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SPI 534: These Are the Best Episodes of 2021

I just had an amazing interview with Brenda Petrella of Outdoor Photography School on Wednesday, and it was one of my favorite recent episodes to record. It got me to dig back into the archives, where I realized just how many incredible episodes we’ve put out this year. That’s why in today’s follow-up Friday, I wanted to go back into time and call out some of my favorite episodes of the SPI Podcast in 2021.

I’ll be sharing some of the most memorable moments from the show this year, and expressing my gratitude for the year that was in podcast land here at SPI. We’ve got a ton of great podcast content coming at you in 2022, and I can’t wait for all of it. But for now, thanks for being here for the ride that was 2021. I appreciate you!


SPI 534: These Are the Best Episodes of 2021

Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. Now, your host. He’s lean, he’s green, he’s a podcasting machine, Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Happy Friday, or follow-up Friday. This episode’s going to be a little bit different because, well, we just had this amazing interview with Brenda last Wednesday and she told her story about how she started her online photography business and it was one of my favorite episodes to record. But then I go back and I’m like, “Wow, all the episodes this year were absolutely incredible,” so what I wanted to do was go back into time to our first episode in January of 2021 and just call out some of my favorites, some memorable moments and some updates for some of those people who we brought on the show. Maybe you can remember those, or if you haven’t listened to those yet, perhaps you were a new subscriber, you can go back and listen to those, but these are some of the standouts and favorites from 2021.

Pat Flynn: I want to start with the very first episode, 455. We’re currently, at what is this, 534? 455 in January of [2021]. This was with Rob Maurer from Tesla Daily. Now, Tesla Daily is one of the only podcasts I listened to literally every single day, and I catch him on YouTube, in fact, and that conversation was great because Rob, an incredible human being who quit his job to just follow Tesla and provide news and updates in an unbiased manner about Tesla, and I’m a Tesla shareholder, I’m a Tesla user, and Tesla’s obviously become very, very important in the media, and the media has been in a way skewing a lot of things one way or another. Rob always takes this amazing stance and just factual-based approach to it, and he’s grown his audience quite big and he does both YouTube podcasting and audio podcasting and his YouTube channel has grown quite a bit.

Pat Flynn: I’m looking at a tool called SocialBlade just to remember where he was at and where he is now. He was getting maybe 200 to 350,000 video views on his YouTube channel Tesla Daily per month, so a quarter million per month. He’s at a point now where he’s getting 2.5 million views per month. Obviously, the news of Tesla and Elon Musk and all that stuff has contributed to this, but just the fact that Rob has remained consistent, and that episode was absolutely fantastic because we talk about balance, we talk about his story, and I think that’s absolutely key.

Pat Flynn: We started off the year with a bang. The next episode, 456, was with SPI community member and SPI Pro member Josh Hall. How he created courses, he’s in the web development space, and he created some niche courses to help people, and it’s absolutely changed his business and his life. He’s been so incredible inside of SPI Pro in helping and serving others, too. This episode, I remember getting a lot of feedback on. When I have people direct messaging me saying, “Wow, that episode was incredible,” that’s how you know it was really, really good. I mean, that happened with Rob as well, and Rob has this incredible fan base on YouTube who reached out to me to thank me for providing this side of the story for Rob. But Josh, I mean that episode was so tangible, very, very specific strategies that you can pull away from, and again, that’s 456 with Josh Hall.

Pat Flynn: All right, moving up the list here, 459 was great, Derral Eves, who’s a good friend of mine. He runs a conference called VidSummit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend VidSummit like I wanted to in August of this year in LA, but that still happened, and he threw it down. It was an amazing event, I heard. One of my favorite events to attend, but I wasn’t able to go, but I was glad to bring him on the show in 459 because his book The YouTube Formula breaks down really what the formula is for winning on YouTube, and obviously, I’ve gone pretty hard on YouTube on both the Pat Flynn side of things, as well as the Pokémon channel, which a lot of the episodes that I talked about midyear were about, and starting that channel, what has happened since. I’ll give you a quick update on that in just a minute. But really, really exciting stuff. Derral, thank you so much for all the help you’ve provided.

Pat Flynn: We’ve actually started a YouTube channel for Smart Passive Income specifically, which features one of our very own, more than me, Mindy. Mindy has been our solutions manager, so if you think of her as sort of the IT person, right, solutions director, really, helping connect a lot of the technologies together and getting everything from landing pages to emails to sequences, campaigns up and running, and sales pages. She’s been providing a wealth of knowledge on that YouTube channel. We have over 3,000 subscribers there now, which is really cool. You can check it out, Smart Passive Income, on YouTube. You’ll find me there as well as the SPI channel featuring Mindy with a lot of technical help on how to connect a lot of your technologies together, so a big shout-out to Mindy there.

Pat Flynn: Now, soon after Derral came on the show, we started talking a lot about community. We launched SPI Pro mid 2020 to amazing success and it still continues to thrive and be the one of the most fulfilling things we’ve ever done, but we knew that we were going to step into this world and be an example for people, so in February of 2021, we brought Circle on, Circle and Matt and myself came on to talk about online communities and how to start them. Sid and Andrew over at Circle just created this amazing platform.

Pat Flynn: Full disclosure: I am not just an affiliate now, but I am an advisor to the company. If you want to check out Circle, We had predicted that community would be even more important moving forward in business and it definitely has become that since and we’ve done these things now called “Open Circle,” where we invite anybody who’s interested live to come in our team questions, and that’s going to be happening again on and on into 2022, for sure. It’s just been incredible to see more and more people creating their own niche communities with a tool like Circle, so again, That was a bonus episode in-between 459 and 460. It was not an emergency, but we just saw this emergence of community, and we wanted to step up and bring the team on over at Circle to talk about that together.

Pat Flynn: Then we have Jay Clouse, who came in in February. Jay has been our community director, really leading the charge with building an incredible team and community experience, really, community experience director. Jay, I highly recommend you check out his podcast. Creative Elements is the name of it. It is one of the most well-produced and fun episodes of any podcast to listen to, or fun shows to listen to, and again, Jay Clouse from, he came on to talk about freelancing, but I encourage you to check him out because he’s got some amazing things going on, for sure.

Pat Flynn: Actually, March, I created a solo episode that had a lot of great feedback, 466, The Moment I Took the Entrepreneurial Leap, The Moment I Took the Entrepreneurial Leap. This talks about a lot of the psychology of what it was like to actually make that jump and leap into entrepreneurship. Actually, that was, I think, a Friday follow-up episode based on a chat with Gino Wickman, who has a book called The Leap. That was a book. Gino Wickman, you might remember him from one of the books that I recommend all the time, which is called Rocket Fuel. We had him on the show to talk about his new book, but most of all, just what’s it like to take that leap and the things you have to look out for and how do you plan for it? I followed it up with 466, talking about my own entrepreneurial leap and such.

Pat Flynn: I think at this time I had a lot of solo things to share, right? In 468 in March, I talked about when I fail that work and life balance, because it hasn’t always been rainbows and unicorns and roses. It’s been a lot of trial and error and some stuff that definitely led to some really important conversations that my wife April and I had together that balancing kids, balancing more opportunities, learning to say no, all of that stuff, very, very important, in episode 468.

Pat Flynn: Now, moving into April, a fun episode, April 7th, number 473, we had Jess, my wonderful executive assistant, on to talk about assistants, admins, and appreciation. That marked Administrative Appreciation Day. We brought Jess on. She’s been a recurring guest on the show. First time, I think her episode was 115 where we talked about how she came on to help me solve my email problems, which was really great, and she’s come on a couple times since, so 473, if you want to listen to Jess chat about working with an assistant, or anybody on a team, really, and how to make them feel appreciated. That’s so, so important because a lot of times these people who might do some amazing work for us, they don’t need much. They don’t need gifts. They don’t need things like that often. I think it’s important to do and to offer. However, sometimes just words of appreciation go a very long way, so we talk about that in episode 473.

Pat Flynn: Moving into the tail end of April, we bring on Stu McLaren to talk about how to launch and manage a successful membership community. Stu is just one of the most amazing human beings in the world. Stu coming on, always telling some incredible stories, he’s really inspired us on Team SPI to dive deeper into learning about your users and their success stories and cross-checking them with the specific objections that they had and how that can be useful for sharing information and even selling and promoting the things that you have. I highly recommend checking out 477 because Stu is just absolutely just epic with all that stuff.

Pat Flynn: Okay, now, let’s move forward. I’m going to skip over the summer and go into 499 with Jeff Goins. Jeff Goins is somebody who’s helped me out with my book. Recently, you might have heard me talk about my book The Lean Learner, which is coming out sometime, at the time that I’m recording this. The proposal is in the hands of my agent, who is now determining what changes we need to make, if any, before we shop it around. Again, I don’t know if it’s going to be traditional or self-published. We’ll see, but Jeff was really helpful with that.

Pat Flynn: But we didn’t talk about that in episode 499. What we talked about specifically was the big idea and how to get your ideas to spread. What makes an idea spreadable, we talk about this idea between the just sort of outlandish and the obvious, right? You want that spot in the middle, right? Things that are obvious, people already know, they’re going to breeze over, but things that are completely outlandish and just unreal are just going to be skipped over as well because it’s like, “Oh, I don’t believe that at all,” or, “That gets way out there. I’m not even going to waste my time.”

Pat Flynn: It’s when you get something in-between that is sort of like, “Here’s everybody’s idea about this and here’s how you flip it on its head and make people go, ‘Whoa. Wait, what? Okay, I guess that could be true, but okay, I got to find that out. I got to click on that thumbnail. I got to read that book. I take that course, or at least read the next section of the sales page.'” If there’s any one episode I would recommend you listen to, it would be that one. I mean, I wish I could say that about every episode. Every episode’s great, but 499 with Jeff was absolutely incredible, and I would imagine life-changing for some people, episode 499 with Jeff Goins.

Pat Flynn: That leads us into our huge milestone episode, episode 500, which was super fun. I’m just even remembering that conversation right now with Shane Sams, who was previously a guest on the show, a fan favorite, in fact, who I invited on to interview me about my story, so when you go to that episode, episode 500, you’ll see it’s about a mystery host flipping the script. Well, the mystery host, I just revealed, was Shane Sams flipping the script. He owns with his wife Flipped Lifestyles. He and his wife Jocelyn are just so amazing and have been incredibly supportive and always credit me with their success. Honestly, it’s a back and forth, right? It’s a pass forward, a pass amongst each other, and I highly recommend you listen to that, because if you haven’t heard about my story, and really, the details of it and how I got started in this space, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s just awesome.

Pat Flynn: Cool. Now, we move forward into now the fall where we go into places like Dorie Clark talking about playing the long game. That’s in episode 509. Dorie, another amazing human being who, she’s been on the show before to talk about some of her other books, but this book in particular, how to play and win the long game, right, her book called The Long Game, doing business in a way that’s going to get you to have success for a longer period of time, a lot of us perhaps have experienced the short-term game or the short-term win, but then we go through these droughts, right? Or taking an approach that we hope to cash in on really fast, and then we don’t have this long-term success, so definitely recommend 509 with Dorie Clark about how to play the long game in your business.

Pat Flynn: Next, we go into episode 511, and this is with Joe Sanok, with the idea of Thursday being the new Friday, right? The idea of the four-day workweek. Actually, this is a great time to announce this. When we were in Denver as a team, Matt and I made the announcement to our team that in 2022, we were going to be implementing this and actually moving our way toward a four-day workweek, a Monday through Thursday, and if you want to learn more about the science behind that and some of the studies that been done, episode 511 is really great, and it’s something that actually, even though you are having your team work less days, or hopefully you can do the same thing, you can also get much happier people and less stress. It also forces you to really prioritize and do the right things as opposed to doing just more things simply because you have more days of the week.

Pat Flynn: All right, and then we move into October here. We talked with Arvid Kahl about just some really immersive business tactics, right? You might remember that episode where Arvid had this idea to, well, when you wanted to learn about his audience and what it felt like to be in debt, he got into debt himself, right, which is pretty admirable, pretty scary, but also, it makes sense when you’re trying to really empathize with your audience and understand, “Well, who are they?” Right? That was episode 517.

Pat Flynn: Then at the time of this recording, 519, again, another favorite episode of the year, not just because it was with an amazing friend of mine and a person I’ve previously worked with, Mike Pacchione, who was my speaking coach back in 2013, 2014, we talk about storytelling. Storytelling is one of the most important things in business, in my opinion. It’s a skill that anybody can learn how to do, and once you learn the frameworks you practice, and of course, having a podcast like this definitely helps with that, it allows you to better connect with your audience, to resonate with them, to have them share those stories and pass it along, which is important for word of mouth. We get into storytelling tactics in episode 519. That’s another episode that I’ve had a lot of feedback from, people personally reaching to me to say, “Thank you for this episode,” and that it was game-changing.

Pat Flynn: That takes us to where we’re at now. I know we’re in the 530s, so there’s a little bit of a black hole between 520 and 530, because this is just the way production works, right? I’m recording this episode for December at the beginning of November, but those are some episodes that I highly recommend you listen to, if you haven’t already. That was just a fun recap for myself, personally.

Pat Flynn: As we continue to hone in on our strategies, as we continue to get more and more efficient, we sometimes forget, as things become more machine-like, to step back, to reflect, to look back, and just appreciate. I appreciate all the guests that have been on this show this year. I appreciate all of you for listening to, whether it’s one or multiple episodes this year, and I’m so, so thankful for my team, and I’m really excited for the future because we have a lot of incredible episodes coming your way and more success stories, more featuring members of the SPI community. Yeah, thank you so much for being a part of this. I’m so looking forward to more episodes with you. Make sure to subscribe if you haven’t already and check out those episodes that I just mentioned because any one of them could be life-changing for you. Cheers, peace out. Thanks so much, and I look forward to serving you next week. Team Flynn for the win.

Pat Flynn: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess, our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We’ll catch you in the next session.

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