An important note...
About my sanity and how I don't go crazy
Check it out—I get up to 400 emails per day! It’s pretty crazy. For a few years, I let the number of unread emails get into the thousands.
At one point, I had over 9,000 unread emails in my inbox. It made me sick to my stomach, especially because for the first couple years of business, I was able to answer every single email that came through, no problem.
As my brand grew, however, so did the number of people asking for my help. Even though I spent hours answering emails each day, unfortunately I just drowned in it all.
Luckily, I finally got over the fear of hiring someone to help me with my inbox problem. Enter my Executive Assistant, Jessica, to my rescue! Together, we’re able to get through most of the hundreds of emails that come my way each day.
Jessica does help me by answering some of the emails that come through herself. However, she does not answer as me, or pretending to be me. If you get a reply from me (Pat), it’s really me who is answering.
Even with the help, I still get a ton of email so please respect the amount of time it might take for one of us to get back to you. In most cases, it will not be immediate.
Oh, if you’re wondering how Jessica and I cleared out my backlog of 9,000 emails, listen to SPI Podcast Episode #115. In this episode, we share all of the strategies and tactics that saved my sanity, increased my response time to fans, and allowed me to better concentrate on my creative projects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Help Yourself to these Common Answers
How do I get started in online business?
Great question! That’s what this website is designed to teach you!
The best place to get started (and what I will tell me if you ask me this question in an email) is to visit my Smart Passive Income 101 page. I’ve created this page specifically to walk you through the key things you need to know to get started.
Once you’ve read and listened to the articles and podcasts on the Smart Passive Income 101 page, visit my Resources page. This is where I’ve outlined all of the tools, services, apps, and courses that I have found most useful for starting and building a business.
How do I know if my business idea will work?
This is a common question I get asked (and a common fear of new business owners). You want to run some tests to see if your business idea is sound, which is called “product validation.” I’m passionate about idea testing—I wrote an entire book on the topic called Will It Fly?. If you have a business idea that you’re ready to start testing, or you’re trying to choose between a few different ideas, I would encourage you to pick up a copy of my book.
For more on testing your business idea, click on the search box above and type “product validation.” I’ve dedicated several podcasts episodes and blog posts to the topic of testing out business ideas.
I have a great business idea, but not enough money to get started. What should I do (and will you give me a loan)?
Congratulations on coming up with a great idea! I know it feels scary, but you really can start a business on very little money. When I got started, I was paying $7/month for web hosting—that’s it.
One of my favorite things to feature on Smart Passive Income are success stories from entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses (many of which were started with very little money). To find these, click on the search box above and type “success stories.”
This podcast session with Bryan Harris is an excellent example, and he walks you through how to create a product you can sell: SPI 190: Step-by-Step Product Creation with Bryan Harris.
In Session #38, Chris Guillebeau talks about starting a business with only $100: SPI 038: World Domination and the $100 Startup with Chris Guillebeau.
In Session 46, Dane Maxwell talks about starting up a business from scratch with no money: SPI 046: Building a Lucrative Business with No Ideas, No Expertise, and No Money with Dane Maxwell.
I get a surprisingly large number of requests for loans each month. I don’t have the necessary time available to vet potential business investments, and so I will not be able to loan you money to start your business. If you are looking for a small business loan, I recommend checking out Kiva.org, which is a platform specifically designed to help entrepreneurs obtain small business loans.
Will you be a guest on my podcast?
Obviously, I love podcast interviews! I get way more interview requests than I can accommodate, but I do seriously consider all invitations. Use the form below and select “I want to interview Pat on my podcast.”
Will you participate in my email interview roundup? Can I interview you via email?
I know this is a technique I recommend for building traffic to your blog! I’m truly sorry I won’t be able to participate.
I get dozens of requests for this each week—so many that I am not able to answer interview questions via email. I want to be sure that any answers, advice, or quotes I share are of the utmost quality, and my current project load doesn’t allow me time to give your questions the attention and thought that they deserve.
Can I be a guest on your podcast?
I am always happy to consider new guests for the Smart Passive Income Podcast, especially if you used techniques from SPI to help you grow your business. Use the contact form below and select “I am an SPI success story and would love to share it.”
Please keep in mind that the best guests are those who can share specific, actionable techniques that will help my audience start and/or grow their businesses.
Will you be in my mastermind?
Thank you so much for the invitation! I am in several mastermind groups and am not looking to join any others right now.
Will you mentor or coach me?
Thank you so much for asking me. So that I can help the largest number of people, I am not currently offering any coaching sessions. A few times a year I do offer in-person coaching through 1-Day Business Breakthrough, along with my friend and fellow entrepreneur Chris Ducker.
If you are interested in this coaching, the best way to stay informed of availability is to sign up for my email list.
How much will it cost to have you speak at my event or conference?
I know you’re looking for a specific number, but it truly does depend on your event. I customize my fee for each event; some of the factors include how long you’d like me to speak, whether it’s a keynote or a workshop session, time of year, and if you’d like to purchase books for your attendees.
Fill out the contact form below to tell me more about your event and I’ll follow up with you soon.
What topics can you speak about?
My most requested keynote topics are:
- How to Convert Your Casual Audience into Raving Fans
- How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money
- How to Build a Winning Mastermind Group
- How to Future-Proof Your Brand
- Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way
Learn more on about these on my speaking page.
I customize each speech to fit the audience—and I’m happy to speak on other topics! Fill out the contact form below to tell me more about your upcoming event.
Can I use your email content/blog posts/podcast episodes on my own site?
No, you may not reprint or republish any of my content without my written permission. Except where otherwise specified, all content is copyright of Flynndustries, LLC.
Taking content without permission is not a nice thing to do—and it’s a really bad way to build a business. You can do better—build a business based on your own knowledge and skills. I have faith in you!
Can I translate your work into another language?
I have received many kind offers to translate my work into other languages. Because the project will require much more than simply translating my words, it is not a project I am planning to take on at this time. Please do not publish translations of my work without my written consent.
Can I use your legal disclaimer/terms and conditions/affiliate disclaimer on my own website?
I would not recommend it. I am not an attorney. The legal copy on my website was written for me by my attorney to meet the needs of my business—even if your business looks similar to mine, your needs will be different. It is critical that you have your own attorney review and approve all legal statements and disclosures that you make. Each industry and each municipality (city, state, country) has their own rules—you need to find an attorney who can help you understand those rules.
Here are some good ways to find an attorney in your area:
- Ask other entrepreneurs you know for recommendations
- Drop by your local coworking facility; their staff may also be able to provide you with recommendations for attorneys who specialize in working with new entrepreneurs
- Go to LegalZoom and click on Speak with an attorney to view their directory of attorneys
Still have a question?
Please email me using my awesome contact form
Email can be messy and overwhelming. Thankfully, there are cool tools out there that help make email submissions smoother on both of us. I use one such tool called Typeform.
To email me, please click the green button below. Doing so will enter you into my Typeform. My Typeform contains some nifty logic to make sure that your question is routed appropriately to me (and Jessica!).