Patricia Fripp can teach you to get your sales message across faster and better than anyone else. She is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, speech coach, and sales presentation skill expert. She was the first woman to become President of the National Speakers Association.
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Worst Entrepreneur moment
- Patricia was a rockstar at every job she ever had. However, she mistakenly confused that with independent success, and when she launched her own venture it was quite the doozy!
Entrepreneur AH-HA Moment
- This epiphany moment is powerful, and so well told. It’s all about creating space to have these moments, and Patricia shares how!
Small Business Resource
- FrippVT: Being perceived as a dynamic, inspiring, and persuasive communicator is a matter of business life and death!
Best Business Book
- Personal (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child
Patricia: You bet I am!
John: Yes! Patricia can teach you to get your sales message across faster and better than anyone else. She is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, speech coach, and sales presentation skill expert. She was the first woman to become president of the National Speakers Association. With her virtual interactive training on powerful persuasive presentations, she can now virtually teach you how to make more sales. Patricia, say what’s up to Fire Nation and share what’s going on in your world right now.
Patricia: What is going on in my world is that I am all fired up because I just came back from a two-week vacation in Italy where I was traveling with fascinating, creative friends and we got blessed by the Pope which means all sins are wiped out. So, I’m starting not only energized but totally sin-free.
John: Well, that’s a great place to be, Patricia, especially coming on Entrepreneur On Fire because we’re gonna expose some parts of your journey, some of the good times, some of the bad times. We’re gonna talk about the wins, the successes, the failures, the losses, but before we get into any of that we always start with what I call the one-minute mindset, which are five insights into your mind about one minute each. The first one is, ideally, what are the first 80 minutes of your day look like?
Patricia: If it’s a weekend, I take my coffee to bed and watch one of my TV shows. If it isn’t, I stagger down in my nightie and have my first cup of coffee while I’m checking my email or handling a project left over from the evening before. As I’m slightly jetlagged, I’ve been getting up at 2:30 and 3 in the morning and when it’s peaceful, you get a day’s work before the rest of the world gets up.
John: Yeah. We had that great saying in the army that we got more stuff done before 9 A.M. than the rest of the world did all day.
Patricia: That’s true.
John: Patricia, what is your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Patricia: I get easily distracted because we have so – we have multiple priorities. I would say distraction. I know it’s best to focus on one activity and complete it. However, I have a tendency to “Oh, I should do this now and then come back.” So, that’s it: distraction.
John: The weapons of mass distraction, Patricia. They are everywhere. But on the flip side, what’s your biggest strength?
Patricia My biggest strength is one, I have an incredible energy. I am disciplined, and I am very good at saying no.
John: Saying no, Fire Nation, is something that we struggle with a lot. In fact, we just had a little mastermind here at my place with a couple of great entrepreneurs in San Diego. That was Kate’s biggest struggle that she’s having right now, is saying no. One thing that I like to say, Patricia, and tell me if you agree or disagree with this, but it comes from Derrick Severs. He shares, “If it’s not a ‘hell yes,’ it’s a ‘no.’”
Patricia: That’s good. What I would also add to it, you can say no and offer something better that the person hasn’t thought of. If I can give you a quick example of that. I was – when I was – my first entrepreneurial venture running my own hair styling business, a mover and shaker in the financial district, if you were, you came to my salon. Our business was in the same building as the Chamber of Commerce. One of the executives said, “Patricia, would you run a monthly luncheon for our volunteers?” I said, “No. Because assuming you wanted my assistant to do it, you would have asked her. I’m traveling too much. So, let me tell you what I’ll do instead. Once a year, I’ll give you a free seminar for your volunteers which is using my talents that your other members don’t have. It’s more valuable.”
I was giving him a free speech which was better for me. One, it showcased my talent. Two, it took one lunch rather than 12. He got a better deal. He probably would have felt bad saying, “Hey, can you give us a free speech?”
John: This is what I like about this, Fire Nation, is that wherever you get asked something that’s gonna take your time, instead of having to say, “You know what? I need to say yes and get on their agenda,” you can instead say. “They’re coming to me with a request, with an offer. How can I make this so it’s beneficial for both parties, but at the same time put it on my agenda?” We do so many things and have so many distractions that take us off our game, that take us off our distractions, and take us off our agenda that this is the type of mentality that can really behoove us. Thanks for sharing that, Patricia.
And you have some good habits. Let’s be honest. But there are some habits I’m sure that you wish you did have that you don’t. Share one of those with us.
Patricia: I wish I could hold the overview of every single one of my projects at the same time. I have to list major projects on the flip chart. Otherwise, I find omigosh, I’ve totally forgotten about that one. It’s a matter of – I am organized. Most people say, “Patricia, we’ve never met anyone as organized as you.” I think, “Well, you’ve got a problem.” Because I don’t feel I’m as organizes as I would like to be. Also, we have many friends in our successful entrepreneurial speaking and consulting world that say you can have a successful business and work two or four hours a day. Well, if I do a12-hour day, I’d consider that was short.
On the flip side of that, I have become a lot better at marking out vacations and marking out times, knowing that when I work, I’m gonna work huckly-buck. It’s probably the nature of my personality. I get excited talking to interesting people and new projects. Now, as I say, I’ve been very good at saying no. I still have a bit too much on my plate.
John: Of all these things you have on your plate right now, what is the one thing that has you most fired up?
Patricia: My interactive Fripp virtual training. Because this is a way – one, it helps individuals who want to work with me in a very cost-effective way, and it doesn’t mean that I won’t work with them personally. However, the more prepared they are, the less time, and that means their money, will invest. Two, all my corporate clients want at least some of their training done virtually and learn at your own speed. So, that is the most exciting.
One of the challenges that went with that, I am definitely a short term project person. This was a long term project. When you ask about what’s challenge and what’s scary because when you take on big projects, and you’re halfway through and you’ve invested a heck of a lot of money, you find yourself in the middle of the middle, and it’s too – you’re too far forward to go back, but you’re looking forward at what has to be done. But I am – once it’s over, once it’s complete and it’s beautiful and people are buying it and loving it, then that’s what I’m fired up about.
John: We’ve got a great insight into your mind, five times over, Patricia. You’ve answered these questions. I feel like we kind of understand a little about you as an entrepreneur, but now it’s time to dive deep. On Entrepreneur on Fire, we’re a little different in some ways because we focus on the story of your journey as an entrepreneur. Specifically, I wanna go to what you consider your worst entrepreneurial moment. So, Patricia, take us to that moment in time and tell us that story.
Patricia: Let’s take one step before that. I grew up in England and my dad was an entrepreneur, self-made man, very successful. I was raised seeing a business from the point of view of the owner. When I went to work, and I went to work at 15, to serve an apprenticeship to be a ladies’ hairstylist in England, and I always worked harder than anyone around me. Then I left home at 18, worked on an island off France with gentlemen from the West End of London. They could do hairstyles I’d never even seen before. However, they thought lunch hours were for eating lunch. I knew lunch hours were for squeezing in three extra customers who could only come at lunchtime.
One day, my boss told me that I produced 30% more income for the salon than the men who were more talented, more experienced, and getting paid three times as much. So, it suddenly occurred to me work and tenacity and the willingness to work hard pay off. I thought, “The colonies!” When I arrived in America, at 20 with no job, nowhere to live, didn’t know anyone, managed to get a job in the Mark Hopkins Hotel which was a very nice salon, I met people from all over the country, all over the world. I was working 100% on commission. My boss said, “Go back to England and bring over 27 of your friends. I’ll become a multimillionaire.” I said, “Charles, I’ve never worked with anyone who works like me.”
Then, John, I was one of the first women in men’s hairstyling, and I was the San Francisco men’s hairstylist, solidly booked. All the movers and shakers came to my salon, and now we get to the toughest part. When you are a super-achieving, high-earner individual who works for someone else that no one messes with you because you are the high producer, I then went into business for myself. Not only getting ready was so exhausting, the first four months I was a total blank. I can’t even remember what happened I was so exhausted.
The realization, and I knew this but I hadn’t thought it through, that the people –they might have been good hairstylists, but people weren’t driven the way I was. They went home at the end of the day. I knew at the end of the day, that’s when you go out networking, or as I would call it at the time, you go to Harpoon [inaudible] [00:11:10] and you flirt with all the cute young businessmen and give out your business card.
That was the most horrific because I’d got my life savings, a ten-year lease, and it is scary because I suddenly realized as a – well, everybody in this situation gets into the same situation. You have been a producer; you have been the high achiever. You go into business for yourself and now, how you grow your business – certainly you’ve gotta do it yourself in the early days, but you have to build a team who also does it. Getting results through other people is a lot tougher for a personality like mine than doing it yourself. That was the scariest, really toughest time in my life.
John: Patricia, since then have you read the book E-Myth Revisited?
Patricia: No, I haven’t. I read the original one but not the revisited.
John: Fire Nation, if you’re going along the same path that Patricia did and this is something you’re thinking about moving into, it’s an exciting time. It’s a scary time. It can be a very difficult time, but the book E-Myth and then E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber is an amazing read for anybody considering this. You’ll get a lot of takeaways before you take that leap.
Patricia, I wanna ask you to share with our listeners, Fire Nation, if you could just boil it down into one major lesson learned, what would it be and why?
Patricia: You have to have a vision of what is possible and work towards it. Some days you’ll think it’s not gonna happen; however, more days it will. You just keep moving. You have to trust yourself. Now, you understand, this was a long time ago. As a young, independent woman, I would have said at this point I gave too much credit to men. I thought, “They’re gonna be smarter than I am.” Then one day I realized I’ve got more sense than they have. Learning to trust yourself and your own gut and your own instincts, and know what’s possible and work towards it.
John: Fire Nation, I really hope you’re taking this in. Persistence, perseverance, these are absolutely key traits that we as entrepreneurs need to have in our arsenal, in our toolkit as we’re moving forward. Patricia, I wanna go on the other end of the spectrum at this time because we’re gonna continue to tell a story, but this story is gonna be an epiphany that you’ve had, an ah-ha moment that you had at some point in your journey. You’ve had a lot, Patricia, I know that, but what’s one story that you think Fire Nation would really resonate with? Take us to that moment.
Patricia: I was in Australia. I was speaking over there, and I was a boat – on a boat on the Sydney harbor. I was on the upper deck and I was alone. It was, I believe, around 19 – 2002, and I had the epiphany and if people don’t know what an epiphany is, once you have it, you realize, “Oh, this is an epiphany.” Perhaps it was because I was alone in this beauty and the sky and the water and the amazement, and I just knew – I knew that how I had lived my life up to that moment to make me as successful as I had been was now counterproductive.
Patricia: Because, John, if you said, “What made you successful?” it was the fact that I left school ten days before my 15th birthday. My brother’s considered a genius. At that time in England, people didn’t expect much of girls. They really didn’t. This was a long time ago. This was not young women today. I had worked, as you heard, from all my jobs, I worked harder than anyone else. I did more. And just through sheer persistence, I had become outrageously successful. And then I realized this doesn’t work anymore.
That was when I made the conscious choice: you’ve gotta step back and allow nothing – I won’t say nothingness – but space in your life to think and re-strategize, and understand you are now at a great completion of your business career at that point. An honorable completion. You gained but it is now over, and it opens the possibility of what comes next.
John: What I love about this, Patricia, is that we as entrepreneurs and just as humans in general, we bop from thing to thing to thing. We don’t even let ourselves breathe in the middle of it. The next thing we know we open our eyes and years have gone by, and we’re so invested in this specific situation or position or career path that we’re on, that we kinda shake our heads and be like, ‘How did I get here?” But if we do what Patricia shared, Fire Nation, take a step back and create some space for ourselves, take a deep breath of that cold night air and say, “What am I doing? What is the path that I’m on? Is this what I want to be? Is this what I want to do?” If it’s not, it’s okay to shift, to evolve, to change things.
You found that, Patricia. Just like we did with your worst entrepreneurial moments, let’s sum it up, and this time in just one sentence. Share with our listeners what’s the one takeaway you want us to get from that story?
Patricia: Be bold enough to dream. If life could be perfect, what would that look like?
John: Wow! Love that, Patricia. Listen, I’ve been really enjoying hearing your journey because we’ve talked about the struggles, about the hard work, and how key that is to success especially in the early days. We’ve talked about the epiphany that you had and what steps that you decided to take to turn that epiphany into your now current and different success. We still have a lot of questions for you but before we get there, let’s take a minute to thank our sponsors.
Patricia, welcome to the lightning round. This is where you get to share incredible resources and mind-blowing answers. Sound like a plan?
Patricia: You bet!
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Patricia: I was never held back. I’d seen my father do it. When the time became logical, it was obvious. Nothing held me back.
John: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Patricia: My dad, first day I went to work, said don’t concentrate on making a lot of money. Rather concentrate on becoming the type of person people want to do business with and then you most likely will make a lot of money.
John: Wow. Love that. What’s a personal habit that you do have that you believe contributes to your success?
Patricia: I give myself time at the end of the day to watch some of my beautiful, relaxing TV shows that usually have people killed.
John: Whoa. Give us one of your favorites.
Patricia: One of my favorites? Blue Bloods.
John: Blue Bloods.
Patricia: CSI. Anything CSI, Criminal Minds, and I love my British cop shows where there are no guns.
John: What are your thoughts on Downton Abbey?
Patricia: I don’t watch it.
John: Okay. Not enough people die in that, I guess. Patricia, do you have an internet resource like an Evernote that you can share with our listeners?
Patricia: Yes. Frippvt.com which stands for Fripp virtual training, which is the easiest way you can learn at your own speed how to be a powerful, persuasive presenter.
John: Boom. And if you could recommend one book for our listeners, what would it be and why?
Patricia: It would be Lee Child, Personal, a Jack Reacher novel because entrepreneurs need to tune out and there’s nothing like a good thriller.
John: I love it. Fire Nation, you know that I love audio, so I teamed up with Audible and if you haven’t already, you can get an amazing audiobook for free at eofirebook.com.
Patricia, this next question’s the last of the lightning round but it’s a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to Earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter, taken care of. But all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next seven days?
Patricia: I would put something nice on to wear. I would go to what is the equivalent of the local coffee shop with just a big smile and just start making friends.
John: All about relationships, Fire Nation, I love it. Thanks for breaking that down, Patricia. Let’s end today on fire with you sharing one parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Patricia: The most important way you can connect with me is to remember my name, Fripp, F-R-I-P-P. However, as an entrepreneur on fire, much more important to remember what FRIPP stands for: frequently reinforced ideas that are productive and profitable.
John: Fire Nation, you know this. I know this. You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with Patricia Fripp and JLD today. Keep up the heat, and one more time, that’s FRIPP, frequently reinforced ideas that are productive and profitable. Did I say that right?
Patricia: That’s right –
Patricia: Fripp.com and Frippvt.com.
John: All right. We’ll have all that linked up in the show notes page, Fire Nation, at eofire.com. Just type ‘Patricia’ or ‘Fripp’ in the search bar. Her show notes page will pop right up with all of her links, all of her recommendations, everything that we chatted about. Again, just go directly to Fripp or frippvt.com. You’ll be off to the races.
Patricia, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For t that we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Patricia: Thank you for your service.
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