The Accidental Entrepreneur: How Pat Flynn Built a Thriving Online Business

Pat Flynn is an entrepreneur, author, podcaster, and speaker. He is best known for his blog Smart Passive Income, where he shares his experiences and strategies for creating successful online businesses. Flynn is widely recognized as a thought leader in the online business world, and his work has helped countless entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners achieve their goals.

Early Life and Career

Pat Flynn was born in December 1982 in Anaheim, California. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005 with a degree in architecture. After graduation, he worked as an intern architect in San Diego but was laid off during the recession in 2008.

Flynn then turned to online business and began exploring different ways to make money online. He started his first website, called “Green Exam Academy,” which provided study materials for people taking the LEED certification exam. Flynn had passed the exam himself and realized there was a need for study materials in the market.

Flynn’s website became successful, and he started to make money through affiliate marketing, which involves promoting other people’s products and earning a commission on sales. He then started to share his experiences and strategies on his blog, Smart Passive Income, which became hugely popular and turned him into an influential figure in the online business world.

Pat Flynn

Smart Passive Income

Smart Passive Income was founded in 2008 and quickly became a go-to resource for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to create successful online businesses. The blog covers a wide range of topics, including affiliate marketing, email marketing, online courses, podcasting, and more.

Flynn’s approach to online business is centered on the idea of creating passive income streams, which refers to income that continues to flow in even when you’re not actively working. He believes that everyone has the potential to create passive income streams and achieve financial freedom.

In addition to his blog, Flynn also hosts a popular podcast called the Smart Passive Income Podcast. The podcast features interviews with successful entrepreneurs and business owners, as well as tips and strategies for creating successful online businesses.

Other Ventures

In addition to Smart Passive Income, Flynn has been involved in a number of other ventures throughout his career. He has written several books, including “Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money” and “Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business.”

Flynn has also launched a number of online courses, including “Power-Up Podcasting” and “Smart From Scratch.” These courses provide step-by-step guidance for creating successful podcasts and online businesses, respectively.

Here are some of Pat Flynn’s most popular podcasts:

The Smart Passive Income Podcast

The Smart Passive Income Podcast is Pat Flynn’s flagship podcast, which he started in 2010. The podcast covers a wide range of topics related to online business and entrepreneurship, including affiliate marketing, blogging, podcasting, email marketing, and more.

Each episode features interviews with successful entrepreneurs, as well as Flynn’s own insights and advice. The podcast has over 500 episodes and has been downloaded over 70 million times, making it one of the most popular business podcasts on the web.

AskPat 2.0

AskPat 2.0 is a daily podcast in which Pat Flynn answers listener questions about online business, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Each episode is typically around 5-10 minutes long, and features Flynn’s concise and practical advice.

The podcast is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are looking for quick answers to their most pressing business questions. As of 2021, there are over 1,200 episodes of AskPat 2.0.

The SPI Book Club

The SPI Book Club is a podcast in which Pat Flynn and his team discuss a new business or self-improvement book each month. The podcast features in-depth discussions and analysis of the book’s key takeaways, as well as practical tips and strategies for applying the book’s lessons to your own life and business.

The SPI Book Club is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are looking to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and insights in business and self-improvement. As of 2021, there are over 50 episodes of the SPI Book Club.

Pat Flynn’s podcasts are a great resource for entrepreneurs who are looking to learn more about online business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. From his flagship podcast, The Smart Passive Income Podcast, to his daily Q&A show, AskPat 2.0, and his book club podcast, Flynn provides a wealth of valuable insights and advice for anyone looking to start or grow an online business.

Awards and Recognition

Flynn’s work has been recognized by a number of organizations and publications throughout his career. He was named one of Forbes’ Top 10 Online Marketing Experts to Follow in 2014 and has been featured in publications like The New York Times, Forbes, and Entrepreneur.

In 2015, Flynn won the Best Business Podcast award at the Podcast Awards for his Smart Passive Income Podcast. He has also been a keynote speaker at events like the Social Media Marketing World conference and has spoken at universities like UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Personal Life

Flynn is married and has two children. He is also an avid reader and enjoys spending time with his family and exploring the outdoors.

Pat Flynn is a family man who places a high value on spending time with his loved ones. Here is a bit of information about Pat Flynn’s family:

Pat Flynn’s Wife

Pat Flynn’s wife is named April, and she is an important part of his life and business. April has played a significant role in the success of Pat’s business, helping him to develop and launch many of his products and services.

In addition to her work with Pat’s business, April is also a successful entrepreneur in her own right. She runs a website called, which provides resources and information about natural health and wellness.

Pat Flynn’s Children

Pat Flynn has two children, a son and a daughter. He is a devoted father who enjoys spending time with his family and sharing his experiences with his audience.

Pat often shares photos and stories about his children on his social media channels, and he has even written a children’s book called “Let Go” that teaches kids about the importance of taking risks and embracing failure.

Pat Flynn’s family is an important part of his life and business. His wife April has played a significant role in the success of his business, and his children are a source of inspiration and joy for him. As a family man, Pat values the importance of spending time with his loved ones and creating a balanced and fulfilling life both personally and professionally.

Also Read: Why Establishing a Brand should be First Step In Your Blogging Strategy

About Pat Flynn’s team

Pat Flynn’s team consists of a group of talented individuals who work together to support and grow his online business empire. Here are some key members of Pat Flynn’s team:

Mindy Holahan

Mindy Holahan is Pat Flynn’s Executive Assistant and Operations Manager. She handles many of the day-to-day operations of the business, including scheduling, email management, and project management.

Matt Gartland

Matt Gartland is the CEO of Flynn’s company, Flynndustries LLC. He oversees the strategic direction of the business and works closely with Flynn to develop new products and services.

Caleb Wojcik

Caleb Wojcik is the Director of Video Production at Flynndustries. He produces many of Flynn’s video courses and is responsible for creating high-quality video content for the business.

Team Flynn

In addition to his core team, Pat Flynn also has a large community of supporters called “Team Flynn”. These are people who follow Flynn’s work and support his mission to help people build successful online businesses.

Team Flynn members can connect with each other through a private Facebook group, and they receive exclusive access to webinars, courses, and other resources. The community is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are looking to connect with like-minded people and learn more about online business.

Pat Flynn’s team is a group of talented individuals who work together to support his mission of helping people build successful online businesses. From his Executive Assistant to his Director of Video Production, each member of the team plays an important role in the success of Flynn’s online empire. In addition to his core team, Flynn also has a large community of supporters called “Team Flynn” who are passionate about his work and help to spread his message to others.

Overcoming Adversity

After being laid off from his job as an intern architect during the recession, Flynn faced a difficult period in his life. However, he used this experience as an opportunity to explore his passions and eventually discovered a career in online business. This experience taught him the importance of resilience and the ability to adapt to change.

Giving Back

Flynn is also known for his commitment to giving back. In addition to providing valuable resources and education through Smart Passive Income, he has also donated to causes like Pencils of Promise, which helps build schools in developing countries. He has also participated in fundraising events like the annual charity walk, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Balancing Work and Family

As a father of two young children, Flynn understands the importance of balancing work and family. He has shared his strategies for managing his time and staying productive, while also prioritizing his family and personal life. This balance is a key part of his approach to creating passive income streams and achieving financial freedom.

The Future of Online Business

Flynn’s work has been instrumental in shaping the online business landscape, and he continues to be a thought leader in this field. He believes that the future of online business will be centered around building authentic relationships with customers and providing value through high-quality content and products.

Also Read: 8 Types of posts to Make your Readers Love your Blog

Affiliate Marketing Strategies

Pat Flynn is known for his successful affiliate marketing strategies, which have helped him earn a significant income through his online business. Some of his key tactics include:

  • Building trust with his audience: Flynn has always prioritized providing value and building authentic relationships with his audience. This trust has allowed him to recommend products and services with confidence, knowing that his audience will trust his recommendations.
  • Offering bonuses and incentives: To sweeten the deal for his audience, Flynn often offers exclusive bonuses and incentives for those who purchase products through his affiliate links. These can include free e-books, courses, or one-on-one coaching sessions.
  • Creating high-quality content: Flynn’s content is known for its quality and depth, which has helped him establish himself as an authority in his niche. By creating content that is both informative and entertaining, he has built a loyal following that is more likely to take his recommendations.

Earnings from Affiliate Marketing

While Flynn doesn’t disclose his exact earnings from affiliate marketing, it’s clear that this has been a significant source of income for him. In fact, he has reported earning over $2 million in affiliate commissions from a single product launch.

Some of the affiliate programs that Flynn promotes on his website and podcast include:

  • Bluehost: A web hosting service that offers a commission of up to $65 per referral.
  • ConvertKit: An email marketing platform that offers a commission of up to 30% per referral.
  • Fizzle: An online business community that offers a commission of up to 40% per referral.

Flynn’s success in affiliate marketing is a testament to his ability to build trust with his audience, offer valuable content and incentives, and promote products that he believes in.

Pat Flynn’s success in affiliate marketing is a key part of his overall online business strategy. Through his focus on building trust with his audience, offering valuable incentives, and creating high-quality content, he has been able to earn a significant income from affiliate marketing.

While the exact amount of his earnings is not publicly disclosed, it’s clear that affiliate marketing has been a major factor in his success as an online entrepreneur. By following his strategies and tactics, others can learn from his success and apply these principles to their own businesses.


Pat Flynn’s journey from laid-off architect to successful online entrepreneur is a testament to the power of resilience, adaptability, and hard work. Through his blog, podcast, books, and courses, he has provided invaluable resources and education to entrepreneurs around the world.

Flynn’s commitment to giving back, balancing work and family, and shaping the future of online business has made him an influential figure in this field. His work has inspired countless people to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and achieve financial freedom, and his legacy will continue to impact the online business world for years to come.

Pat Flynn’s story is a testament to the power of entrepreneurship and the possibilities of creating successful online businesses. His work has helped countless entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners achieve their goals, and his approach to passive income has inspired many to pursue financial freedom.

Through his blog, podcast, and other ventures, Flynn has become an influential figure in the online business world, and his work continues to inspire and educate people around the world.

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Hello, This is Vijesh, a part time blogger with passion for coding and learning new horizons of blogging. I'm also interested in designing and Internet Marketing.

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