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EP 4 - How to Grow Your Dream Business with Pat Miller

Updated: Jun 13, 2023















Listen: Spotify | Apple | Google | Audible


TedX speaker, Community Builder and Coach; meet Pat Miller, The Idea Coach

Pat Miller hosts The Idea Collective for solopreneurs, where he has created a community that supports others as they grow their businesses! He continually generates new ideas and inspires others with many creative ideas!! He also likes to support other business owners in the Idea Collective community by creating a safe space for solopreneurs to feel like they belong!


Find Pat Online:


 


Jaime White

This is the Believe Crew Podcast, and the business is you! Being an entrepreneur, no matter what stage of the journey, requires personal growth to sustain your success and create the ultimate life of abundance. I'm Jamie White, Founder of Believe Crew, and your host! Join me as I interview coaches, entrepreneurs and authors that inspire us to go where they have gone. Be inspired today to grow and be the best you! Well, today I have a special guest on the Believe Crew Podcast. I know, I know, where is he? It's Pat Miller, with the Idea Collective. We can't wait to dig in. If I can have you start with who you are, what you do, and what would you like to share about your story of how you got to where you are?


Pat Miller

Oh, man, well, it's not what I expected to be doing. So it's kind of a twisty, turny kind of journey to get to where I am. But I'm Pat Miller, I call myself the idea coach, because I'm on the planet to help people think bigger and create great ideas. Right now I'm the founder and, you know, responsible person for the Idea Collective small business incubator, which is an international online community to help small business owners build their dreams. And I got here, like, through radio, I thought I was gonna be a radio guy forever. And I was on the air for 22 years building stations moving all around the Midwest. And I just woke up one day, after a series of being, you know, things going not so great, and being kind of frustrated, and realized that I was building somebody else's dream. And I don't know if it was a midlife crisis, or what, but I thought this can't stand. I can't do this anymore. Life is too short to do that. So I decided to leave the radio industry, start consulting small businesses, and that was four years ago. And here we are now. And I'm happier and healthier and more content than I've ever been.


Jaime White

Pat, I love that we share that connection of like that interest in small business, right? My background was entrepreneurial. And I absolutely, it is a whole different journey than some of the other things that are out there. And so your voice, obviously, I love that you have this radio voice, and then you can come on a podcast and share it as well. So it's it, you can use your past talents as you move forward. But tell us a little bit more about what you ended up finding out when you thought well, hey, I want to maybe I could be a coach. I mean, was it just like, I'm gonna be a coach, what was the thought process in those in those moments in those early beginning moments?


Pat Miller

I think it's accidental coaching is what happened. I started just by helping people, I was taught to network by showing up and helping. And it turned out that I asked some interesting questions sometimes and get people thinking, and it turned out into well, could we sit down and do a one on one? Yeah, sure, no problem. And in the course of that one on one, we'd solve their problem, or we'd make them think differently or bigger. And that started happening over and over again. And it just kind of turned into a coaching style product. I still did marketing stuff, I still, you know, generated ideas for people and did facilitation and that sort of stuff. But as we move forward, it turned out that, you know, coaching was kind of a thing. I like it, and it was kind of effective, and people kept on asking me for it. So I kind of became a coach by default.


Jaime White

And when you think about, like yourself, were you specifically coaching in a way where you felt that you already had everything that you needed to be able to help people like this? Or were there moments where you were like, who am I? What, what, where am I supposed to be going like, how did you help yourself through that process? Were you coaching yourself too.


Pat Miller

I'm still doing that every day, that journey never, ever stops? I've had some exciting things happen recently. And I'm still thinking, Whoa, that's not for me. I can't do that. It seems like if that's something that you think about, it's something you never stop thinking about. And you'll never achieve your way out of imposter syndrome. At least I haven't yet. And if someone figures out a way to do it, God bless. But I haven't figured it out yet. And if they figure it out, share it with me because it would certainly make my life a little bit easier. But it's something that's always hanging around.


Jaime White

So if you think about personal development, it's kind of this huge subject. And if I asked you what books do you read around the areas of personal development, and not professional development, like Profit First or you know, Jesse Cole, I know we love some of his books with Fans First, but like, personally, what are some of the books that you pick up and you go, I actually need to think differently than I do. Right now.


Pat Miller

The two books recently spoke to me and they weren't professional how to do things books, they were more personal development books. Tara Moore's Playing Big, was really impactful for me. And the other book series that really spoke to me and I was surprised because it's really not for me. But Jen Sincero, Badass book series was fantastic. Her book on making money and just you are a badass, both of those books, I thought were really good. And they were so easy to consume, because they were so well written. And so conversational. I found them easy reads that really kind of opened my mind to things that either I had pushed under the rug or hadn't really considered before. But both of those books I thought were great.


Jaime White

I love both of those books. They're actually their target. Is their target audience, women like that. I love it. Weren't you in Ewomen for a while to embracing this? I love it.



I know. And I don't know what's going on there. But it turned out that both of them were exactly what I needed to hear maybe I'm just so manly that I need to be developed. Maybe that's what it is.


Jaime White

No, I think there's actually something there to where some of the the masculine side of the way that society was even run, some of the last several years has been like, just go out there and do it, get it, you know, make it happen. And then there's like this feminine side, or maybe just sort of a different way of processing things that's kind of like this flow that's coming into society of like, actually, maybe there's another way?


Pat Miller

Well, both of those books get right at what you were talking about, which is how you think about what you do, and how you think about the your ability to do more than what you're doing right now. They were written and targeted to women. But a lot of guys, me included, are still dealing with those things. So when you open your mind to the potential, and your possibility of what might be waiting for you if you go out and work hard and get clear. Maybe that's why they spoke to me, but I loved them.


Jaime White

I love it, Pat, and I love it that you love them. And partially. I feel like you're embracing what really society is asking for not just women, but just this. Is there something more that I haven't considered? And what are the new perspectives that I can look at it from somebody, you know, have you considered it from this perspective? When you think about money mindset, I love what you said about Jen Sincero, I love her books also. And there was someone that opened up my mind to something with just a really short awareness. She is a money mindset coach now I think but she started with becoming bankrupt or going bankrupt, I think. And basically her sentence was, if my mind could create bankruptcy, and make it to be true in 14 months, then I started to wonder what if I turn that thought process around? What could I create in 14 months? If I just shifted my thinking, and we focus so much on something that sometimes we don't realize how much we're actually creating it just by continuing to think about it.


Pat Miller

That's a really deep thought. And I totally believe it as well. I always say, Oh, I'm not very woowoo. But maybe I am more woowoo than I give myself. Maybe I have some


Jaime White

So you decide to become a coach, kind of by accident or the accidental coach. And now what are some of the big dreams that you think about from where you are today? That was four years ago? And what about today?


Pat Miller

Well, continued transformation that happened by accident, is the one on one coaching turned into group coaching accidentally when the pandemic hit, because when the pandemic hit, I started hosting shows like this for small business owners, because our personal networks all melted when the pandemic hit. So I started doing shows I call it Rally Point. And we were doing it every single day at the beginning of the pandemic because people were freaking out, me included. So the idea was get together, let's talk about what we see. Let's share information. And let's stay positive. Because if we stay positive and connected, we'll all get through this. And we did. But 90 days after doing it, someone said you created a community. Now community is a very buzzy word right now. And a lot of people that say the word community don't know what they're talking about. And I didn't know what I was talking about. But we launched one anyway. And in the last two years, I've learned Okay, here's what a community is. And what it's doing is it's giving me the opportunity to shift my goals a little bit when I started coaching or I started my business and like I want to make a lot of money. And yeah, making a lot of money would be nice, but at first it was make a lot of money by doing a bunch of one on one coaching. Maybe selling some classes, yada, yada, yada. But that goal has shifted now where I want to help people at scale. And to do that, I need to build a community where they are better as they get bigger because they want to talk to each other, not just me, that's the definition of community, by the way in the difference than an audience. And I need to go run for office and spread this message to as many people as I can. So I can help people at scale, we can grow the community, we can have important conversations we can make people feel like they're not alone on their entrepreneurial journey. So it's accidental that I became a coach. And then it was accidental, that I went from one on one coaching to group coaching to now community management to audience development and growth. So that way, we can take this message to every entrepreneur. So that's now the goal, helping small business owners at scale. And it's been kind of an accident to get here. But yeah, that's what's next.


Pat Miller

It sounds like you're being more intentional this time around than just accidental. So what are some of the things that you're running into personally, when you are in that personal space of just you? And some of the doubts start to creep in? Maybe what are some of them that you're running into? And how do you deal with it when they come up?



Dealing with it, it's tough, you have to have people you can lean on. And when you have the right people around you to remind you that you're doing your best, and that's okay. And you're doing better than you think you're being too hard on yourself, right. And what you're worried about isn't going to come true and probably isn't real in the first place. I mean, those kinds of folks that can reflect that back to you, that would be super important. The things that bugged me, I feel like I'm letting people down, if I don't make things magical, good enough, isn't good enough to me. I want things to be other worldly, which is an impossible standard. And I'm not saying I'm even talented enough to do that. But in my head, I want it to be the best, the greatest, the biggest, because I feel like I owe it to the people in the community. So when something doesn't go right, or I fail, or I stumble or something's bad, I feel like I've let them down, which is not healthy. But that's how I feel right? Because I really am invested in everyone who has taken the time to invest in me and in what we're doing. So that's one thing. Another thing that happens and people that create content, or try and build audiences for a living, I think will resonate with this. When you put a piece of content out and it doesn't do as well as you'd like, or you're trying to get on a bigger stage, and you're told no, or you're trying to do something new, so you can get in front of more people. The doubts really start creeping in. Am I good enough to do this? People don't like my message. Who am I to be doing those sorts of things. I mean, you know, those sorts of things. So letting people down and worrying if you have what it takes. Those are two of the things that that creep in. And they creep in so frequently, that they don't even worry me. They're just like my co workers almost right. Like they're just here all the time as I go you again. Right.


Jaime White

I love that. So before I kind of jump into some of the thoughts that came up for me, is there anything that you've taken away recently from the Tarah Moore book because I know she talks about playing vague? And kind of addresses some of those thoughts? Is there anything that kind of stood out for you when you think about the feelings that you just brought up?


Pat Miller

I mean, she had a ton to say there, nothing's leaping to mind right? Now, it's probably a good time to go back and reread that book. And there's one other thing that I'll share about those two thoughts. When you get a new opportunity that's put in front of you, or something good happens. The next coworker that shows up is, for me, at least, is frustration. And the frustration comes in, because I've never written a speech like this before, or I've never consulted a client this big, and I'm worried it's not going to be good. And I get frustrated because I've never done it before. And I had this realization in the past week. That's good. And the reason why it's good is you're frustrated because you're doing something new, you're literally growing. These are growing pains. This is frustration. It's not inability, it's not a bad mindset. It's nothing like that. It's you're just trying something new. And when you're trying something new, it's not going to feel smooth the first time, but that means you're outside your comfort zone. So you're growing. So I had that realization in the last week or two and that's helped a lot.


Jaime White

That's huge. I remember when we were doing some new projects in real estate development. And the comment was, I just wish we weren't always stumbling around in the dark or it didn't feel like we were always stumbling around in the dark and like my thought back was, then we wouldn't be doing something new, like, this is something you know, we were doing grocery store conversions to self storage. And doing a remodel project at any scale in any level usually has, you know, some moments of feeling like you're wandering around in the dark, so then take that and, you know, kind of multiply it, it's not going to, but I love the thought that it's, it's actually makes me think of Jesse Cole and the culture that he's created with his company, I feel like he's created this culture of expect change, and we create change, we're actually the people that are creating change. And when you get to that level, even in your own personal life, or even in business, where we're okay with being uncomfortable, because we want to be uncomfortable, it means that we're doing something right. We're in that growing place. And that's what I hear you saying. So that's pretty exciting.


Pat Miller

Let me add onto that real quick. Yeah, that's tough is, we think, the more that we do it, it will eventually get easy. And you kind of hope it never gets easy, right? Because if it gets easy, that means you're not growing anymore. But that's the thing I've been thinking about lately. Yeah.


Jaime White

No, that's, that's the deep stuff. Right, that sometimes. What I wondered, when I was starting on my personal growth journey is sort of like, how did people not really tell me some of these things? You know, how come I'm just finding them out now that it's okay to be uncomfortable. And we were doing some personal work today about like, what is the measuring stick that you're using to measure success by whether it's, you know, personally with your physical life, or professionally or, you know, maybe your financials like, and then we change that measuring stick based on, you know, like, oh, maybe we actually got to a point that we were okay. And so then we change the stick, like, instead of just being where we are, yeah. So this community that you're building, and this dream that you're building and getting this message out to more people, when you're talking about those co workers that actually believe in you, and not the ones that, you know, share the doubts and fears? Yes, those other your inner circle, let's refer to, I definitely have found that sometimes that amazing moment is when I'm crashing, in my belief, and I, my doubts and fears are starting to kick in. And then they see it, even sometimes when I don't, and I'm so thankful for that. What have you found, with your inner circle with that feeling?


Pat Miller

I've been very fortunate because there are people that are working on this project with me, just because they're passionate about it, they don't have equity in it, they don't make any money off our growth, but they believe in what we're doing. And I'm giving them what I can, I'm giving them status in the group, and I'm giving them stage time and all the stuff that I can do. But they're really keen to the idea. And I think in a way, the community also knows that they're participating in the fulfillment of the dream, that they're there to help one another, and they get it. But I also think the group itself knows that what we're doing is bigger than just them. It's not necessarily what I want. But we all kind of know, we're trying to make something real that isn't real in other places. So it's mission based, in a way. So I've had that happen before I had a big massive giant fail in August, super fail, mega fail. And it wasn't anything is evil or wrong. It was just I tried to do something, and it didn't work. But it was out loud. And everybody saw it. And I got a ton of messages of encouragement and keep dreaming and keep trying. And don't worry about it. The timing wasn't right, like, lots of love. And that tells me that the community is healthy. And that's a good thing. And I would hope if anybody in the community failed, that we would all rally around them saying, Hey, keep trying. Because if you're not failing, you're not dreaming big enough. So I've had that happen recently. And I've been very fortunate.


Jaime White

That story's amazing Pat, and it makes me think of a story that I heard. And so I'm gonna set the stage a little bit. This guy is when I met him, he was probably 91. Today he is 95/96. And he's still traveling the world and speaking on stages. And the story One of the stories that I heard him tell he had been in another country and hiking and he had fallen down in I don't know if it was raining, but you know, imagine that he's covered in mud. And then he gets down to the bottom of the hill. And he takes a shower, and he basically says, you know, nobody knew nobody would have known that I would have fallen down. Had I or because I took a shower when I got done. I'm off the hill, right? But had I either not taking a shower right now wipe the mud off, or not pick myself up, then people would have known that I'd fallen down. And I think of that, like, so many times when we fall, we think, Oh, this, this is the sign that I'm not supposed to be in as an entrepreneur. If you use falling down as a sign that you're not supposed to be doing it, we're gonna be in trouble.


Pat Miller

Yeah, I'd be working at a hotdog stand.


Jaime White

Yeah, and I remember thinking to like, sometimes it feels like a block wall that's in front of us. And you wonder, What am I supposed to do with this, like, losing our way, because there's something that's in front of us that sort of blocking our view or blocking our vision, versus, you know, what's on the other side of that wall, if we actually couldn't find a way around it.


Pat Miller

And, you know, to build on that, as we stand in front of that wall, what we forget, is that we're not in a field by ourselves. We're standing, you know, center court, and all of our fans and followers and family members, and network are all in the stadium cheering for us, they want to see us succeed, we sometimes forget that. And it's reassuring to know that there are others that are in your close knit network that want to see you succeed, they're cheering for you, and your clients are cheering for you, as well. Your coaching clients want to see you do well, they want to see you play bigger, and they want to see you continue to ascend, because it reinforces their choice to work with you. So everyone's cheering for you to be successful. But sometimes it just feels like we're all alone. And when that happens, it feels insurmountable and super heavy.


Jaime White

In addition to what you're pointing out there, I think of as a parent, that sometimes our kids want to see us succeed. And oftentimes, I don't know, I'm gonna call it like the parent syndrome or something. Because we're willing to put money into our kids, we're willing to, we want them to succeed. And I don't know, maybe we even have some external validation around it where like, if our kids succeed, then it means we're okay. Or we're doing okay. Right. But how often did they actually want to see us succeed so that they believe it's possible for them. And so us showing up for ourselves is the thing that the people around us want to see most.


Pat Miller

I have a funny story about that. I'm not sure what happened. But I got selected to do a TEDx talk in October, and I'm super excited about it. It's one of the very first things that I put inside our family for our teenagers to see that they thought was cool. Because we sat down at the table, and literally around the dinner table. Like, you know, Americana stereotypical, we're all sitting down kids Dad's got an announcement, right? Because I was really excited. And I wanted to share it with them. But I was conditioned to know they wouldn't care wouldn't get it, you know, they'd have no impression whatsoever. Well, guys, I'm really excited. I got a TEDx and my son, he's 16. looked at me. You!! You!! Like, yeah, so like, I think it kind of shifted his perception a little bit about Whoa. So anyway, I


Jaime White

awesome. I'm so excited. That I know that I know, the what I would have expected was the mom seriously, you know, kind of like that eye roll of like, Yeah, sure. Another thing you're doing. And so to get that, you know, like, whoa, you but they want to see that right? The same with our inner circle. The same with our clients, the same with our fans, they want to see us succeeding. And in a way, maybe this is going down a different lane here. But in a way, I think we think that it's more humble, to stay in the background are to not brag about our successes or to not celebrate our successes. And I know the idea Collective is really good about making space for celebrating successes. But do you feel like in society in general, that that, that that's the thing?


Pat Miller

Yes, absolutely. And I think we are more concerned about what people will think, than we are about their feelings because it was you or some other brilliant coach that pointed out to me that when you shun praise, you're actually stealing the chance of your friends and family members to love on you. And you're actually killing an opportunity where they want to share their affection and excitement for you. And if you are whatever I left side law To change a topic, like if you kind of push it away thinking you're being humble, you're actually stealing from them, because they want to love you when you're pushing it away, which is like super deep thought, right? But it's true, because we're so concerned that we don't want to be braggy. Or have people think that we think we're hot stuff. But by doing that, we are, you know, not being kind and loving to the people that love us. Like, we need to give them an opportunity to love up on us because they want to,


Jaime White

and love that, that that actually comes into play in a lot of coaching because giving and receiving, it's a two way street. And if you think that you can just give and not receive, there's actually a bit of a wall there. Like it's just it's no longer a two way street. So the super important stuff, I love it. If you were to are you thinking of writing a book or anything like that, if you were to write a book, what would the Title V? Do you know? Or? Or what would you like the title to be if you wrote the book today?


Pat Miller

Well, I can give you a spoiler alert, you


Jaime White

That's what I need, a spoiler alert.


Pat Miller

Here's the spoiler alert, because we just titled the TEDx that I'm doing next month. And the TEDx title working title, reserve the right to change it. Working Title is Life is too short to build other people's dreams, because that's what happened to me. And that's what I believe about what solopreneurs are doing. They're building dreams, not jobs. And it all comes back to we only get one spin around the globe here like you can do it or don't. So either go spend your life making someone else wealthy and build their dream, or use this one precious opportunity that we have to take our time and our talents as far as we can go. So that's the title of the TED Talk. And it's going to lean into the community. And it's going to talk about what we teach and what we celebrate in the idea collective. So yeah, if I were going to write a book, that's why I'd write about,


Jaime White

that's awesome. And on a personal note, how has juggling being an entrepreneur compared to where you were when you were in radio, shifted, in your home life or in your personal life?



Not much, maybe not as much as some other professions, because being in radio is a calling. And it was a 24/7 job. My job for the longest time was the morning show host. So I was out of the house by four in the morning every day. And you are also the leading talent on the station. So if something happened, you had to go on the air. And I was the program director, which meant I was the brand manager and in charge of everything that went on the air and on social media. So if there ever was a news event, or somebody didn't show up for work, you were always on. So it translates relatively easily to what I'm doing now, which is you're always on because you're running a small business and you're always on so of the professions, mine probably wasn't the biggest difference between leaving your nine to five so you can work 24/7 The old joke, right? So mine was already 24/7. So not too much of a difference.


Jaime White

I'm glad you shared that though. Because that's the perspective, right? I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and you work the weekends and the holidays, so everyone else can have off. You know, it's like, we'll take the vacation when no one else wants one. And we'll find somewhere in the country. That's a good time to go. But yeah, that's that's definitely portion of the entrepreneurial life and your family embraces it with you. And you and your wife are both in the entrepreneurial bucket. So your kids have a healthy dose dose of it.


Pat Miller

And she's got a really seasonal business. She's a photographer, and she specializes in senior pictures, high school senior pictures, and that peak season is July through Thanksgiving, essentially. And she's go go go during those four or five months. And then the rest of the year calms down a little bit. So we actually have an action plan. And seasons of our relationship were from this time to this time I pick up these chores. And from this time to this time she picks up these chores and like we had to divvy up the family responsibilities around our businesses. Because yeah, it's it's that ingrained.


Jaime White

Yeah, very cool. So how do you run a retreat? Still during her? The end of her busy season?


Pat Miller

Yeah, we go about four weeks without seeing one another. Not literally, but pretty literally, she's winding down her peak season. And I'm pulling off the retreat in the second week of November. And Thanksgiving is the finish line for us. By the time we get to Thanksgiving Day, which is my favorite holiday. There is no second place. That is my favorite holiday. By the time we get to Thanksgiving Day. It's just like, you know, you unplugged the blow up snowman in the front yard, right and then the the snowman just goes. That's what we do for about four days and completely recover and it all starts up again in December.


Jaime White

That's awesome. Well, Pat, is there anything else that you would like to share? about personal growth developing personally, your business, being an entrepreneur, anything?


Pat Miller

You know, one thing I'd like to share is that you are an expert question asker. And I've had the opportunity, personally and professionally to work with you. And you ask great questions, and you have laser guided vision. And if someone is thinking about having a real conversation with you, they should because you've really affected me, and I'm very grateful for your time and your talent. So thank you for having me today, of course, but also thank you for your contributions, which I don't even think you were really trying and you still were awesome. So I really appreciate it.


Jaime White

Thank you, Pat. And with that lead in, I actually had someone at a conference that I was at, I was just asking my normal questions. And after a little bit, she asked a little bit more about what I do. And then she said, Oh, good. She said, I thought you were either nuts or taking a survey. Oh, thank you. That's awesome. So yes, I absolutely love to ask questions. And apparently it only falls into two categories when you ask direct questions. You're either nuts or taking a survey. Well, thank you. Thank you for coming on the podcast and giving people some gold to think about and just inspiring others in the way that you do.


Pat Miller

Well, it's my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

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