Expert in Residence

Meet Pat Flynn

Author, speaker, serial entrepreneur, creator of SPI, and co-founder of SPI Media

Learn from the creator of SPI as one of Pro’s first Experts in Residence! Find Pat’s personal site at PatFlynn.com.

Pat Flynn standing outside

Seven Questions with Expert in Residence Pat Flynn

How did you get started in entrepreneurship?

After getting laid off from my dream job in 2008, I started an online business and website to help architects pass an exam. That business, GreenExamAcademy.com, took off and in less than a year I started to generate more income than I had in my day job. 

It was at that point that I knew that online business would give me not just more money, but more freedom as well.

What does an average day in your entrepreneurial life look like?

On an average day, I’m up at 7 a.m. and preparing breakfast and lunch for the kids before they go to school. At the same time, I’m either listening to music or a podcast to get me in the right mindset for the day. 

After drop off, I’m taking care of small things, such as replying to comments and messages on social media or answering Slack messages from the team. By 10 am, however, I’m deep in something creative, whether that’s writing, recording an episode for my podcast or YouTube channel, or brainstorming in a flow state until lunch.

During lunch, which is the same lunch every day to make decision-making easy, I’m listening to more music and generally just relaxing from the state I was in before. I go back into it at 12:30 p.m. so I can complete whatever creative project I was in before picking up the kids at school. From that point forward, it’s all-in with family until after they’re asleep at night, when I get back into work and find myself in my most productive state until about 11 p.m., or sometimes midnight.

Pat with wife and kids at an amusement park

What are your areas of expertise?

Podcasting, YouTube, Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, Webinars, Idea Validation, Network Marketing, Live Presentations, and Live Streaming.

What are you looking forward to most in your residence with the SPI Pro community? How specifically do you want to help entrepreneurs?

I’m excited to work more directly with our students through the EIR program!

What is your biggest professional challenge to date, and how did you overcome it?

Speaking live on stage was a huge fear of mine that dates all the way back to elementary school. For years, even while working a 9 to 5, I kept to myself and was deathly afraid of speaking in front of others. It wasn’t until 2011, when I had the chance to speak at the Financial Blogger Conference, that I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and just face the fear head on. I knew it would be beneficial not just to my business and career, but for real live audiences as well, and after that talk I became obsessed with mastering the craft. I hired a coach, I said yes to every opportunity, and eventually became renowned as a speaker who keeps audiences engaged and entertained. I see my presentations now as performances, not just talks.

Pat onstage speaking at Social Media Marketing World

What is your biggest professional win to date and what did you do to make it happen?

Outside of SPI, I’m very proud of some of the companies I’ve worked with as an advisor. As an official advisor to nearly a dozen companies today, I’ve come on board to help them grow — it’s a really special moment when a company exits or gets acquired. The fact that I’ve been able to have some influence on the success of the company — without entirely building and working on it from scratch — is an amazing feeling.