Pat Flynn is a beloved thought leader in the areas of online entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and lifestyle businesses. He overcame career adversity at an early age by finding his own path and true passion. Despite his success in business, Pat’s greatest joys are spending time with his family and friends as well as helping inspire and educate others on how to succeed with their own entrepreneurial careers.
Since 2014, however, he’s become more interested in areas of philanthropy, specifically in the world of education. He is on the advisory board for Pencils of Promise, and has helped build schools in Ghana, Africa. He plans to use his success to help education locally, a passion of his now especially since his two young children are now of school age.
Pat is routinely praised for his authentic leadership style and business principles. Forbes recently named him one of the ten most transparent leaders in business. The New York Times profiled him as a case study in smart online business building. And countless podcasts and blogs have featured his story and the techniques he uses to manage and grow this audience.
Presently, Pat enjoys focusing on writing books, growing his top-ranked business podcast, and speaking at conferences, and learning more about changing education and how kids learn.
The Personal Origin Story
Hi. I’m Pat, a regular guy who used to have a regular job. I love the little things in life and never take myself too seriously. Laughing with friends and enjoying my family are two of my favorite things. Today, I consider myself the luckiest person on earth.
But that wasn’t always true.
After graduating from the University of California Berkeley, I began my dream job working for an architecture firm in San Francisco. Life was good. Two years later, I proposed to my amazing girlfriend, who said yes. Life was great.
And then it wasn’t; I was laid off in June 2008.
I was scared of the unknown I faced. And I was scared of the disappointment I’d bring to those I cared about. I didn’t know what the path forward looked like. And with the economy in crisis, I wasn’t sure how, when, or where I was going to find another job, especially one that I liked. It was all a bit maddening. Then a crazy idea popped into my head: I could work for myself.
Although the entrepreneurial path was risky, it was invigorating and felt right. Thankfully, while still working for the firm, I had unknowingly built a popular blog as a means to organize my notes as I prepared to test for an elite industry certification. That’s where I decided to focus first for my online business. The rest, as they say, is history.
Looking back, getting laid off was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Without my 9-to-5 job holding me back, I’ve since been able to earn more money while working less hours. The end result is a lifestyle built around quality time with my family, my dream come true.
Pat’s Guiding Principles
I have a few guiding principles to keep myself grounded and focused on the right things. After all, in the world of online business, it’s just as easy to lose your path as find it. These principles keep me on course.
1. The best and worst things in life are usually the things that happen unplanned.
When bad things happen, learn from them and vow to not repeat the behaviors that allowed them to happen. When good things come along, take advantage of them and learn how to stimulate more good things like them to happen. That’s called creating your own luck, which is a far better option than trying to control the uncontrollable.
2. Whether success or failure, I want the satisfaction of knowing my results are my own.
The greatest thrill in business is to experience success that you manufactured yourself. The joy comes from knowing that I did that, me. Taking pride in one’s craft and working hard for one’s own rewards is the opportunity of a lifetime. Failures and missteps will happen along the way. That’s natural. When they occur, get up, learn from them, and move forward.
3. The right path is the one you make yourself that leads to your version of happiness.
We all have different ideas about what happiness is, which is why we shouldn’t all follow the same path. To embrace our unique passions and enjoy our own forms of fulfillment, we must be willing to step off the prescribed path and forge our own. No matter what your goals are, there’s always more than one way to realize them. Find yours.