A Review of “Let Go: Expanded Edition:
How to Transform Moments of Panic into a Life of Profits and Purpose” by Pat Flynn
This book is for two kinds of people: those who love Pat Flynn and those who want to be entrepreneurs (or better entrepreneurs than they are now). Usually those two kinds intersect, and 98% of one crowd belongs to the other.
Why is that so? Because of Pat Flynn. Read the beginning of his author bio: “… is a beloved thought leader…” I read a lot of exaggerated bios on Amazon, but this one beats them all. “Beloved, pshaw!” — you may think with cynicism.
But it is true. I’ve been following the guy for about four years, and it’s impossible not to love him. I was eager to get to know about his journey and consumed the expanded edition of “Let Go” in two sittings.
Let’s look at the book’s CONS:
1. Close to Zero Technical Information.
If you expected ins and outs of online business, you may be disappointed. Pat says very little about the specific methods and tools.
But you shouldn’t expect technical info in an autobiography, and this book is exactly that. It only happens to be the biography of an entrepreneur. It’s about Pat’s life & business, not about business, business & business.
2. It’s intimidating.
I made a big mistake and dove straight into Part II of the book, because I read Part I when the first edition was published. Pat is trying very hard to make his audience relate to him, but for me at least, it was impossible. He lost me completely when he told a story about this new puny kid in the town that was starting a podcast, you know, John Lee Dumas and Entrepreneur on Fire.
Pat throws big names like that all the time. He already lives in another dimension, at the top of the top of modern entrepreneurship. How the heck could I relate to him? *sigh*
Maybe if you read the book from the very beginning, and read his story from when he was still an employee, it will alleviate this “awestruck” a bit.
1. Close to Zero Technical Information.
I consider this an advantage. Expecting technical details from “Let Go” is a big misunderstanding. Pat doesn’t dilute the message of his book with technical stuff.
This is a book about becoming a great entrepreneur, not about how to use Aweber to collect email addresses. This guy has over 1,000 podcast episodes where he shared technical details. He has hundreds of blog posts on his blog. If you need technical information, go there!
2. The Author.
I said Pat intimidated me. Well, that’s true. In the first month of his business, he generated $8,000 of revenue. Heck, I’ve been hustling online for more than four years and didn’t generate such a monthly revenue even once.
But if any guru should ever teach me about principles of entrepreneurship, let it be Pat. Because he is awesomely kind, compassionate, and understanding in his teaching.
Pat is a lot like Jim Rohn. I’ve never met a single person who said “Oh, I hate Jim Rohn, he was just a charlatan and exploited the naive crowd.” The worst opinion about Jim I’ve ever heard was “Oh, his message didn’t speak to me.”
In the same fashion, no one ever accused Pat of being a jerk, a sleazy salesman or a guru too big to notice that he stomps on people (you can insert here names of your un-favorite business or personal development guru to the above descriptions). ;)
Well, no one but a troll who used such accusations to drive traffic to his site. Don’t you know this story? Read “Let Go,” it’s there. ;)
Pat, like Jim, walks the talk. He is absolutely transparent and authentic. He feels like a human being, not a success story created for media.
For years, I was a guy who said “Oh, Pat’s message doesn’t speak to me.”
While I admired Pat’s integrity and liked most of his stuff that wasn’t directly related to online business — productivity, tactics to get and stay healthy, creating and maintaining relationships — I never appreciated his business stuff very much.
I used a tiny bit here and there on my blog or with my email management system, but it all didn’t make much difference for me.
The expanded edition of “Let Go” was for me.
3. Relating to Pat.
As much as the author seems to be out of my league, I found myself several times nodding in agreement when Pat described his struggles or mistakes.
A comparison trap is a biggie. I struggled with that a lot about two years ago.
Impatience and frustration? Checked.
Feeling unappreciated for my all hard work? Checked. Michal’s story was a good reminder as well. I too was contacted in such a fashion by my readers, and this feeling that I made a positive difference in their lives was uber-rewarding.
Taking too much on my shoulders? Oh, yes. In fact, in September 2016, I cut off all unessential items and put all new projects on hold in order to stay sane.
So despite feeling like a dwarf next to Pat, I still got many times the feeling: “Yep, it was exactly the same in my case.”
What is more, sometimes I could relate even to Pat’s successes. Tracking? I’m a fanatic of it. Networking? I’m doing my best. I give 100%.
4. Values and Principles.
This is the core of this book, and it’s amazing. Pat Flynn focuses on what makes you a good entrepreneur. His teachings are well-aligned with the best business philosophers.
“Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” ― Joyce Meyer
“You cannot succeed by yourself. It’s hard to find a rich hermit.” — Jim Rohn
“Days are expensive. When you spend a day, you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.” — Jim Rohn
Connecting with one’s audience.
“One of the best ways to improve your business is to simply ask your audience.” — Pat Flynn
Pat is a master of this trade. His audience is counted in millions, yet he still manages to have a short conversation on Skype with random followers, still replies to Tweets, comments and emails in person (not all of them, of course), and recently he sent a personalized video to each of a few hundred people who purchased his latest course.
There are a lot more nuggets of business wisdom in the book. I just instanced a few off the top of my head.
Pat isn’t afraid to be vulnerable. He really tries as mightily as possible to be fully transparent while keeping some needed privacy. He shares the moments with his family and lessons he gives his kids. And he doesn’t hide his fails.
One good example (not from the book, but Pat is always like that): In SPI episode 273 Pat shared his first ever audio file posted on the Internet. Wow, it made me chuckle. I could do better than that with my thick-accented English! In the same episode, Pat shares Michal’s story, and you can hear how his voice trembles with emotion.
Authenticity is Pat Flynn’s trademark. “Let Go” is no exception.
6. The End.
The last lesson Pat gives in “Let Go” is the one about fear and failure. It really impacted me. I heard this message many times before, including the Will Smith’s video from YT that Pat quotes in the book. However, hearing it from Pat finally made a difference for me.
Fear of failure is the main obstacle on the road to entrepreneurship, because this road is filled with failures. Pat urges his readers to make a mind shift and see failures as an inevitable part of the process, because it is that.
A few weeks ago, I read a book with interviews of 101 successful entrepreneurs and most of them refused to acknowledge failures. Failure for them was a learning experience that led to success. Once you get this, you will be able to break through your fear. The fear will not be gone, as Pat explains, but you will finally be able to take action.
I judge nonfiction books mainly by one criterion: if I took action based on the content. Right in the middle of reading “Let Go,” I stopped and did something I procrastinated with out of fear for a long time.
I called my friend who is a graphic designer and asked him to design a business card for me. I will need them during the live event I’ll attend in three weeks.
“Let Go” is a great book that really can help you transform from employee mindset into entrepreneur mindset. I’m very excited about Pat’s next project, The Let Go Experience. This is really something I see a great demand for. Technical knowledge is easy to find and implement. But this subtle mindset shift that can really help you utilize all the tools out there and make you an entrepreneur is so elusive!
“Let Go” helped me to follow this path.
I finish this review with my favorite quote from the book:
“In order to grow, you have to let go.”
Originally published on Amazon