The Effect My Kids Have Had on My Business

flynnsMy kids have changed me, and they’ve changed my business.

It has been an incredible challenge to balance being a parent to little children and being a parent to a business too, but despite the challenges I can definitely say that my kids have made an extremely positive impact on the growth of my business and who I am as a person.

This isn’t a post about why and whether or not you should have kids – it’s a post about the lessons I’ve learned since becoming a parent and how they apply to my business – and how they might apply to yours too – whether you have kids or not.

I’ve Learned to Be Super Efficient (Because I Have to Be)

Before having kids, I remember having all the time in the world to work on my business. I had long stretches of time to really get things done and I didn’t realize just how precious that time was until my kids were born. Once they entered this world, most of that time was dedicated to them and there was very little time left over for my business and my blog.

Any extra time was typically spent catching up on sleep, and the blocks of time and opportunity I did have to work on my business usually didn’t last longer than an hour at a time.

It was a huge struggle at first and although I was blessed with a flexible, passive income business that allowed me take a few weeks off after the birth of each of my children, there were new projects I wanted to begin, and for a while I just felt like I wasn’t getting anything done because I didn’t have as much time as I did before.

I realized that I had a decision to make: I could either spend less time with my children so I can work on my business, or I could learn to work smarter and become incredibly efficient with the time I did have to work.

I decided to go for maximum efficiency, and it changed everything. It was then that I realized just how much time I was actually wasting when I was working.

In my head, wasting time while working became wasting time that I could potentially spend with my kids, and suddenly I felt bad every time I went down a YouTube wormhole or started something that directly was not helping me achieve my goals.

I also realized just how important goal-setting was, and understanding, even before getting into work-mode, exactly what it was that I wanted to accomplish in that short period of time I did have to work.

Cutting down the time I did have to work forced me to work smarter, and I’m so thankful I’ve learned how to do that. Even though I have two kids now, I feel like I’m accomplishing much much more than before.

There are several other productivity tips and strategies that I learned along the way. In the next podcast session (Session #76), I’ll be sharing everything I learned to help me become a more productive person – so look out for that later this week.

I’ve Learned the Important of Teamwork (And Simply Having a Team)

It would be very difficult for me to raise my kids on my own. They’re super active and I’ve spent alone time with just the kids before, and I’m always exhausted afterwards. To the single parents out there, you are amazing – I don’t think I’d able to do all that you do.

Along the same lines, this is a great time to give a special shout out to the most important member of the SPI team, my wife. The most under-rated job in the world is that of any stay-at-home mom. Without my wife, my kids wouldn’t be as awesome (and good looking) as they are and my business wouldn’t be where it’s at today. She is amazing, works much harder than me and is one of the most important reasons why my business has taken off like it has.

When my wife and I were married, we became a team. When we had kids, we had to become a different kind of team, one that focused not on us anymore, but our children.

Having kids has taught us the important of communication within our team, as well as the idea of how important is it to do what we can to make the other person happy. I’ve taken the same approach with my business.

For one, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today and couldn’t do what I do without the help of other people, including those in my (3) mastermind groups, the people I’ve hired to work with me on various projects, and you, those of the SPI audience.

With these groups of people, I it’s important to me to be completely honest and upfront with everything. Plus, the more I can better serve them, the happier everyone is and the bigger the business grows.

I Make Better Decisions for My Business

Before I had kids, I wanted to succeed so I could live a happy, fulfilled life.

Now that I have kids, I want to succeed so my kids can live a happy, fulfilled life, which puts a whole new spin on the decisions I make in my business and why I do what I do.

A lot of what I do and the decisions I make are a result of thinking about the future of my children – not only what I could do now to give them the most opportunity down the road, but I try to imagine them as adults who are talking about their parents, and I want them to be proud of what we’ve done and the decisions we’ve made.

This thought guides me, and I know it’ll ultimately help me better serve my audience too.

I’ve Learned to Be More Patient

There’s a joke I heard once from Louis C.K. about how impatient everybody is nowadays. He mentioned how when we call someone on our smartphone and it ‘hangs’ for a bit, taking a few extra seconds to actually dial through, we get all frustrated because it’s not instant.

“Give it a second! It’s going to space!” he says.

And it’s true – we live in a world of virtually instantaneous results. Do a Google Search for anything and it will tell you that it took 0.27 seconds to complete the search.

Building a business in a world of instanteous results is difficult, because as easy as it is to setup a business these days, results and success are the opposite of instant – it takes a lot of time, hard work and patience to win.

Having kids has taught me to become more patient, because anything that has to do with kids will always take a lot of time, hard work and patience.

“It’s bedtime!” And then they fall asleep 3 hours later.

“We’re leaving, please put your shoes on! No, that’s the shoe for your left foot. The other left. No not like that. Ugh!”

“Please eat your vegetables. No no, your vegetables. Here, watch me eat one. Yum! So good! Okay, now your turn. How about we eat one together? Ready, set…”

Since having kids, I’ve been less stressed about certain aspects of my business, especially the parts that involve waiting for things to happen when it’s not entirely under my control.

I’ve Learned to Appreciate the Small Wins

The other day, my son opened up a bottle of water and poured it into his mug. Afterwards, he jumped up and down with excitement shouting, “I did it! I did it! Look mommy and daddy, I did it!”

Who in the world celebrates something like pouring water into a mug? Well – kids do, and watching how excited my son gets over the smallest things as he learns and grows is inspiring.

I’ve noticed that when he celebrates these seemingly unimportant events, he keeps moving forward and pushes himself to try something new, and that’s how I’ve structured how I move forward in my business. I take big goals and chop them up into tiny, acheivable milestones and make sure to celebrate after each achievement.

Can you imagine what it would be like to go up to a kid who’s excited about pouring water or tying a shoe or opening a door and say, “Kid, that’s not a big deal – everyone can do that.” How much of an impact would a comment like that have on a child’s life? How much would that kind of thinking limit a child’s energy and motivation?

Well, that’s exactly how we treat ourselves a lot of the times. Yes, it would be silly to get extremely excited about the same types of things (like pouring water), but when we’re learning something or trying something new, we forget about the learning process and how cool it is to accomplish even the smallest of tasks.

Appreciate the small wins. They’ll keep you motivated and moving forward.

I’ve Learned That Adapting Quickly is Important

The experience of raising a child is very similar to that of starting a new business for several different reasons. But to me, there is no bigger reason than the idea that in order to succeed, you need to learn how to adapt.

In both worlds, things will never go according to plan. A plan helps us prepare, which is important, but no matter how well you plan, things will change and new situations, problems, issues and scenarios will arise, and when that happens you can decide to freak out and give up, or adapt, adjust and pivot accordingly.

Even before our son was born, he’s been teaching us how to adapt.

About 4 weeks before our son was due, my wife woke me up and told me her water broke. I don’t remember since I was half asleep, but apparently my initial response was, “I’ll fix it later.”

Then, after she reiterated and I understood exactly what she meant, I temporarily freaked out. We didn’t expect all of this to happen so early.

After forgetting how to put my pants on, we got things moving. She packed her things, I packed mine, and we were off. We had to leave Gizmo (our dog) in the apartment and call one of our friends to come to the hospital to pick up our keys, then get Gizmo and puppysit for a few days. The car seat wasn’t installed yet, but when April was napping at the hospital my dad and I quickly put that together, and everything worked out beautifully.

Since then, our son’s been making the experience of parenthood quite challenging, forcing us to adapt in ways big and small every single day. But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

The same goes for my experience with business. Things never go 100% according to plan, and many times its the things that happen unplanned that turn out even better even better in the end.

As much as I was worried about the impact having kids would have on my business, I can honestly say that they’ve helped me become a stronger man and smarter businessperson. :)

I hope you enjoyed this post – something a little different amongst the Niche Site Duel posts I’ve been publishing lately, and look out for a new podcast session coming later this week on productivity!

Which of the above lessons resonates with you the most, and why? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Cheers, and have an awesome week!

  • Alex B.

    Hey Pat!

    Awesome post my friend! I often wonder what it will be like when my wife and I decide to start our family. We have been married for a little over a year now, and most of my time is consumed with my day job, and my dream job in the evenings. When I’m not working, I’m relaxing with my wife.

    So to add a child(ren) into the mix, I often how I’ll be able to manage it all!

    Your post is very inspirational, and certainly serves as a reminder that it CAN be done.

    Thanks again for yet another wonderful post, Pat!

    All the best :)

    Your friend,

    • Ben Chilcote

      Alex – sounds like you need to “work hard now so you can reap the benefits later” :)

  • Braden Talbot

    A timely article — my first child is due this November. (It’s a girl!)

    • Alex B.

      Congratulations Braden!

    • Pat Flynn

      That’s so awesome! Congratulations Braden!!

  • Casey Dennison

    I enjoyed the post, Pat! I have a 5 yr old son and one on the way, so It’s good to hear someone else talk about thier experience.


  • Braden Talbot

    A timely article — my first child is due this November. (It’s a girl!)

  • Yasmine

    Hi Pat

    Awesome post, I absolutely loved it! I think we often forget how everyday lesson’s impact our decision and our lifestyle choices.

    Some parents may have been become more stressed and frustrated but instead you have taken it to your advantage.

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about my dad who passed six years ago, I didnt realize how much the experience affected me until I started to write it down and be grateful for all my blessings

    Have a great day and keep on being an awesome dad to your gorgeous kids

  • Ramsay

    As I sit here at the cafe with my laptop half on work half on news sites I think I get your message – I need to have some kids to get more efficient!


    On it! Thanks Pat.

  • shelia butler

    Great post Pat and this is exactly why my interview with you resonated so well with my audience. You were honest about your family, your wife, and how you get things done. Remember…the days are long, but the years are short. Appreciate you Pat!

  • Ming Jong Tey

    Hey Pat,

    I love the efficient part! To do things the efficient way without wasting time and increase productivity is my current challenge! Sometimes, like you mentioned, I also dropped into the wormhole of YouTube and other things…

    I’m using to help me to stay focus and stay away from the distraction!


  • Aimee

    Well said! Thank you for writing this post. It brightened my day..or month if you will. You are an inspiration and you have kept my head up. I am a single parent striving to get my business off the ground. Time management is a big one and taking a big goal and chopping into little squares is really important. I also have found it true, it is important to realize when tasks are becoming unmanageable. This is when you take a step back to look at the whole picture to improve your endeavors. Kids are wonderful and I as well, wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  • Eric S.

    A very touching post and an awesome window to your life as a family man. As a dad of 2 children (Alex, 4 and Lea, 1) I can totally relate. There is added pressure when you try to make a business online (and soemetimes struggle) and you have kids.
    I’m sometimes missing the safety of a normal job with a sure salary at the end of the month.
    On the other hand the freedom of having your own business allows you to spend more quality time with your family. You lose some, you win some!!

  • Lisa

    Great article. Thank you for posting. One major hurdle in my life right now! Your the best!

  • Dennis

    Hey Pat, nice post. I’ve made the full circle, my kids are grown and have families of their own. When the kids were home I did manage to work full time and run an online business as well. It was not easy juggling family and work but it can be done. Looks like you are doing a great job. Thanks for all you do to help us get better at this online business stuff :-)

  • Ian McConnell

    This was an awesome post Pat… I loved it!

    I’m at the other end of the scale where my kids are now 20 and 17 and very independent. My eldest son is touring Canada for 6 months and I am very proud of both of them.

    We had our kids interests at heart when we decided to move from Zimbabwe to Australia in 1998. It completely upset our lives, but when I see how our boys have excelled, it makes me extremely happy.

    Kids are the most wonderful gifts and I hear you when you talk about adjusting your lives around the kids, and becoming efficient at what you do. It’s these challenges that make us better entrepreneurs.

    The problem is they grow so fast…

    Have Fun
    Ian McConnell
    Western Australia

  • John

    Great post Pat! Thanks for the update about your time-efficiency. 😉

  • Sarah

    Pat, I loved this post – an indication again of your wholesome perspective on what it means to run a business. As a mompreneur who now has two teens but started when they were small, this sums so much up so perfectly. I once had a boss who told me when I was pregnant with my first that she preferred to hire mothers b/c they had such good management/time management skills. I can honestly say sometimes when I was in the throes of motherhood chaos, I wasn’t so sure of her remarks. But when I look at all I’ve done each day and gotten done overall thanks to the constraints motherhood has brought, I can appreciate her comment. And yes, the more you think you’ve mastered one stage, your kids move on to another so you’re always on your toes!
    One thing I learned from my children that has helped my business is the art of sneaking more movement into my day. I’ve written about it here:

  • Jason

    Great post, you really capture the magic of parenthood and the fact that lives can be fine tuned to find that balance. Hearing about your “Grandma test” on your Podcasts influenced me. I think that the “kid test” is equally important. I have started a new toy niche site and my son loved the new logo pic. I can channel his enthusiasm and imagine passing the reins of the site to him later on after I am working on Grandad sites LOL.

  • Jun han

    Hi Pat,
    Great article!
    As a father of three, I agree with you 110%.
    Thanks always!

  • Belinda

    Thanks for the inspiring post! My husband has been telling me about your site for months now and yesterday was when I decided to check it out. It’s like you wrote this post just for me! This came at a timely moment because I just had a baby in December and am contemplating what I need to do so that I can still earn an income without having to go back to work once my maternity leave is over this November. I have been struggling with my time management and struggling with prioritizing. I am looking forward to your podcast this week.

  • Rebecca Fraser-Thill

    Excellent post, Pat. I’ve been reading your work for a while but have never commented. This one requires a comment because there is so much of YOU in here. Thank you for giving us readers that gift. As a mom to a 2-year-old and someone who is trying to build a blog and coaching/speaking business, all of your lessons resonate. Efficiency is something I really need to work on – particularly having a clear list of tasks to get done each time I sit down.

  • Tim

    Great post Pat. This was perfect timing. I’ve been working hard on my online business and I’m not making anything yet but I’m in a great coaching group that Ryan Lee has called, the gold group which is lead by his assistant Geovanni. As we speak my wife is 39 weeks and any day now we will be having our baby girl and this Thursday we are moving into a new home, got a lot on my plate. Thanks for the post, I’m always trying to find ways to be more effective with my time. Thanks again.

  • Mike (Crafty Dad)


    Honestly, you’re awesome. As a business owner and as a father and husband.

    I appreciate your above-board, transparent approach to all you do. And, I swear, “GIVING” must be your middle name. :-)

    My wife and I have two boys — 13 and 18. I know you already know this, but for anyone else out there that might need a tip, here it is: Being a mom or dad is the MOST IMPORTANT job you’ll ever have. Amen.

    Thanks for being the generous guy you are.

    All the best,

  • Cynthia and Rachel Bourne

    Beautiful timing. I love this articles and all of your articles. You simplify the complex and make the simple more interesting. You can’t teach that :)

    -Rachel Bourne

  • Wellesley Gayle

    Thanks a lot Pat (again). Very timely article.

  • Jana

    Hi Pat!

    Thanks so much for this post, it was actually a nice break from the tactical and practical emails.

    Have an awesome day!


  • Steve Lee

    Beautiful and honest post Pat and your priorities stack up. I have three kids in their 30’s and three grandsons. Something which always comes to mind is “Those were the best days of my live” thinking back as the kids were growing up. I missed so much a part of them growing up since I was gone so much. Money nor objects are the value, it’s the value of cherishing every moment you have with those who trust and love you the most, our children. There is also learning from of Children which is an area I believe we over look.

  • Amy

    I totally understand and know the ups and downs of running a business out of the home with two young ones. I am a stay home mom and business mom at home and its some work :)

  • Chris Vincent

    Hey Pat!
    I have a 2 year old and just found out that I’m expecting twins in February :-o. I’m really excited about the twins, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. But I was hoping to get some thing started online, and I’m not sure that’s going to be possible anymore.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get started when you already have kids and a day job? Where would you start ( niche site, articles, physical product, other?) and what would your goals be in the first 6 months?

  • Sarah McKay

    Thanks for such a great post Pat! Your wife is lucky to have you speak so highly of her too :)
    It is so rare to find people talking about running an online business AND parenthood and the difficultly that comes from dealing with broken time. Evener rarer to hear the guy’s perspective on it. I’m finding the online world seems to be made up of location-independent-island-hopping single dudes, or ‘Mumpreneurs’ and thats it – which by the way is a word I despise! Don’t see you (or Richard Branson) calling themselves Dadpreneurs!!!???
    I was beginning to think it must be impossible to ‘make it’ online unless you were single and childfree ….little did I know!?
    Working online from home is awesome, I’d never do it any other way and I started doing it so I could be home with my kids. Without them (two boys – 3 & 5) I doubt I’d have had the courage to have a go.
    Thanks again. Sarah

  • http://nakanno1.wordpress,com NOAEfame

    I thought so too. I know that there are many more parents out here. I am happy to hear from a man`s perspectives too. The adapting so quickly is what I have been struggling with right now. The demands are so real especially with all four girls in one room. I love this post. You are a great writer and I hope to learn from you.

  • Brian @ Luke1428

    This is great stuff Pat! Having a child completely changes one’s perspective on life and what is truly important. They help me be less selfish, because I need to accommodate their needs first. They teach me humility, because I mess up many times with them. They give me purpose, in that hopefully I can teach them some positive quality that will live on in their life after I’m gone. And oh…do they ever teach me patience! Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  • Matt Sullivan


    Good papa. A great post, my friend. I have learned from my family that it is okay for us all to be in process. We do not have to be complete or have it all together. Working from home and homeschooling my children – they get to see the entirety of me. The good and the very bad, but we are always learning and it is such a beautiful joy.

    God Bless,

    Matt Sullivan

  • Scott Stembridge

    Awesome post Pat!
    Another thing they teach us is focus. My kids are 7 and 5, when they come home from school, it’s time to hang out with them. When you work from home “leaving the office” can become redundant terminology. You soon learn what’s important in your life :)

    Cheers again

  • Ben Chilcote

    Pat – I follow you because you have a family and PRIORITIZE them above your business. A lot of guys out there talk about running their business from the Philippines, travelling the world, etc., which is not even in the same universe as my life. I have 3 kids (9, 7 & 3) plus a 15 mo old foster child. I also work full time so I’m working on my business between 10pm-1am. My wife stays at home and we home school. So my wife, like yours, is completely awesome – and awesomely supportive of what I’m doing.

    I resonate COMPLETELY with your first paragraph on efficiency. If I’m not productive at work, I feel like I’m cheating my family out of time. If I’m not giving my family enough time, I feel like I have no business pursing a side business. So efficiency is a non-negotiable for me and I have a long way to go!

    So, I must say, THANK YOU for your podcast – I listen to it when I’m exercising or mowing the lawn so I don’t cheat my family or loose sleep to learn from you!

    And, oh, those time-sucking YouTube wormholes! -Ben

  • Angela Moore

    Love this post! I became really efficient -in the corporate world – after my daughter was born five years ago. Now that we also have a two-yr old son and I’m building my online biz, while still in corporate FT, it’s even more important.

    However, I’ve got to do better at celebrating the “little” wins. It’s quite easy for me to brush them off and race on to the next thing to accomplish. Thanks for the wise advice!

  • Brandon

    Great post…especially the part about your reaction to your wife’s water breaking! I have 6 children, am attending University full time, work full time, and host a podcast interviewing startup entrepreneurs in New Mexico. It’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t trade my time with my kids for anything. And I second your discussion on your wife being the unsung hero…my wife certainly is at our home!

  • Leticia Huber

    I can only add love and appreciation to YOUR love and appreciation of family, business, opportunities and LIFE!

    You are blessed AND a blessing, Pat!

    Always love, light and laughter;
    Leticia Huber : )

  • Ern

    I think one of the perks of working online is having to see your kids grow up before your eyes. I’ve been with my son throughout my online ventures and I must tell that it’s not easy to take care of him while you fidget ever hour to get back on the laptop to work. But I thought what an opportunity it is to spend time with him not worrying whether I earn that day or not since most of my work are on auto-pilot. :-)

  • RealChristianBusinessman

    Thank you Pat for writing this type of post. Being a budding entrepreneur in the over 40 crowd I crave to hear from successful income earners like you who can do what they do while juggling and raising a family. Many of the “successful” ones out there are still single and have more disposable time to do things. This forces folks like us to have to work that much more efficiently! Appreciate all of your insights!


  • Mike

    Great post Pat.

    After all, it is the time we are creating so that we can enjoy with them while growing up. May as well make it all fun.

    Great work.


  • Michael Bely

    I really respect people who can successfully combine both parenting and business. Being a father myself, I understand that Pat is doing a really good job, because kids consume a lot of time that could go to business otherwise. And of course, big thanks to our wives!

  • G. H. Woody Glade. M.C., M.N., ARNP

    When I graduated from grad school ( both times) I gave my wife a ‘graduation’ present. The support of a great partner can’t be underrated. A belief I had was also the time spent with wife and family during the process. I strongly feel that if you lose what is most important to you, no matter what letters you put behind your name or how much $ you have n the bank, you have not succeeded.

    • Puppies

      i think kids happy at your business

  • Mark Lewis

    It’s a constant struggle for time when you’ve kids. But to choose between my online business & kids? I would go with the latter as these initial years are precious years, and they go by very quickly. So for now, I’m enjoying my time as a parent of young children. :) The business can take a backseat for awhile or outsourcing it.


  • Mary

    Thanks Pat, This was fun. You really allowed me to FEEL your life. You have a gift of writing.
    I dont have children, but I know how hard it is for young parents.
    It sounds like you are not only enjoying it, but becoming even better that you already are!
    I always like the chance to thank great parents like you because —-what would the world be without children? They remind us to love, laugh and cry! I know it isnt easy.
    I will look forward to your podcast! Being productive and organized is a huge weakness for me.
    Thanks again! Mary

  • John Mitchell

    Great story, Pat! It made me lol! I have a 23-year-old son, a 25-year-old step daughter, 22-year-old step son, a 13-year-old son and 2 grand kids. I understand. Best wishes from Guadalajara, Mexico.

    John Mitchell

  • Scott Eklund

    Great post Pat, it’s always refreshing to hear more about your personal accomplishments and lessons learned.

  • Honolulu Aunty

    Aloha Pat,

    As a mother of 4, it seemed that I had NO time for the things that I wanted to accomplish because our priorities and responsibilities were to bringing up the kids.

    You sound like an awesome dad – and able to juggle your business with being a father! One day, it will be even more rewarding in your saga of raising a family – because you now have a team.

    For me, it happened one day after a big shopping trip to Costco with a car full of groceries and household stuff. “Help unload!”, and the whole tribe tumbled out of the house to empty out the car and whisk everything into the house in no time at all! Wow. I realized that I now had given birth to a bunch of my own laborers, lol!!

    Enjoy the journey,


  • Darren

    Hey pat,

    Actually a great post. It was a nice change for the usually stuff.. I think having raising kids is a lot like growing a business, you get out of it what you put into it.


  • Matt

    Great to hear Pat!

    I think kids make you more optimistic about life too.

  • Brigit

    Great post, Pat! Sometimes, when I’m feeling stressed out or I have too much work or my girls want more cuddles (or tantrums on the floor) right in the middle of writing my blog, I wonder if it’s all too hard with kids and having your own business.

    But your post has brought me right back to why this is a true blessing and how the two – family and work – can be truly integrated and harmonious. One supports the other and it creates a beautiful, symbiotic relationship.

    Your post is in my Faves file now for those frazzled moments when I need a gentle reminder of why I do this!

  • Przemek

    Hi Pat,
    “when we’re learning something or trying something new, we forget about the learning process and how cool it is to accomplish even the smallest of tasks.
    Appreciate the small wins. They’ll keep you motivated and moving forward.” these words was the words I needed. I am learning programming right know and have some tops and bottoms and these words cheer me up.
    Thank you.

  • Jesse

    Pat, you and your family are so inspiring. I love the way you work at balancing your family and business. You guys are awesome and I love how you share with us your experiences. I’m not married and don’t have any children plus I’m only working part time. I’ve focused on the half empty glass of water and reading your post made me realize that in spite of the down side of my current work situation, I am so blessed by having a lot of time on my hands to be much more productive. I can also afford to take more risks, since it it just me that will mainly be affected by my endeavors. Thank you for keeping it real and being who you are. Take care and God bless.

  • Elisa

    Hi Pat! Thank you for this post. I like having a more personal look at your life and your business. I especially like what you wrote about patience. I like that you reiterated that building your business took time, work, commitment and patience.

  • Serge Marchuk (@MrMarchuk)

    Pat, our Children have a HUGE impact on who we are. I know for a fact that it’s BECAUSE of my son (and wife, of course) that I made the choice to start my own company and be able to work from home.

    Not only that, but it’s BECAUSE of our children that we keep ourselves in check; I’ve had a few opportunities to make substantially more money, but I knew that those ways were not on the “ethical level” that I want my son to see me at, and I’m happy that I didn’t even consider pursuing those opportunities.

  • Nicola Cairncross

    Dear Pat, great post! I started working from home when pregnant with my first baby Phoebe, who just turned a very beautiful, kind, funny, clever 18 in May. Nelson (or “The Baby” as he was known for 6 weeks) came along very unexpectedly 18 months later, because we were told we couldn’t have one, let alone two! So I juggled work and family life, with my husband staying at home in between jobs, it was easier for me to earn a living online than it was for him to get a traditional job sometimes. I remember the tug of priorities Brigit mentioned above but kids don’t understand what’s so compelling in that computer screen, they just need you when they need you. As my two still love to spend time with me even though they are teens now, I must have done ok, eh? And all any parent can do, is their best. If you love ’em unconditionally, it will go a long way to make up for any other shortcomings. And yes, stay at home mum? Tough work, very tough work!

  • Leah Whitehorse

    This is a lovely post Pat! I don’t have children myself but blessed to have children in my life and I learn so much from them! One of the things I love is that children know what they want and go for it! Yes the adults might have a hard time with that sometimes (!) but I love their courage to just be themselves, to try something new, to celebrate (as you said) the smallest triumphs. I think we adults can learn a great deal from that.

  • Glen

    Nice article. Kids give us the why behind everything we do, and as a fellow daddy, I appreciate your dedication to your family. Being able to be home and model true manhood is what our boys and girls need to see. You are serving your wife and chldren well my friend.


  • Glen

    Nice article. Kids give us the why behind everything we do, and as a fellow daddy, I appreciate your dedication to your family. Being able to be home and model true manhood is what our boys and girls need to see. You are serving your wife and children well my friend.


  • Gugulethu

    I still don’t have kids so I’m still enjoying the freedom 😀 Kids do give you more drive to keep improving your business for their better future. Thnx for sharing your story, it’s inspiring.


  • John Gibb

    hey Pat

    I love this post, keep ’em coming; they’re inspirational

    i have two toddlers, one of them had to go through a major heart surgery… just recently – this has forced me to think differently and act like never before, to be able to be there when they need me, and provide more than just food.

    I learn lots of lessons from my kids, and the one I admire the most is that you have to adapt or die. That’s what’s required from us in both life and business…

    • Iain

      I can’t imagine how hard that must have been to go through that. Having kids is one thing, and having one need surgery is another.

      Hope it all went well.

  • Pramod

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Pat ! Sometimes , theres a lot to be learned from kids .

  • Emile

    Hi Pat. Thanks so much for inspiring me over and over again. The way you approach business actually helped me decide to switch from a non profit career to helping- small-businesses-succeed career. You showed me it was possible to NOT go along with the myopic “rat race”-type of jobs, but to spend my working life among people who really care about their (small) business, enjoy being parents, who send you a birthday card each year, etc. A totally different view to professional life compared to the typical careerist one, where people may earn more money, but who are in fact unhappy in their job, falling sort on raising their children, etc.

    Thanks so much, from a parent of 3 kids under 11…

    Emile Poelman

  • adam

    Hey pat awesome post about the relationship of running a business and a family. The one thing that pops in my mind is the scene from we werr soldiers with mel gibson where his young troop asks him how he handles being a soldier and a fsther. Mel gibson responds that he hopes being good one makes him better at the other.

    You’ve found that balance between two and your a shooting star man. Thanks for sharing

  • Goran

    Great post Pat!

    I don’t have kids (yet), but I have to nieces and babysit them once in a while. They’re both great. I can’t believe how creative little kids can be :)

  • Clarissa

    Fantastic post, and with three children I can definitely relate. It’s our responsibility to teach our children to make good decisions and develop strong characters, but they are the ones who teach us the most. Thanks, Pat!

  • Richard Anderson

    being a parent of two year old twins, my wife and I barely get a minute to ourselves and by the time I get to my online business I’m not good for much! But like you say we have persevered and are grateful for small wins as I learn to be more patient.

    I have become more focused on smaller goals which make up to the whole, and to appreciate the time and opportunity we all have together. In fact, we are currently on our annual holiday to visit my wife’s family and I am working on my laptop in small bursts whilst my wife and family look after our little ones!

    It’s not often I have the time to read many blogs at present, but this post of yours was worth every precious moment.

    Thanks Pat

  • Matthew Allen

    Pat – this topic really hit home for me. I’ve been waiting for you (and other really successful IMers like you) to write about this.

    I’ve had young children ever since starting out in my internet marketing journey, and I admit that I would sometimes get jealous and even annoyed that people who had the most success and were doing this stuff full time seemed to have SOOO much time to commit to the craft. I would think… I could have that much success too If I didn’t still have to work a day job and if I didn’t have to devote so much time to family when I’m not at my day job.

    It’s refreshing to hear that even somebody who is already working from home and living off of internet income shares some of the same struggles that I do as a parent with young children. Thanks for sharing!

  • Bill Anderson

    I’m a little more experienced that you at this fatherhood thing (4 kids, 11-19). You’ll continue to learn a lot from them. This is a great article about how they can teach us so much that applies to the “adult” areas of our lives.

    For me, my kids are why I’m wading into this on-line passive income opportunity. I’m successful in my corporation, that means good salary and benefits, and very little time for my kids. The older they get, the more opportunities you realize you are missing.

    Your SPI is what has led me down this road. Thank you for putting it out there.


  • Derek @


    Great article. I can see myself in many of your reflections and examples. I’m at about the same exactly point as you age and kid-wise, so this article had a special impact on me.

    I think the most important concept you drive home is time management. This is crucial to having a successful career/business and a happy family!


  • Timothy Moser

    Love it. There’s no greater motivation than the family.

    I also particularly appreciate the insight about learning to be efficient because you have to be. Sometimes it takes being forced to find out just how efficient you can be. I can easily think I’m using my time as efficiently as possible, but when I suddenly realize I have an appointment in 1 hour that I’ve forgotten about, you bet I’m suddenly going to be working faster and doing everything I can to be more efficient. (You never know how fast you can run until you’re being chased by a wild dog.) I find it helpful to create situations of urgency for myself, with tight, nearly-impossible deadlines; this shows me how efficient I can be compared with how inefficient I am by default.

    Can’t wait to hear #76 of my favorite podcast.


    Hello Pat,
    family and very important for our growth, that is professional or human, the children bring us great beneficius is a blessing from God. Very many thanks for your tips.

  • Alexis Meads

    Great post, Pat!

    I’m in my first year of business but thinking of having kids soon after my fiancé and I get married in the next 1-2 years. There’s definitely a panic in me thinking, “I’m barely getting my business off the ground now, how am I going to be able to do this with kids?” But I’ve trusted, and your article confirmed it, that when you have kids you find a way. Simple as that. And they shape you and your business in ways you never knew possible.

    In the meantime, I’m going to really think about your advice on efficiency. While I feel so busy and work all day, I know that I’m not always being truly efficient with my time and doing the things necessary for my ultimate goals only.


  • thelma harcum

    I love this artiicle Pat. The pictures of the family is great. Too Cute your kids! It really is about a balance of life. You are doing a great job with the plan of how you want to go about it. I find that after you train your children to knowing what’s right and what’s wrong, you must let them be free to accept responsibility for themselves. That is as soon as possible starting with little task and moving on to the next one. Safety and getting to know your children’s friends and parents is one of the most important things in life because people do not alway show who they really are. Since, I’ve been living where I live now, I never knew there were so many mean and malicious people and went into research to try to find answers. In the book of Proverbs of the Bible, I found many of the answers I wanted to know. You are so intelligent Pat, but you might not see evil looking you in your face at first, but you will eventually, because evil has got to go somewhere. You have 5 main senses and one other is the 6th sense. That sense is God speaking to you to protect you from harm. In light, I remain a very creative, happy, and respond to my 6th sense whenever it kicks in. Balance, Love, and Respect is the Formula to Life- perhaps not in that order.

  • Gordon Kuckluck

    Hi Pat,

    cool article for sure but just one small hint:
    The picture of your family does not show for me as German visitor – there is some sort of error from CloudFlare or something weird…

    Just for you to know. Visiting this article with a VPN and location USA it worked.

    Regards from Germany

  • Jason

    Great post! Even though I haven’t married and definitely haven’t got a child but I understood it takes a lot of struggle and hard work to take care of a child. It’s the same when we initially start our own business, it’s not easy and definitely we all struggle a lot. I believe how bad you want the outcome determine how much efforts you willing to put in. Thanks for sharing!

  • Nick

    Very timely post, Pat! My wife and I are expecting our first child in November and we’re super excited.

  • Dr Bryan Knight

    How things change. From my perspective as an old man (grandfather of 8) I remember when fathers had very little to do with their children. It is so refreshing to read how involved and dedicated you are to your kids, how you understand the importance of celebrating the “small” accomplishments as well as the big. Also, you are clearly of the generation of men who (finally) appreciate their wives and acknowledge the importance of motherhood and the arduous work-at-home. Bravo.

  • Ron

    Hey Pat,

    I may not have kids yet, but being a relatively new husband, I can relate to how becoming a family man can affect your business activities. I find myself having less time to dawdle online. Although those YouTube wormholes can be quite fun (I won’t even start on the infinite abyss that is Wikipedia), spending time with the wife takes priority especially when you’re working a job, building an online publishing business, AND taking an online writing course.

    I’m excited to hear more about your productivity tips. Heaven knows I could use a few pointers.


  • Greg Savage

    I love Louis CK

    here’s the skit Pat mentions

    Starts at 1:10, love this guy

    Ps great post Pat

  • Ray

    I feel your pain! While I don’t have children, I work two jobs, and it’s def. hard to strike a balance with home life and work when you have so much on your plate. That said, life’s too short to focus completely on business, and I can tell from your post that you put every bit as much work into your personal life as you do your business.

  • Rafael Portillo

    Your post is very inspirational, I have two children and the part most important for my is “Before I had kids, I wanted to succeed so I could live a happy, fulfilled life. Now that I have kids, I want to succeed so my kids can live a happy, fulfilled life”

  • Susan

    Well said! I did it a little differently, I left the corporate world when my kids were 3 and 8, and had to adapt to working from home for myself without a warm-up. Needless to say, my ideals were quickly replaced with reality!

  • Sibo

    Hey Pat,

    I totally understand what you are saying. As a Dad of a 6 years old and the second baby is coming this Halloween, my world is all around my family.

    Efficiency – I only agree with you on half of it. I used to agree on this 100%, however after reading “4 hour work week” and apply some methods introduced in the book, effectiveness is more important than efficiency in my opinion and I know Timothy agrees with me as well.

    I started my business because of my son, well, at least one of the most 3 top reasons, but my approach was not simply to give my kids a good life, because I can’t – not after they are 19. In my opinion, more importantly, I want to set up a good example and I know my son is understanding it (from our conversations).

    I love SPI blog and admire the way you can work solely for yourself and your family. Keep up the great work as always. See you in NSD2.0



  • David Sparks

    The celebrating small wins. That’s huge. We have a 2 and 4 yr old so celebrating the small stuff is a big part of our life. We definitely don’t do this enough anywhere!

  • Duncan

    Hi Pat,

    You’re right – parenting for a business is both a blessing and a challenge. It comes down to focus and discipline. I know where I fail, it is because I focus on the wrong one – there is always massive scope to get it wrong – we can only do our best for them (the kids and the business).

    I know for a fact my biggest blessing is my wife Esther, because despite all the successes, failures and stagnant hair-pulling periods, she has always stoically supported me.

    As such my biggest respect goes to single parents (male or female) who can pull off running a business and doing the best for their kids,

    Keep up the good work,

    Duncan Elliott

  • Chris

    Hi Pat,

    I have a 17 mo. old son and another child on the way. My current job is very demanding and I used to be okay with that, but when my wife and I stared having children I knew something had to change because I didn’t want to miss all those moments with my children that you can never get back. So I have been really pushing hard to start building different niche sites to establish a passive income that allows me to have the time freedom I need to spend with my family.

    With that said, it is really easy to get caught up in working so hard now in hopes that my work will free up more time in the future, but in doing so I can neglect to spend time with them now (which kinda defeats the whole purpose). So I have really determined to not work on these ventures till after my children are in bed. It slows down the progress, but like you said, kids teach you to be patient.

    Thanks for all the guidance, help, and inspiration you provide! Looking forward to your next podcast on productivity.


  • Tracy

    Pat – my husband and I run our product design business out of our home, have been married over 21 years and have a college-age teen and a toddler. Like yours, they have taught us much about running an efficient business. Our success as parents and running a business has been that we are married and business partners – when you said your wife is your team, you were spot on about how to be successful. A home-based business is the third partner in your marriage and your family, so it is easier to embrace it and let everyone have a team role. That way everyone wins too!

  • Dave

    Nice post Pat, I also remember the days when my kid was 1. Every afternoon he would have a nap for 2 hours and that was the only time I had to get anything done online. It was a huge challenge to overcome.

  • Brandon Johnson

    Great article Pat! This could not have come at a more appropriate time for me. Nice work!

  • Cass

    Great change of pace! I’m also a father trying to become a successful role model my son can look up to. Thanks for sharing this Pat!

  • Sam Serv

    Nice photo Pat – thanks for sharing!
    We do have a 1 year old and it definitely changes my perspective. I think I’ve been using ‘being busy with the baby’ as an excuse for not maximizing output at work. Will try to incorporate your thoughts, esp about efficiency and wasting time, into how I spend my workday. Thanks for the timely article!

  • Stu McLaren

    I smiled reading this because I could definitely relate… especially the “vegetables” part 😛

    I think the greatest thing about having kids as an entrepreneur is that it gives it an entirely different meaning. As you said, it no longer becomes about “us” but more about doing succeeding for someone else (which for me makes working hard so much easier).

    Great post Pat!

  • ArtiesLionelTrains

    The only kids we have are 3 fluffy ones. The newest one is driving us crazy though as he is so hyper but we felt we had to take him in since we found him and he really needed us.

    It’s always good to hear about the guy behind all the success. Always looking forward to reading about you Pat.

    All the Best!

  • califoreigner

    Great post Pat! Truly looking forward to the upcoming podcast on productivity… I’d love to know how you get it all done!

  • Robert Marsh

    Hey Pat,
    I can totally identify with you. I have been a stay at home dad for the last 5 years while blogging.

    My circumstance is a little different than yours in that I take care of the kids ,and do the IM business.

    Juggling both can be challenging ! :)

    But having kids puts your Life into perspective and working as a team within the family is a must.

    In the next 1 and 2 years, they will be off to Kindergarten so it will open things up for my business.

    I have built my business in a slow, steady manner laying a secure foundation for it !

    I enjoy interacting with my Readers and also help them to become more successful at making money from home.

    Thanks again for your post,

  • Kyle Richey

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. My wife and I are expecting our first, Lindsey, in early September!

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how this will affect things with my business, and it’s great to know that it’s all totally doable with the right perspective and a focus on being productive (not just “busy”).

    I’ve been reading every post on SPI for a long time, and I just realized that somehow this is my first comment. :)

    Keep up the great work Pat!

  • Raul Alvarez

    Hi Pat,

    The post It is useful to me. Also my child will appreciate the post.

  • CC

    Wow Pat, such a great post!

    2 things really resonated with me:

    1) “I take big goals and chop them up into tiny, acheivable milestones and make sure to celebrate after each achievement.”

    => I tend to forget to chop down my big goals into daily quotas, and to celebrate AFTER my small wins. Thanks for reminding me that.

    2) “Building a business in a world of instanteous results is difficult, because as easy as it is to setup a business these days, results and success are the opposite of instant – it takes a lot of time, hard work and patience to win.”

    => Pure gold. Stored it in my quotes folder. Shared it with my business partner.

    Thanks, Pat!

  • ChickJ

    Don’t I know about how long it takes to put kids to bed. How many stories, how many glasses of water, bathroom, I know what you are going through.

    Side note. I love reading your columns but your book ( which I brought) didn’t seem to have the same feel to it. I can’t put my finger on it. When I read your column you seem to jump right out of the page. An energy comes through, your book was kinda quiet.

  • Brent

    Pat, your son has inspired me to appreciate the small wins. In his honor I will jump up and down saying “I did it, I did it” the next time I successfully pour a beverage into a cup. I’m going to a friend’s house for dinner tonight so this should be interesting…. haha

    Congrats on the beautify family!

  • Daniel B. Troutman

    I really liked this post! I don’t have kids myself but I helped raise my younger brother and sister. Children really do teach you so many lessons. I like the small wins lesson. After reading this post I wish more adults were like kids!

  • Alvin Chadwick

    You have adorable kids and I’m glad that they’ve had a positive effect on your business!

  • Ghazal Nezafati

    That’s cute! I loved this post and hope to see more like this in the future!

  • Benji Walklet

    You and your wife are both super heroes. I can’t believe how much you get done in comparison to me (and I don’t have kids).

    Really looking forward to the podcast because I’m sure it will help my productivity.

    Thanks for all that both of you do!

  • Jerry C.

    I didn’t start having kids till I was in my late 40’s, now I’m in my mid 50’s and I have three (one adopted), yikes what a change they have made in me. I sure hope it’s true, what everybody tellls me they’ll keep you young.”

  • Jessica

    Pat, you were the first mentor I latched onto when I started last year. This is probably one of the best posts you’ve written and I appreciate that you’re finding a way to be a dad first and a businessman second. Your wife must be beaming that you wrote this article and it shows how much you appreciate her. I am cheering along with you and each of your successes!

  • Carlos Coto

    Hi Pat,

    Great Post! What I have learned from my kids is you are their teacher, but also they are your teacher in life… loved the teamwork, and definitely you have to be more patient…


  • Andrew M. Warner

    It’s all about putting your priorities in their proper place. I don’t have kids as yet, but I’m working towards my goals to succeed so my kids will have a much better, and easier life.

    So many people don’t get the opportunity to see their kids grow up because they’re “trapped” in that 9 – 5 life which just consumes them. I think all of us, who are aspiring to be entrepreneurs, or already are entrepreneurs, truly should appreciate what we’re doing every single day.

    Because at the end of the money, yea the money may be great, but if you have nothing to drive you or push you, there’s no point. Me, myself, I’m engaged so providing a great life for my fiance (soon to be wife) is what I’m aiming for.

    So she doesn’t have to work that hard.

    Great post.

  • UC

    Wow Pat you have a beautiful family and yes children do change everything. I am a single mom (divorced) and being a Mom is a challenging project in itself. My children are my why, they are the reason that I signed up with you and started my own business so I can give them a better life. Awesome post keep up the good work. :)

  • Ita

    Love the photo!

  • Annie Keeling

    Thank you for making such a clear connection between parenting and business. I resonate with all the lessons but especially found the Small Wins so very important to hear. Having a lot of forward focus, it’s a great booster to take a moment and appreciate all that I’ve just done to accomplish even a small goal. Thanks for that reminder.
    You seem like an incredibly, wonderful Dad – full of insights as you prioritize what really matters in your life. Lucky family!

  • Glen

    Pat, I hear ya on many of those issues. I am the father of six kids and I live an hour away from my day job. Just trying to get started in my own venture has been a time battle that I rarely win. I have realized that the only way I can make it at all is to use the techniques you have described for efficiencies and make sure every minute is focused on the goal.

  • Leyla Preston

    Hi Pat

    Totally get where you are coming from. I started a website in June 2010,, when I was 5 months’ pregnant with my now 2 1/2 year old boy, and then I started a law consultancy business in January 2012, when I was 6 months’ pregnant with my now 15 month old boy.

    I then refurbished my website and launched it in May this year as a global magazine for parents, and I feel like I am not productive enough to push the magazine forward. With two boys under 2 1/2, I feel like I get 2 hours at best during the day to work on my business, and those 2 hours are spread out throughout the day! So productivity and efficiency are two very important and crucial skills that I need to hone in on before I lose my business.

    So I get you – Keep up the good work and congratulations to all parents out there, juggling businesses and children – it’s not easy!


  • Ian Cleary

    Hey Pat,
    I work a lot of hours but between 5 and 8 in the evenings is my time with the kids. Last night I sat down and read a book with my 2 year old daughter and it was special.

    With 3 kids I too have to be super efficient. I don’t have any time to waste so I follow strict rules with myself to be productive.

    But I love it!!!


  • Teresa Schultz

    Loved this post about you and your kids. I admire you for trying to be more efficient with your work so that you get to spend more time with your kids – I find it difficult to be trying to work to “Now that I have kids, I want to succeed so my kids can live a happy, fulfilled life” at the same time as spend more time with them. My boys were 8 and 9 when I left my now ex-husband 6 years ago and moved in with my folks, without a car of job. Met a man, now my boyfriend, who couldn’t find a job, and we started to work from home. It’s tough trying to be there for kids at the same time as put everything you have into your work. I feel as though in my efforts to try to provide for my children, I’m not spending enough time with them along the way. Working out how to work harder when you work, as you are doing, is a great idea. Well done!

  • Ryan Tomlinson

    Great looking family there Mr. Flynn! I am a work from home father since 2009, and I love being able to spend time with my two little boys. I actually started my business in the hospital. Due to complications with my wife’s pregnancy with our 2nd son we were in the hospital for 9 weeks. I was “let go” [ 😉 ] from my normal job 3 days prior and I had to figure something out. So I built a website in the hospital room, reached out to some friends and family for work to get started and haven’t looked back since.

    You are such an inspiration Pat, I have been following you since your very first podcast. (which is where I found you) It has been so fun to watch your journey and how each episode showing your growth.

  • Adrianne

    Had to laugh out loud at this:

    “Please eat your vegetables. No no, your vegetables. Here, watch me eat one. Yum! So good! Okay, now your turn. How about we eat one together? Ready, set…”

    Regular conversation in my household.

  • Cecil

    Kids should always be included in business team, to let them know as they grow old, what really we are doing here. And to let them understand well, we need to be child too to reach them of their simple understanding of things.

    Thanks Pat for your post, It’s great one.

  • Andrew Hartley

    Learning to appreciate the small wins… that section nearly made me cry.

    One, because I love it when my 2 y.o. daughter has one (she usually raises her arms above her head and says “Ta-Dah!”

    Two because I forget this one for myself SO OFTEN… and I beat myself into submission for not being perfect and not following through on 100% of the goals I set for myself, even when my time is so restricted by my 9-5, my family, and my 2nd job of being a flight instructor (which, fortunately, is my niche)… at this point, just writing one blog post a month is a small win for me – though I am striving for more, regular posts, and a membership site, and e-books, etc.

    One step at a time, I guess, and small celebrations for each victory along the way – no matter how small!


  • Michael

    Great post, Pat! As a father myself, I could relate to just about everything you wrote about – “Here, watch me eat one” – and couldn’t help but smile as I read along.

    Regarding my business, you’ve reminded me that I should be nurturing and patient with it and that I should “appreciate the small wins” when they come. I will be putting this much more into practice going forward.

    Thanks and I wish the best for you and your family (great photo)!

  • Chris Huntley

    Hey Pat,
    Did you get that chalkboard at IKEA? We have the same one.

  • Michel

    Nice Post :)

    • Dogcar

      very nice and o loke tips for kids

  • Tatiana

    I was crushed when my lover of three years left to be with another man. I cried and sobbed every day, until it got so bad that I reached out to the Internet for help. I wasted so much time and effort trying to get him back until I hit on the real thing. And that is you, ultimate spell. You were different from all the rest – you are the diamond in the rough. Thank you from the depths of my soul! I am extremely happy now. I hope God blesses you as much as you have help me to get my Love back, visit him on ([email protected]) he can be a great help to you all.

    • Steve

      Thanks for this valuable information, Tatiana. I’m going to contact the Okafor Spiritual Temple right now.


  • Don @ Poems about life

    Lovely post. So good to see a successful person making time for family. I am trying to get efficient by the day.

  • Sarah @ Sweet Miles

    I don’t have kids yet, Pat, but I loved reading about your comparisons! I am constantly thinking about when that day comes, what would we do , and this or that, and it’s amazing how kids force you to grow up! I think was resonated with me most was about being more patient. Sometimes my nieces and nephews can drive me crazy, but but being patient with them makes it all worth it. Patience is a lesson I try to teach myself every day, it’s so important! Thanks for your thoughts, I look forward to reading your blog everyday!

  • Jason

    So true, all of it. I have a going-on-4-month-old son and I’m also in the process of starting a digital media consulting firm, so I’m kind of doing everything on both fronts at once. It’s really challenging, but I’ve never had more fun in my life!

  • Oliver Turner

    Hi Pat!

    My girlfriend recently showed me your site, and the beautiful reality of passive income streams! I am just beginning to go through the information that you have available for all of us, and am really impressed, and appreciative that you have put so much time into this website :)

    This post as a whole has definitely resonated throughout a significant part of my self, and I am definitely happy with the timing! The emotional reality of life, whatever you are doing, is such an important aspect and deciding factor in the quality of your life. The laughter of your son with the mug of water, is truly such an inspiring, and healing thought! It seems to inspire me to let myself be myself! Learning is the gift of life, and life is the gift of action!!!


    Thanks Pat, fo’Realz!

  • Osman Hameed

    Hi Pat! Great post. I love how you used your example as a lesson for all of us. Always a good read.


  • erick

    Happy family Pat, I like your comparison between business and family.

  • Jamie Wilson @ Jelly Bean Quilts

    I couldn’t agree more with this article – great post! I am a stay at home mom who also works from home…. is that the best of both worlds or the worst? 😉 But I absolutely love getting to stay home with my kids, and I love my work, so I wouldn’t change a thing! Your thoughts on increasing productivity are spot on – that’s been my key as well. Along with coffee. Lots of coffee.

  • Shimaz

    Hey Pat,

    Hope everything is well.

    What’s the biggest problem you’d pay to solve for your business or personal life right now? :)

    Thanks for your time,

  • Marjorie

    AMEN to all of the above! My son is 11 months, and my husband and I have seen our life change dramatically over the last year. The change is constant too. Just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, something changes, and it’s time to re-shuffle and re-adapt. That adaptability is SUCH a valuable skill though, and it definitely translates to business. Your family is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  • Olli

    Sometimes it’s really hard to work from home with all that noise around me. But on the other hand I have so much more time for my children (no 10+ hour days in the office, no traveling to customers, no traffic jam…)

    And it really is the main reason for me to work every day in order to achieve my goals with my business.

    So thank god for all my three kids! :)

    Thanks for that article! Will enjoy the podcast that evening instead of stupid tv programm 😉


  • Shane Sams

    “In my head, wasting time while working became wasting time that I could potentially spend with my kids, and suddenly I felt bad every time I went down a YouTube wormhole or started something that directly was not helping me achieve my goals.”

    This quote REALLY hit home Pat. Big Time. I’m currently balancing a Full time teaching job, coaching football, my wife and I are both internet marketers with our own sites and shared ones, and two young children. I’ve got to be more efficient not only to take this thing to the next level, but to really make sure I don’t miss this precious, short and amazing time with my children while they are little. Awesome post man!

  • Kim

    Yes, kids have a way of increasing our drive to succeed and forcing us to focus on what is really important.

    Thank you for the wonderful example you consistently set.

  • Keith

    I hear you on the efficiency and organization part! No more wasting time that we don’t have on the Internet because that is time away from our kids… I’m with you there.

    I work from home and often have to take care of things in the evening with two kids still “falling asleep” a couple hours after I put them in bed. They don’t nap anymore, they’re past that, so bed time is critical work time when I have them 24+ hours.

    And good thing for cell phones that let us update blogs and social sites on the go so that I can do a little work when waiting outside my kids classes for example.

    Great post.

  • Ken Tan

    Thanks for the post, Pat! Wonderful family you have. And thanks for setting an example for all of us!

  • Jason

    Great post Pat, 3 things from this post stand out for me as timely, helpful reminders 1. Productive work time 2. Goals/ focus 3. Team. I run my own business from home, am a father of 3 children under the age of 7 and my number 1 team member (my wife) is going through breast cancer… I thought my time was pressed before this but this event has rocked the foundations of our house and really highlighted the need to be focused… Your post is very timely in my world of trying to keep the ship afloat…thanks

  • Joe @IQentrepreneur

    Great post and I liked reading the comments section too.

    I’m single with no children, but hopefully one day I can have a family of my own…but in the meantime, it’s all about building the business!

    Thanks Pat, and looking forward to your July Income Report!


  • Beth

    Celebrating the small wins. Yep. That’s huge when you are running your own business, pressed for time while solo parenting 4-year-old twins. My other half has been working out of town for the last 1.5 years. It’s been a comedy of inefficiency, no-sleep and patience. Lots of deferred laundry. Mixing parenting and business is a challenge on a good day! Those small wins, like when the kids work out their differences on their own while I’m on the phone with a client. Or finishing a project while they are at preschool. My big goal right now is to earn enough to keep my husband home so he can be a stay-at-home-dad. And earn enough free-time so I can sleep in once a week!

  • Christopher Quinn

    Pat, you are most correct having kids changes the way you interact with other people. Plus a parent is always juggling work, a spouse, kids and often no down time for themselves.

    Congratulations on making it work!


  • Duncan Elliott

    Hi Pat,

    You’re right – parenting for a business is both a blessing and a challenge. It comes down to focus and discipline. I know where I fail, it is because I focus on the wrong one – there is always massive scope to get it wrong – we can only do our best for them (the kids and the business).

    I know for a fact my biggest blessing is my wife Esther, because despite all the successes, failures and stagnant hair-pulling periods, she has always stoically supported me.

    As such my biggest respect goes to single parents (male or female) who can pull off running a business and doing the best for their kids,

    Keep up the good work,

    Duncan Elliott

  • Lauren H

    New follower here (learned about SPI from Fizzle)…Since I’m a productivity consultant turned SAHM who wants to be a WAHM, I particularly enjoyed this post. Also, great point about celebrating accomplishments!

    I look forward to listening to your latest podcast because being productive as a SAHM takes on entirely new meaning!

  • Greg

    Great article Pat and very relevant for the many of us that are building internet businesses (any businesses for that matter) around family, work and life in general. I agree 100% with your comment about not knowing how single parents do it – Seriously, that is the toughest job of all. I take my hat off to them. Look forward to more niche site dual 2.0 updates!

  • Miller P.

    If having children teaches you nothing else, it is how to be efficient. Great article.

  • Russ

    Pat, thanks for (another) great post! Trained as a surgeon, but unable to perform surgery due to back (inoperable :( So, I “retired” last year, and I now work from home – with my 3 kids home-schooled (ages 9,7,5). Running a couple blogs, and a digital media biz, I am experiencing all of the challenges that you describe; and also the benefits! Thanks for all that you do here. Oh – thanks so much for your eBook on eBooks!! It is THE guide!

  • Eric

    Great post as usual, Pat. Thanks for sharing your life experience, seems like you’ve found the ultimate goal for your life :)

  • Kay Fudala

    Pat, Definitely the lesson about making better decisions and appreciating small wins resonates with me.
    You are a lucky guy; through a series of circumstances you have built an amazing business. You have already walked down the path and you can see the mileposts ahead.
    I just started my business after my 3rd child. In fact if not for her, I would have gone on working for corporate America. But, it is very hard to birth a business when you already have kids. I have had a busy, unpaid but intellectually fulfilling year without a lot of quality family time.
    I loved your post for this main reason – We can all set out to “make dents in the universe”, in the end what really matters is providing our kids and spouses a happier life.
    Keep writing Pat, you are a great role model!

  • Clive Hitchcock

    same here pat. my kids have been the pivot of my decision to leave my career as a saxophone player and concentrate on my blog i have been reading your blog and its been giving everyone a good push to make money online!

  • Rayzel Lam

    “It’s bedtime!” And then they fall asleep 3 hours later.

    Love it!!
    I don’t know why but it’s so satisfying when I hear the same tales of parenthood that I experience on a daily basis. :) And I so agree that I can’t imagine parenting without my husband- it would be incredibly difficult- I too give major kudos to single parents.

    I loved how you applied everything to your business though- it’s so true that we need to find joy and satisfaction in our small gains and learnings and then let that motivate us to continue on.
    – Rayzel

  • Tina

    Great post Pat. Thank you for writing it. You have probably heard this many times. Working parents sometimes feel as though the struggles and issues they go through are all alone. It’s nice to hear that you have the same issues. It gives me hope that I will make it! And that all 7 of my kids will live! lol!!
    Have a great one!

  • Tyler Johnson

    I have to say Pat, it really is impressive that your life has changed SO much over the years but your content has never faltered. Great job and keep it up.

  • George

    Amazingly written post man!! You have described every single point that you have experienced before and after having kids.

  • Nitin

    Great post Pat !

  • Sean @ WideEyedConcepts

    I love this post, I have found when you realize what really motivates you and what you want to live for it increases passion and productivity 10 fold.

    Thanks for what you do!

  • Stephen McTaggart

    How true, Pat. A great post.

    I’m the dad of a soon-to-be 4 year old girl and have taken my internet marketing from a part-time additional income to a full-time business.

    One thing I have learned is that “there is always something more to do” in the business. It’ll never finish, as there is a constant flow of ideas for new projects and improvements on existing ones.

    Given that the work will never come to an end I have to call time at some point of the day. It’s so easy to just get your head down and forget what is truly important.

    I think it comes with the territory of being a parent that you always think you can do more. You can only do your best. Working may mean that I’m away from my little girl for a chunk of the day, but it also means that I have the financial means to make her life great. The important thing for me is to make sure I am with her and her mother as much as I can, as ultimately the greatest thing you can give your kids is your loving attention.

  • Sereyboth Yorn

    Hi Pat! Thank for writing this ! This give me some ideas about how people spend their time when they have kids! Thank you again!


    Great post who really keep balance in all the work realted to time will succeed

  • Andy P

    I am still in the full time job part time IM mode at the moment. Although I try to get as much done when they are asleep when they are awake I have to play!
    Although my kids are my main drive to be a success they have also made me reaslise that success doesn’t have to mean money. I am so proud of them both everyday and seeing them smile and laugh is worth more than any money I make online.

  • http://www.seekingpassiveincome. Adam

    Thanks for the great post. You’ve, among others, have helped to motivate me to try and reach (a much more modest) goal or $25,000/year in passive income. I’ve had a couple ideas which I’ve already started to implement. I’m tracking my progress at in an effort to honestly evaluate how I’m doing and discuss ideas with others. I’ve just started, but am looking forward to the challenge!


  • Channarith HUN

    I am not yet have a kid, i am gonna have a kid soon :). Thank you very much for sharing the useful information :)

  • Andreea

    Thanks so much for doing this post! With three little kids and two businesses, I can totally relate! I’m in a similar situation – without my supportive husband, I would never be able to do this!

  • Dani

    I just wrote a blog today about the same thing. Thank you so much for admitting how hard it is to balance your biz + life! Sometimes I feel like the only one who has issues.

  • Ilda Feliciano

    Thanks for the post! It really seems that these two things are incompatible!

  • David Decato

    Pretty cool how having children provided the motivation to get more done faster. Some people see it a different way but I think you have proven that seeing the opportunities makes success achievable.

  • Yash Manjrekar

    Hey Pat,

    This post is sure awesome, but I’m afraid since I am just 17 years. LOL.

    But one of the things you mentioned is about being patient which again is really hard for me.

    You’re really a guy who I can depend upon.

    Cheers and have an awesome week to you too!!!!!

  • Earnestine Ditto

    Teamwork is one of the main factors. We need to cooperate with other people in order to achieve a particular purpose.

  • Simply Paul

    Pat I don’t have a business, but I do have 3 kids and a Blog. In fact I started my blog to inspire my kids and the irony is that it then takes my time away from them.I’m very much aware of the lessons you’ve described, only I’m still trying to find my own answers to the problems.

  • Ed. S

    Pat – Thanks for the article, I have a little girl who’s turning 2 soon… so these tips definitely come in handy.

  • Caroline

    Great post with some really salient points raised

  • Bunner Malinda

    Teamwork is one of the main factors. We need to cooperate with other people in order to achieve a particular purpose.

  • Ianthe

    This post came at the right time for me. I am almost at my wits end in trying to get my 2 little ones to get on my time. I realize now that I need more patience and I need to acknowledge the small wins, like your son.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Jan Merrifield

    Great post! I have nothing to say more and I have nothing to add some topic.

  • Daniel

    I am teaching my kids ( 11-14yo ) how to make better decisions to make them live as me. I don’t want them to work for someone 8h+/day like a slave : )

  • Smart Children

    Hi Pat,

    My daughter will be due soon. When I’m writing this comment, the due date is just 19 days away. Right now I’m so excited!

    Maybe you can share some experience about bringing up your children. See ya!

  • eric hou

    When we had 1st kid my parents helped to take care of him so me and my wife still able to “enjoy” our life, but when the second come to world, our life is totally changed.

  • Lateef Olajide

    You know have kids I’ve taught me a lot too. You’ve really got to learn and adapt fast most especially if you work from home office.

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  • Alina

    My kids taught me to be patient. Everything, as you mentioned, takes at least 3 times longer than it should. Many spills, clutter, and chaos happen. But I just learnt to take a step back, count to 5, then approach the situation with a more relaxed attitude. Kids are fun, but also challenging. We need a lot of patience to teach them, play with them, and help them grow up and become independent.
    Alina (

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