AskPat 389 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to AskPat Episode 389.
All right, here's today's question, from Liz.
Liz Reed: Hey Pat, this is Liz Reed. I am the co-creator of the disturbingly cute web comic, Cuddles and Rage, and I also host a podcast of people I think are cool. I wanted to know more about your start into the Smart Passive Income. I listen to your podcast all the time when I'm sculpting and illustrating, and I just wanted to know if at first this grew out of wanting to have some additional income, and if … Right now I look at your invoices and how much you make and I just wonder … I feel like the way that you approach people and the way that you answer everyone's questions, that, man, it's coming from your heart. I just wanted to know what that journey's been like for you, since you started in 2008, in terms of helping people and what it meant to you then and what it means to you now.
Pat Flynn: Hey Liz, thank you so much for the question. I don't know if you're sculpting or illustrating right now, but that'd be kind of cool, because I think that's awesome that you have me on in your earbuds or on the speakers or wherever you listen—maybe you're in a studio or something. I think that's awesome.
Now, I talk a lot about my origin story in terms of Green Exam Academy. Getting laid off, starting my business, helping people pass an exam in the architecture business. I tell that quite often on podcast episodes and stuff. But I don't get often into the start, the details of the start of Smart Passive Income. Although I do talk about that, I've talked about that on the blog before, I've written posts about it many times in the past. But I'd love to talk about it here on AskPat to finish off the week here, and to hopefully keep you company while you sculpt. I'd love to know what you're sculpting, actually, I'm quite curious.
Just to get into it, in October 2008, after I had been working on Green Exam Academy for awhile, I had a product coming out. This was an ebook to help people pass an exam in this architecture industry called the LEED exam. And I said to myself before I launched this, I said, “You know what, if this works” … I didn't really think it was going to work. I really had no idea. I was ready to, if this wasn't going to work, go back into the architecture world. But I said, “If this does work, I have to share this with people. I have to share this because this is just … This is unbelievable.” I didn't even know this world was possible.
Of course, in October 2008, if you go back into my income reports, you'll see that I made $7,908.55, from a $19.99 ebook. So that was incredibly successful, incredibly life changing. It was that same month I decided to create smartpassiveincome.com and just share the whole story, talk about everything that I was going through. Literally after the first couple posts, I had officially gotten laid off. I had known that I was going to be laid off for months, and right after the launch of my ebook, I'd officially gotten let go. That was my termination date. It was at that point I had just started smartpassiveincome.com.
I didn't really know where it was going or what it was going to be. If you would've told me that it would be what it is today, and I would become who I am in this space, I would have thought you were crazy. I probably wouldn't have even wanted that. The primary reason for starting Smart Passive Income … There was no thoughts of generating revenue from it, at all. I was really gung ho on the Green Exam Academy stuff. I was making, that first month, about $8000, the next month 11, then 12, then 14, then up to all the way to 30, to more than that. 30 grand a month, on GreenExamAcademy.com. I didn't need any extra income, I felt like.
So I built Smart Passive Income purely to just showcase everything I was doing and just be completely transparent about it from the get-go. My first income report was that very same first month, from October 2008. That was the first month I monetized and I have been keeping up with those income reports since then. But really there was no monetary reason for starting Smart Passive Income. The primary reason was just because I wanted to reach people who were like me, who were maybe stuck or weren't happy or didn't even know that this world of online business existed. When I discovered it, I just had to share it because it changed my life. It gave me a new path, a new direction.
Now it's given me the ability to spend time with my family. When I get those success stories coming in from people who say, “Pat, thank you for giving me a few extra hours every day with my son,” I'm just like, this is why I do what I do. I'm so glad I've gotten down this path. The amazing thing is, like you said, you look at my income reports now and the bulk of my income, the majority of it, is coming directly as a result of Smart Passive Income. It's just amazing and I'm truly blessed and thankful.
I know it all comes down to you guys, to everybody listening and everybody in the SPI audience who's been incredibly supportive. If you go into more detail in those income reports you'll see that the majority of that income coming from SPI is coming from affiliate marketing. I don't have my own products, at least at this point in time. So a lot of that is coming through the recommendations and the tools that I share, and the services that I use and recommend to all of you. We've built enough trust together over time that you guys actually take those recommendations and go with them.
Of course I know that with this kind of power, that's what it is, comes a lot of responsibility, so I have to be very careful. I know that it could be very easy for me to tarnish our relationship together, Liz, and everybody else out there listening, with one bad recommendation. Or going down a path that had made me feel like there was a bad taste in my mouth back in the day with other people who have gotten started with business and didn't go necessarily a route that I would've gone down either.
Yes, it does all come from the heart, and I feel like when I started that's essentially what the deal was. Hey, I'm just going to pour everything out there for you guys and show you just how real it is. What's right, what's wrong, what I wish I could've done better, and that sort of thing. But as a byproduct of doing that, the income has grown. And I know that the more heart I put into it, the more transparent I get, the more I can reveal for you, the more examples I can create, the more I can lead by example, the more the income just generates.
So it's a cool win for everybody. And that just motivates me even more, which makes me help you even more, which helps you support me even more, which makes me support you even more. It's just a cool feedback loop. That's why this survey that just came out recently—and if you're listening to this today, this is the last day or one of the last days before the weekend that you can take the survey, which will help me serve you even better down the road. Because I'm at a point now where I have hundreds of thousands of people in my audience and I want to understand them as best as I can, to help determine the future of SPI and what I do next.
‘Cause I'm just getting started. I've been around for six, seven years now at this point, doing what I do here, being transparent, not even having my own courses yet, and sharing as much as I can. And I want to do even more. I want to do more of that. I want to do more philanthropy. I want to give more of my heart to you, because I know that the more I give to you, the more you then pass that on to other people. Not pass on Smart Passive Income. I know you do that anyway because when I can help you, you help me. But I want you to help others too, and that's kind of what this is all about.
Trying to lead by example is what this is all about. That has always come back to reward me in so many ways, and I hope you do the same with you in your businesses as well. Sculpting and illustrating and whatever it is that you do. I just wish you all the best of luck, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support and love from the SPI audience. Hopefully that gives you a little bit of information in terms of how I've gotten started and what can happen when you put your audience first. Amazing things can happen, and you can make a great living by giving. Nobody's ever gotten poor by giving. That's what Anne Frank said. That's not the quote of the day. I have one quote at the end to share with you, which is a Pat Flynn original.
But before that I just want to say, Liz, thank you so much. If you have any additional questions or followup questions, feel free to shoot me a message on Twitter, @patflynn, although by the time this comes out I will still be in Australia with my family for a vacation. But I'll probably see the tweet anyway. So @patflynn on Twitter, for you and everybody else out there listening. Yeah, thank you so much, I really appreciate it. Love you guys. And Liz, since you asked this question, we're going to send you an AskPat T-shirt. For any of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to askpat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat next week. To finish off, here's a quote from myself. That is: “Don't let today's opportunities become tomorrow's what ifs.”
Thanks guys. Cheers. Spisurvey.com. Appreciate you. Bye.