Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn Almost Killed Buck Inspire

WARNING: If you have unwavering self-confidence and self-esteem, stop reading. It will be a complete waste of your time. If you have bouts of self-doubt, please continue. The story below may prove helpful and entertaining just like a guru gladiator.

It’s been awhile since I wrote an over the top post. But this time, the dramatics almost came true. I’ve been pushing myself extremely hard the past two months and been achieving some pretty productive personal goals. I survived my first year of blogging, went to my first BlogWorld New Media Expo, created my first podcast, partnered with Incrwd, and added a professional sounding podcast intro. I was flying high with all this momentum and ready to soar to greater heights in 2012. Everything screeched to a grinding halt when I visited I Will Teach You To Be Rich and Smart Passive Income.

Ramit Sethi Speaking Video

Since things were humming along, I thought perhaps I could start setting my sights on higher goals, specifically making videos and speaking. I visited I Will Teach You To Be Rich’s About section and watched Ramit Sethi’s Speaking Video. It was totally awesome. But then a strange thing happened. Self-doubt and inadequacy reared its ugly head. Sethi ripped on a personal finance frugality story where the blogger cut down on some grains of rice to save fifteen cents. “Get a life!” I nodded in agreement, but then realized I have a half a dozen stories on saving a quarter or two during my bus commute! He continued his rant by saying there are tons of personal finance information out there that is totally irrelevant. He has developed systems to help people achieve results. More power to him, but where does that leave me? What am I thinking? Who do I think I am? How can I compete with his 250,000 visitors per month and his extensive media coverage? I took a breather and switched gears by visiting Smart Passive Income. Buck Inspire was on life support and Pat Flynn nearly finished me off.

Pat Flynn’s How to Be Everywhere – Building a Profitable BRAND by Thinking Outside the Blog

To catch my breath after Ramit Sethi sent me reeling, I decided to learn a thing or two about improving my budding podcast. I went straight to Pat Flynn’s podcast section and watched his video presentation from BlogWorld LA, SPI 028. I confess. After BlogWorld LA, I was so inspired that I wanted to speak at next year’s event! I am still debating my topic, but it quickly became a new personal goal. I then soaked in over an hour of killer content from Pat. His presentation was off the charts. I learned so much, but then it was déjà vu. What am I thinking? Who do I think I am? I am doing better than two cents from Adsense, but when compared to Pat’s monthly reports, I’m missing a few zeroes. My podcasts are just under two minutes. Pat’s are over an hour. You want to speak? Are you insane?

Breathe Buck Breathe

Buck Inspire is producing and innovating like never before. But when stacked up against Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn, I felt like I didn’t belong, I wasn’t in the same league, and almost pulled the plug on Buck Inspire all together. What’s the point? Why am I wasting my time? It is hopeless! My confidence was shot. My mojo was gone. The tough got going and I almost got up and went. What saved me? One word, basketball.

NBA: It’s Fantastic

When I was younger, I loved playing basketball. I could go on for hours. Part of the fun was watching NBA videos and mimicking the moves of the superstars. Skyhook. Killer Crossover. Jab Step. First Step. Pump Fake. Dream Shake. Watching, practicing, and using the moves on the court made me a better player. The entire process was fantastic. Although I imitated the moves fairly well, no one would ever mistake me for a NBA player, Kareem, Jordan, or Hakeem. I am 5’10” on a good day. I have no fast twitch muscles and I can barely touch the backboard these days. What does this have to do with Ramit and Pat? Plenty. Although they are online superstars, they seem so accessible like you and me that I couldn’t help but compare myself to them. I momentarily forgot that they’ve been in the game for years. I just passed year one. I then realized my huge mistake and was unfairly and unrealistically judging myself. I developed a short action item list to improve myself and stop being my own worst enemy.


Just like in basketball, find a move (crossover dribble) you can apply to take your game to the next level. Ramit developed step-by-step scripts and processes that are easy to follow, actionable, and designed to help anyone succeed. If I create a post to help my readers, I need to attack the problem in Sethi fashion and provide a simple, understandable solution.


After finding the move, practice, practice, practice. Referring back to basketball, dribble with your right hand, quickly crossover to your left. Dribble with your left hand and quickly crossover to the right. Do this often enough and your crossover dribble will become quicker and deadlier in game time situations. Even Pat admits his current podcast is so much better than his first. Practice does make perfect. He also practices tirelessly on his presentations and his hard work paid off as a technical malfunction rendered his BlogWorld slides almost useless. He managed to roll with the punches, delivered a memorable presentation, and was one of the highlight presenters of the show.

Don’t Compare

Just like how I am not Kareem, Jordan, or Hakeem, we are also not Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn. If we emulate their time-tested methods and practice as diligently as they do, we are guaranteed to achieve some level of access. If we compare our achievements with theirs, it would be just as ridiculous as wondering why I never came close to winning NBA championships.

Final Thoughts

Although this is focused on blogging, you can apply the same principle to making money, planning for retirement, debt management, and investing. There are tons of systems and techniques out there. Find the one that suits you, emulate it, and practice. Over time and if you are truly applying yourself, you will improve. You may never make the NBA or become a household name, but at least you are constantly improving and being the best you can be. Finally, don’t compare yourself to others. Ego and emotions come into play. You start to chase high flying stocks, try to keep up with the Joneses with extravagant purchases, and make illogical real estate and lines of credit moves that could make you worse off than when you started.

Stay Inspired!

Ramit Sethi Speaking Video

Pat Flynn How to Be Everywhere – Building a Profitable BRAND by Thinking Outside the Blog

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58 Responses

  1. Moneycone says:

    Everyone has to start somewhere and take that first step and that includes Pat and Ramit.

    What separates them from the rest is the fact, they survived these self doubts and kept on doing and improving what they do best.

    I can only see a brighter future for you Buck. Don’t let self doubt creep in.

  2. There’s no harm in competing with the best. It will only keep you ahead of many others. You are doing good Buck, keep going.

  3. Buck, I totally understand!!!!! Jean Chatsky recommends if you are going to compare, make sure to compare with those doing less with you. Then you won’t feel too bad. I always think of myself as a singles hitter, not a home run hitter. I’m a plodder who believes hard work, discipline, and persistence pays off. check back with me in 5 years. One year is way to short to feel bad.

  4. Aloysa says:

    I learned not to compare the hard way. It almost destroyed me! Figuratively speaking. 🙂 You are doing great Buck. I can’t wait to see where you will be a year from now. I bet something big! I better get your autograph while I can, huh?

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Count me in as almost destroyed! So glad you are sticking to your comeback. You look stronger than ever! Can’t wait to see where you are, too. Speaking of autographs, I’m still waiting on yours!

  5. Eric says:

    Use the best as benchmarks and inspiration, but not for comparison. I have met both Ramit and Pat, and both are normal humans like you and me.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Wise words Eric. Like I said in my post, they seem so normal and human… Hard to break the comparison habit. If they were over six feet tall and can dunk, it is slightly easier to not compare!

  6. krantcents says:

    Buck, are you trying to keep up with the “Jones”? If you want to emulate these people set a reasonable goal and time frame and work toward it.

  7. Very sound advice but like Krant said, don’t try to keep up. Set a goal and determine a plan and work at it. Good things take time. This is what I have come to realize.

  8. Evan says:

    I sometimes will see people’s income or traffic reports and I get jealous – sort of like “what do they have that I don’t?” or “What can I do better?” It usually takes a few minutes of deep breathes to remember to learn from those bigger guys rather than the alternative and natural (for me) response

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Not sure if I get jealous, but I understand your point. I think I was getting overwhelmed at the mountain I still had to climb to get to the top. Nearly lost my footing and almost tumbled all the way down. Thanks for chiming in!

  9. I’m guilty of this. I compare myself to other people all the time, and I somehow convince myself that I consistently come up short. Sometimes I even think I should quit blogging because I don’t think that I have anything to offer. But then I take a step back, regroup, and remind myself that at one point, those people who I envy were once me, envying someone else. Then I use that to work harder and hope that I can achieve even half of their success.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Don’t you hate that we’re our own worst critics? Life is tough enough. We should really be our biggest supporter! Like your angle of having reasonable goals. Now go get them, Jana!

  10. I am with you on this one – not intellectually but existentially. And thanks for the tips (for what it is worth I also think you are doing great and have to kick myself so I stop comparing).

  11. Great post. I like to play golf a lot and for the simple fact that I am competing more against myself than anyone else. I try to do the same thing with my blog and realize that I am striving to improve upon my previous efforts one day at a time. I can proudly say that I am doing just this. I may or may not get to the Pat Flynn level someday, but it won’t matter as much to me as long as I can keep setting my goals and eventually achieving them.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks CFM! Great analogy on golf. Perhaps I should pick it up. May help me calm my nerves, haha. You sound like you have your head screwed on straight. Even better, you have reasonable goals and a plan. Good luck to you and can’t wait to see you when you get there!

  12. I applaud you for looking to up, emulating and studying successful bloggers. You aren’t content to plod along doing what you’ve always done – you are reaching for the stars!

  13. Moments of doubt are completely normal and I’m glad you worked through these. Kudos for your very human admission.

    The magic of new media is that we each have a voice. We have access to the same tools as the big-shots, and I’m sure they can feel the hoards of up and comers nipping at their heels.

    I believe it was Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers that explained a pretty good theory on why some people appear to enjoy overnight super-stardom. They have simply been working at it for longer. Tiger Woods started at a very young age, Anderson Cooper was a nobody journalist for 10 years, and so on. Ten years is the magic number (according to Gladwell) to dedicate yourself to something before you will develop master-like skills.

    Let’s re-visit this post in 9 years and see where you are.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Hunter! I knew I was right in selecting my inaugural listener of the week! Thanks for the tidbit from Outliers. I can’t wait to see Financially Consumed in 9 years, too. Don’t forget the little people!

  14. Arlee Bird says:

    You’re you and that’s who we come for here. Hone the you and make it the best you that you can be and you will have found your niche.

    And please stick with podcasts that are just a few minute. I am not going to listen to 2 hours of anyone very often—not enough time in my day.


  15. I think I went to Ramit Sethi’s site…once to enter a contest to win virtual assistance services. I think I have been to Pat Flynn’s site once too. I have been to your site far more than that!

    I have lived in the Madison, WI area for three years and have never set foot in the local Walmart once! Ramit Sethi and Walmart may have tons of traffic but they don’t have me…

    The point is that you are expanding the pie. You are attracting personal finance bloggers who are not interested in the “big wigs”. Their numbers may grow…but who says that yours cannot grow too.

    Love the post!

  16. Jackie says:

    Love this post. You are going to BE somebody, I can tell. (Of course you’re somebody already, but I hope you know what I mean.) Keep at it.

    Also, would you like to be a guest on my still-not-launched podcast? 🙂

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Jackie! Don’t worry, I know what you mean, haha. I still haven’t figured out how to have an interview format podcast. When you get yours going, would love to be a guest. Sounds like an exciting new year for Money Crush!

  17. Like the basketball analogy. As an old fan myself, I remember all the young players the media pinned as the next Jordan. Of course none of them lived up to the hype. But the ones that succeeded made a name for themselves. Work hard and be you! Great post.

  18. 101 Centavos says:

    “You’re not that guy”
    What worked for them, might not work for you, and vice versa. Just keep at it. I was fussing with myself this morning that I hadn’t had an ad inquiry in quite some time, and wouldn’t you know, one showed up in the inbox just around noon.

  19. “Finally, don’t compare yourself to others. Ego and emotions come into play. You start to chase high flying stocks, try to keep up with the Joneses with extravagant purchases, and make illogical real estate and lines of credit moves that could make you worse off than when you started.”

    So hard to do, but so very important. We can learn from others, but when we start engaging in Jones-style behavior that can open up trouble. Well, unless you perpetually have flawless confidence or something. 😉

  20. Dr Dean says:

    Buck, It is human nature to compare yourself to others….I know when I’m in the stall everyone is peeking…..:)

    Our celebrity culture has made all of us wired funny and are reaching for things we probably wouldn’t want when we get there.

    Keep your family and friends close, try to help others and you’ll be number one where it counts. If celebrity happens fine, but it can make your family time tougher to find, so be careful what you wish for.

    Good luck finding what makes you happy!

  21. Lauren says:

    I am new to blogging world and just starting on with it. After reading this blog, I am excited in one way and prepared in another way. Prepared because I now know that I may have to face many problems and sacrifice many things in my journey to become one of the best blogger. And excited because if I overcome all the problems, I am going to be successful one day.

  22. Just be yourself! You will do great!

  23. Nothing wrong with a little wake-me-up every now and then Buck but keep in mind Ramit and Pat did not get where they are over night. You are doing incredible work Buck and like others have said, your future looks bright!

  24. Forest says:

    Awesome post Buck, you have a unique voice and we enjoy it so I don’t think you need to emulate anyone…. here’s to an awesome 2012.

  25. Top post mate, I really love what Ramit and Pat do, but they leave me feeling inadequate too! I like your sporting star analogy, that is going to be what keeps me going for the time being as well.

    Keep up the great work!

  26. Taline says:

    I totally understand where you’re coming from as I’ve been guilty of visiting Pat’s site monthly to check on his income reports.

    I’ve noticed that a large percentage of his income is from affiliate marketing, particularly Bluehost and Market Samurai. He’s given great reviews on both. He barely promotes Bluehost and only has an affiliate link and makes over $18K/month off of it! He even says himself he doesn’t push it and is amazed it consistantly brings in so much.

    I really like Pat and he still comes across rather humble and offers great content. As for Ramit, I can say that I can definitely do without his ego. It made me no longer visit his site because I was tired of him tooting his own horn so to speak.

    What I can say is to not necessarily compare yourself to them, only use them for inspiration to know it is possible to achieve. Rome wasn’t built in a night and neither is a successful blogging empire. Hang in there. Your site is great, I’m sure you too will get there 🙂

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks for the encouraging words Taline. I appreciate it! I noticed Pat’s monthly reports and the insane number from Bluehost. I also enjoy Pat over Ramit because of the lack of ego. I guess you associate more with people who are similar to you. Looks like we’re on the same team. Thanks again!

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