspiration to create a publishing company that produced books that really mattered. I mean no fluff. Just really solid books that would make a difference. The company really took off and it grew like crazy, and we got kind of full of ourselves and thought we had the formula figured out.
The problem was, is that we were growing so fast – and this is kind of the nature of book publishing, at least in the old world – it consumes a tremendous amount of cash. So we were investing in accounts receivable, in inventory, in advances to authors, and pretty soon we found ourselves successful, but broke, which is a funny combination, but we were just out of cash. We ended up going broke. We didn’t go bankrupt because all of our assets were pledged. And as it turns out, we were so broke that we couldn’t go bankrupt, which is an interesting conundrum too.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Michael Hyatt: I remember sitting on the floor of my partner’s office and all of our office furniture had been repossessed. We had nothing. It was just us and a landline phone that was sitting between us. Remember back in those days before cell phones.
John Lee Dumas: Oh yes.
Michael Hyatt: We were just sitting there going, how could we have screwed this up so badly? And I want to tell you, that was really the beginning of my education. It was one of the absolute best things that could’ve happened. I mean I wouldn’t, for anything, want to go back and relive it, but I also wouldn’t trade the wisdom and the experience and what I learned as an entrepreneur for anything. I think you have to go through those tough experiences sometimes to figure it out. You can’t get it out of the book. You’ve just got to – and I quote my friend, John Maxwell, who says, “Fail forward.” As long as you’re willing to do that and get yourself up and dust yourself off and keep moving, you can succeed and know it’s just part of the success journey.
John Lee Dumas: It is. A past guest that we’ve had on the show, Corbett Barr of Think Traffic, used a quote that I’ve always gone back to because I love it in “it’s our job to fail every day.” He really believes that. I believe that in so many ways because if you’re not failing at some level every single day, you’re not really pushing the envelope. You’re not really learning from the mistakes that you should be making, and especially in this day and age where things are moving so fast.
Michael Hyatt: Yes. I totally agree with that. In fact, the way I see it, which is just a little bit of a variation on that, is that if you’re not failing regularly, you’re not trying hard enough.
John Lee Dumas: I love that. Michael, again EntrepreneurOnFire, it’s about your journey. So can you take us back down to that ground level and share with Fire Nation, share with our listeners an actual example or a lesson that you learned from that failure?
Michael Hyatt: Yes. I think one of the lessons that I learned out of that failure was don’t build a business on other people’s money. That was huge for me. Now look, I know there are guys out there that they have businesses that it requires them to borrow money, or at least they think they do. I would advise people to read Dave Ramsey’s book “EntreLeadership” where he talks about that.
Regardless, people think they’ve got to have other people’s money, they’ve got to have a lot of capital. Well, in this go around on my entrepreneurial journey, I said I want to build a business that produces steady, predictable income. Month after month, recurring income, and I don’t want to have to invest much capital. And definitely, I don’t want partners. I don’t want investors. I don’t want the bank involved. I want a business that I bootstrap and fund myself so that I’m in control of it.
You have to understand that this comes out of a context where not only that I go through that business failure I talked about, but in the corporate publishing world where I was the most recently active, I had – at first Thomas Nelson was a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. So I had public and institutional investors that were constantly calling and wanting to report on this, and sometimes great questions and sometimes nothing but busy work and knuckleheaded kind of stuff that I had to deal with that kept me from focusing on the business.
Then we took the business private, which I thought would be awesome, but as it turns out, we had a private equity board, and they were very similar, except that now, there were just fewer of them, but they were more intense. So they also ask a lot of tough questions, which I don’t mind. I think that’s great. But it was not building the business kind of stuff. It was trying to explain it to people that have got two hours for this meeting blocked out and don’t really understand the business, and will never understand the business. They just have to report to somebody and have got to have an intelligent answer. So again, I think the thing I’ve learned is build it with your own bucks.
John Lee Dumas: This is just one of the many reasons I was so excited to have you on the show, because this is exactly the same principles that I’m going forward with with EntrepreneurOnFire, and I love to hear your story and your mentality and how you think about this because it’s just really motivating for somebody like me and to our listeners out there who are also thinking about taking this leap and are wondering what is the best route to take. I really have always encouraged the bootstrap method, and it’s just great to hear that you do as well.
Michael Hyatt: Well, John, if could just say one other thing too. I think if you have an idea, a business idea, and it’s going to require other people’s capital or it’s going to require investors or a bank loan, then I would just challenge you to think more creatively about it. There’s a way to do it without doing that. And at least for me – that’s just my rule – that until I get to that point that it doesn’t require outside money, then I haven’t thought long and hard enough about it. There are too many other good ideas that I can pursue without doing that.
John Lee Dumas: I love that. We’re going to use that to transition to the next topic, which is on the other end of the spectrum, and it’s that aha moment. Now Michael, you’re an inspirational guy. I know that you have these little aha moments every single day, probably every single hour, that’s just inspiring you, that’s moving you forward, that’s really improving your business. Can you just take us back through your journey to a moment where you just really had this light bulb just go off? You had this light bulb turn on, the clouds parted and the sun shone through the clouds. Can you take us to that point?
Michael Hyatt: Yes. I had a moment – I’ve had a lot of moments like that in my career, but one of them that I had probably about eight years ago is at the time I was the President and the COO of Thomas Nelson and we were going through – this was before the Great Recession, but we had a really tough month. So I had to report to the CEO and to the Board of why we missed our month. I remember a consultant that I had hired who was absolutely terrific. She taught me how my thinking is related to my actions and how I think about the business is more important even than what I do in the business. She was all for execution, but she just believed that it started with your brain.
She said to me – and this was the powerful question – she said what was it about your leadership that produced this outcome? I mean, it was not one of those times where the clouds parted and it was sunshine. It was one of those times that first got really dark and it rained really hard. I was real defensive and I said, “Well, this was beyond my control.” Then she said, “Well, okay. If you take that position, there’s nothing you can do about it, and you’re doomed to repeating it.” She said, “Just have with me for a moment. If it really is about your leadership, if the outcomes you experienced this last month in your business are a direct result of the leadership that you offer to your team and to your company, then that’s 100% within your control to fix.”
It was huge for me because I realized there were things that I could have done differently. There were phone calls that I could have made. There were meetings that I could have had. There were products that we could have created or promotions that we could have created. There were thousands of things that we could’ve done differently to change the outcome if I had stepped up and provided the leadership that was required. So from that moment on, that’s how I look at life. If I don’t like what I’m experiencing right now, if I don’t like my life, there’s only one guy to blame. All I got to do is look in the mirror and say, “Buddy, it’s your responsibility. Change your thinking, change your life. It begins with you.”
John Lee Dumas: I love that. Again, EntrepreneurOnFire is about the journey, and you have such a fascinating journey. Can you take us back to that aha moment and what were some specific actions that you took following that series of moments that really changed your outlook on business?
Michael Hyatt: Well, I think it took me a couple of days for that whole concept just to sink into my psyche. In fact, in many ways I’m still working through that because I have all the same emotions when something bad happens that everybody else does. I try to blame somebody else, or if I don’t do that, then I get into kind of the woe is me kind of syndrome of gosh, maybe I’m just not smart enough or I don’t have the right connections or the right personality or something kind of outside of my control.
So I think for me, as I came out of that meeting, the first step was that I said, “Okay. No more excuses. I’ve got to own it, and the outcome begins with me.” Now if I’m talking to somebody else and holding them accountable, I’m not going to take all the responsibility. But in my heart, I know that when there’s a bad outcome, there’s something in my leadership that I could’ve done differently.
So I look back over that month that I realized that, you know what? I was pretty disengaged in the business. I was traveling here and there and I just frankly wasn’t attending to the business. So I resolved to double down on my one-on-one status meetings with my direct reports. Not to hound them or micromanage them, but to just provide I think the kind of necessary accountability in the organization so that people felt like we were all rowing towards the same goal.
I’ll tell you, the other thing that was really important is that I wasn’t really crystal clear on what the outcome was that I wanted. Yes, we had our budget, but I wasn’t talking about it as a leader. This is so crucial as a leader, is that you have got to constantly be pointing to the destination because people get lost along the way. They forget either where we’re going or why it’s important.
I think one of the most important things that any leader, any business leader, has to do is to be really focused on the vision, and then really on the why or the purpose behind it. That’s the thing that, especially when you’re in turbulent times like we’re in today, those are the first casualties. Vision goes and people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. Life becomes really tactical and they get lost. So for me, to go back to that time, I accepted responsibility, I got crystal clear on the vision, and then I started meeting with people to make sure that we were executing on that vision and it had to be incremental.
John Lee Dumas: Thank you for being so specific. Michael, have you had an I’ve made it moment?
Michael Hyatt: I have. I’ve had a lot of those moments. I’ve got five daughters and I’ve got four of them married off. Every time I walk one of them down the aisle, I just go, “Wow! I’m living the dream.” I’m just so proud of them and I think that increasingly, the older I get, the more I measure success in terms of what’s happened in my own life and what’s happened in the lives of my family because the businesses will come and go. I’m not taking the business with me. Ultimately, it gets left behind. What I’ll have left is the impact I’ve made on people’s lives. So that’s crucial.
I mean there have been the business moments. A moment when we sold the business and my stock options were suddenly worth several million dollars and that kind of thing. But all of that to me – and I’m not dismissing it. I enjoy that as much as the next guy, but all of that pales in comparison to really having meaningful relationships with the people that I love the most. If I had only the first – just the business success without that – I think it would really be hollow. It wouldn’t mean anything to me.
John Lee Dumas: That is such a great message because here at Fire Nation, I really always stress the importance of setting goals and having very lofty standards for yourself, but at the same time, once you do reach those goals, you need to take a step back. Look back at your accomplishments and really be proud of what you’ve done. Then of course, set that bar higher for the next level, but it’s all about the journey and not about the destination. I love to hear that you’re enjoying the journey. You’re taking time to appreciate your accomplishments, but at the same time, you’re always looking with a smile to the future.
Michael Hyatt: Yes. Absolutely. Then I think increasingly, I’m trying to create a business that serves my life. I don’t want to be a slave to my business, and this is where there has been a lot of discussion and I really value this, but on sort of lifestyle design. I even talk about it. I have a free e-book if you sign up on my email newsletter list called “Creating Your Personal Life Plan,” and I talk about fast forwarding to the end of your life and actually visualizing your own funeral, which sounds a little morbid.
Visualizing the end of your life and what people are saying about you, and then taking a deep breath and saying, “You know what? I can create that fantasy. I can create that reality by beginning to change my behavior, engaging in the important conversations, and really end up at a destination I choose. Not one that I just sort of drifted to.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely. Let’s use that to transition to our next topic now, which is your current business. You have so many exciting things going on. One thing in particular I would just love to hear more about, but I’m going to leave it up to you, what’s one thing that’s really exciting you about your business today?
Michael Hyatt: Well, I think it’s the prospect of creating reoccurring revenue that shows up – and I said this earlier – but it shows up day after day, week after week, month after month. So you do the work one time, and then you get the benefit for years to come. I kind of got into this – of course being in the publishing industry, that’s exactly what it is – but in terms of applying it to my own life, I created a couple of e-books probably seven years ago called “Writing a Winning Book Proposal.” I did a fiction edition and a nonfiction edition. Those things, I sell probably 10 of those a day off my website, and it’s been consistent for all those years. So every year I get about the same sales, and it’s tens of thousands of dollars every year.
So I decided when I got into this business and I left Thomas Nelson, I said I don’t want to get in a position where I’m trading time for dollars. A good example of that would be speaking. I love to speak. It’s a way that I can kind of think through content and create content, but that’s not the ultimate end goal. The goal is to create that content and to package it in a format that allows me to sell it when I’m sleeping.
So yes. So I’m just trying to steer away from those kinds of trading time for dollars activities like consulting and coaching and speaking, to focus on creating intellectual property that I don’t have to create inventory for. Then I said earlier too, I’ve just introduced this brand new product this week called “Get Published,” and it’s basically everything I had learned in over 30 years in the publishing industry about how you as an author can not only get published, but can create a bestseller. So I just talk about my experience doing that. It’s 21 audio sessions and you can find out more at michaelhyatt.com/getpublished. I really believe everybody has a book in them and everybody is an expert in something, and I think it’s relevant to almost everybody, and especially entrepreneurs.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! Well we will link all of those up in the show notes. So Michael, the word “entrepreneur” is a mystery to most people, but at EntrepreneurOnFire, I like to pull the curtain back and just kind of show that entrepreneurs are really just people as well. Can you share with Fire Nation two tasks that occupy a good portion of your day?
Michael Hyatt: This kind of sounds strange maybe, but I would say thinking is of critical importance to me in the execution. Now you have to understand that I’m a content creator. That’s my primary responsibility now, whether it’s my blog or my podcast or whether it’s these courses that I create. So I spend a lot of time thinking, and I usually do that when I’m out running. So it’s for me a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
Then I would say that another important task for me is writing. That’s how my thinking kind of gets disentangled and I get organized. This is kind of related to my strengths. Intellection is one of my strengths. The ability to think through things and make complex things simple. So that just takes a lot of writing and editing, and it’s really something I do every day, especially Monday through Thursday. Those are the days that I blocked out for thinking and writing.
I think that most entrepreneurs don’t spend enough time thinking. They’re so pulled from activity to another activity that they don’t really spend time thinking about the business and how they can improve the business. They’re too busy doing what Michael Gerber talks about in The E-Myth Revisited – they’re working in the business and not on the business.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely. Speaking of working on your business, you’ve alluded a couple of times to your goal and vision of this recurring income, which is such a great goal to have. Can you talk to us a little bit about your vision for the future of Michael Hyatt?
Michael Hyatt: Yes. I think it’s going to be in a couple of different areas. I think I will continue to speak and I will continue to write books. Those are the ways that I cast the net broadly and expand my tribe. So those will continue to be a part of it, but I’m about to launch a membership site which is called “Platform University.” I’m going to be doing that in November 1st. Platform University.
Then we’re launching our own theme based on my book platform, which is called “Get Noticed.” This is a WordPress theme specifically designed for speakers, for writers, for content creators, for people selling intellectual property, and it’s based on everything that I’ve been doing on my site for the last two years. So we decided to kind of roll it up and make it available to other people.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! I’m just excited to hear you moving forward in this venture. At EntrepreneurOnFire, we have “Ignite,” which is an elite mastermind. So I have the exact same mentality that there just needs to be a place for people to gather and to really exchange ideas and to exchange resources and information and just really motivate each other.
So I’m so excited to hear what you’re creating. I know my audience will love it. Thank you for sharing that.
Michael Hyatt: You’re welcome.
John Lee Dumas: So Michael, we’re going to now move into my favorite part of the show. We’re going to enter the Lightning Round. This is where I provide you with a series of questions and you come back with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Does that sound like a plan?
Michael Hyatt: No pressure, right?
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Michael Hyatt: [Laughs]
John Lee Dumas: What was the number one thing holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Michael Hyatt: Fear. I think that fear is that common denominator that all humans experience, but the nature of fear is that we usually think we’re alone in it, and so we don’t express it and we don’t get the help we need to succeed. So yes, fear.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best business advice you ever received?
Michael Hyatt: I think the best business advice that I ever received was to do it now. I’m highly responsive. I don’t like for things to sit around and clutter up my inbox and my to do list. So yes, do it now. I follow David Allen’s concept that if you can do it in two minutes or less, do it now, get it off your plate because there are a lot of tasks that you want to do that are going to take longer than two minutes, but you can’t have a lot of them.
John Lee Dumas: Love it. What is something that’s working for you or your business right now?
Michael Hyatt: Okay. This is crazy, but the thing that works for me best right now, a thing I’ve been doing now for three months that’s absolutely transformed everything about my business and my life is I spend the first 15 minutes of the day doing nothing. So literally, I’m just in a room by myself. I’ve got some headphones on, I’ve got some ocean music playing in the background, and I just try to clear my mind, focus on my breathing and do nothing. I think that so often, we think that we’re human doings instead of human beings, and we’ve got to get the being part of the equation right first.
Maybe that sounds metaphysical or philosophical. I don’t mean it to be. I just know how busy my life is. I am an achievement-oriented, activity-oriented kind of person. I’m an activator. I’ve got to be in motion. But the truth is, I run out of gas if I don’t find time to center myself and really be at peace and kind of connect with those transcendent values that for me make everything else worthwhile.
So I’ve been doing that consistently now for 90 days, and it’s transformed everything. It’s now become kind of the foundation of my day.
John Lee Dumas: During these fifteen minutes, are you actually thinking about specific things as far as business-related, or you’re really truly trying to clear your mind?
Michael Hyatt: I’m really trying to clear my mind. It’s like if you took a jar and you filled it up with some water from the lake. I don’t know what kind of lakes you have where you live, but in my kind of lakes here in Tennessee, there’s a lot of dirt and other stuff in them. So if you take a jar of that water, it may be really cloudy. But if you just set it down and let it sit there, it won’t take long for it to clear. All the sediment falls to the bottom and the water gets clear. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish in that time of being quiet, is just to let my mind clear.
Now from there – this is just me – but from there, then I do pray. I do read the Bible and I do connect with the things that matter most. But that’s how it starts, is with just that pure quiet time.
John Lee Dumas: That was such a good visual and analogy. Thank you for that. As a side note, we have some amazing lakes in Maine. Thank you.
Michael Hyatt: Yes, I’ll bet. Yes.
John Lee Dumas: So I like to ask this to just a couple of my interviewees, and I feel like you are a very productive guy and efficient. So do you have an Internet resource that you are just in love with like an Evernote that you can recommend to Fire Nation?
Michael Hyatt: Well, definitely Evernote. To be honest, I’m kind of in between task managers right now, and I’m the kind of guy that I’m never satisfied with it. I try this one and that one. Currently, I’m using one called “WorkFlowy.”
The thing I like about it is that it works the way I think, which is in list. So you’re able to create all these lists and it’s all built on HTML5. It’s in the cloud, but it’s wherever you are. So it’s on your iPhone, on your iPad or whatever. I really like that. So every day for me begins with my today list. So I’ve got a list mapped out. I actually do this at the end of my quiet time in the morning. Here’s the things – the four or five, six things that I’ve got to accomplish today. Then I just systematically work through that list from the top to the bottom.
John Lee Dumas: Love it. Now we’re obviously going to be linking up your books in the show notes, but what is the best business book that you’ve read in the last six months?
Michael Hyatt: Oh man! That’s catching me flatfooted because I’ve got a bunch.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Michael Hyatt: I would say probably the best one that I’ve read, I think it’s called “The Power of Habit,” and it’s kind of all the science behind habits. The thing that it did for me – yes, it’s called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. It’s a great book that talks about how you can break habits you don’t want, but more importantly, how you can create habits you do want.
This was probably the most different stuff I’ve ever read on this topic. I mean it wasn’t kind of the tried and true stuff that we all assume is right about habits, but this is the hard science of it and it talks about why sometimes we can’t get traction when we’re trying to change. It was hugely helpful for me.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! So Michael, this is the last question and it’s my favorite, but it’s kind of a tricky one. So take your time, digest it, and then come back with a great answer.
If you woke up tomorrow morning and you still had all the experience, knowledge and money that you currently have right now – so you still have all of that – but your business had completely disappeared, leaving you with a clean slate, which is essentially where a lot of Fire Nation listeners find themselves in right now, what would you do in the next seven days?
Michael Hyatt: Well, absolutely, the first thing I would do, no questions asked, is I would start a blog. The reason I would do that, and maybe you’d expect me to say this, but as I wrote in the book “Platform,” I believe that that is the centerpiece of your home base. If you’re going to get visibility for everything else you want to do, you’ve got to have a place where people can find you. So in a sense, that’s like the yellow pages of yesteryear, but more importantly, today it’s a place where you can begin to build your tribe and begin to engage with your tribe. So I would do that.
Now for me, all my content gets created on the blog first. It’s my laboratory. It’s where I test concepts. It’s where I get feedback from my tribe. I don’t think I could build anything without that. So that would be my first go-to thing. I would start over, start with that, and begin to build it.
John Lee Dumas: I love it. Then just for Fire Nation to hear, how many subscribers do you currently have right now?
Michael Hyatt: Well, I have about – I checked this morning. I do check daily. I had like 310,000 unique monthly visitors this last month. My podcast is getting about 119,000 downloads a month. Yes. Like I have 70,000 daily subscribers. A little more than that, but about 70,000 daily subscribers who get my blog posts via email. So the 310,000 monthly unique visitors are just people hitting the site that aren’t necessarily subscribers.
John Lee Dumas: That is so exciting, and every time I see EntrepreneurOnFire anywhere close to your podcast, I get very excited because it’s obviously a great place to be in your neighborhood.
Michael Hyatt: Oh, thanks. Thank you.
John Lee Dumas: So Michael, you’ve given us some great actionable advice, and we are all better for it. Give Fire Nation one parting piece of guidance, then give yourself a plug, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Michael Hyatt: Alright. So I would say this. My parting advice would be you’re not as smart as you think you are, but you’ve got more potential than you could possibly imagine. So I think as long as you maintain humility, all things are possible, and live inspired.
Then the plug I would leave with you is just check out my website at michaelhyatt.com. Everything else is there.
John Lee Dumas: Michael, as I said, thank you for your time. We will link everything up in the show notes. Fire Nation salutes you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Michael Hyatt: Thanks, John. It’s great to be with you today.