For those of you who have not heard of Pat Flynn, let me give you a little introduction:
Pat is the owner of Smartpassiveincome.com, a fantastic blog about:
*Ways to make money online
*How to use social media sites to your advantage
*How to build up an income on the internet.
He is just 26 years old and made over $200 000 with his online business last year.
It has not been like that his whole life. In fact, Pat was working in the architecture industry up until one year ago when he got laid off. This is Pat’s story:
“Just one year ago, at the age of 25, I was living in my parents’ home, engaged to be married. I got laid off and wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen next.”
Pat, could you please tell us what your life was like up to the age of 25 when you got laid off. How did you see your life (career and financially) and what were your future goals?
First of all, I just wanted to thank you, Diggy, for the opportunity to answer your questions and hopefully provide you and your readers with some insight as far as how I got to this point in life. I feel very fortunate to be where I’m at, but I know part of the reason was because of inspiration from people who were living the life and doing the things that I wanted to eventually do, so I’m always more than happy to give back by answering questions and hopefully inspiring others in the same way.
As far as my life before getting laid off, life was actually pretty good. I was working 9 to 5 at an architecture firm here in Southern California, working on some really awesome projects for really high-end clients. I won’t mention them here, but you can find some of those projects on the Strip in Las Vegas.
A typical day was going to work in the morning, grabbing my coffee and then really going hardcore with whatever task was ahead of me. For a while, I didn’t even think about doing anything else because I was really enjoying my work. I excelled really fast and was become one of the youngest Job Captains in the 200+ person firm, which came with a fairly decent salary. My next step was already in sight, which was to get licensed as an Architect and become a project manager within the company. I also had bigger dreams down the road which included starting my own firm.
My only vexation about the kind life I was living was the kind of person I became when work was over. I would usually come home tired and grumpy, and often stressed (which isn’t a mood that is all that uncommon for someone working in the architecture industry). I did not think this was fair to my fiancée, and even to myself. I wanted to go to the gym, but there was no time. I wanted to take my fiancée to wonderful places, and travel and get away from the city every once and a while, but we’d always have to come back early so we could sleep and prepare for the next day.
It seems like a silly thing to work all day long so we can make a living, when the living you really do consists mostly of work.
“One path I knew would lead me down a road that I was quite familiar with: I’d go out and search for another job in the architecture industry. It’s the comfortable path that I had been down before, so it was really attractive to me at first. It was really all I knew.”
Although you say that you were not totally unsatisfied working in the architecture industry, did you know deep down that this was not something you truly wanted to do for the rest of your life?
The “aha” moment, which told me that architecture may not be the path I’d like to go be on, happened was when I was laid off.
Why should I be on a path that I was working really hard to be on that could kick me off so easily? My philosophy is that you should be rewarded for the hard work you put in, no matter what you’re doing in life. I hustled and worked so hard, just to get laid off, and that seemed really weird to me. I mean, I know that’s how it works, especially in this kind of economy, but still – it didn’t seem right.
I wanted to do something where my results were totally influenced by the hard work that I put into it, and that’s it. It’s 100% my responsibility to make sure I stay on the path, and if I was going to get kicked off, it was because of my own fault, and that’s it.
What made you believe that you could start an internet business that would fund you and your family’s living costs? Did you see it as taking a massive risk?
I had no idea I was going to become this successful and be able to earn a living online. I’ve heard the success stories, like you’re reading now, and they just didn’t seem believable. Instead of doubting those who said they were there, I decided to see for myself if it was really possible.
The beauty was that I knew I could always go back to architecture if I had to. I rocked it in my previous job, and I would have no problem getting a recommendation and rocking the next architecture job if I had to. Again, if I had to.
This is why I didn’t view my decision to work online as being that risky. Like I said, I have my architecture degree, which I was proud of, that I could always use, and secondly, I learned that the only real cost to starting an online business was time. My total startup costs were less than $200, and because of my lay off, I had all the time in the world.
Lastly, the more you learn, whether it’s from reading books, following helpful blogs, or joining training groups (which are all things I did), the less risky your decision becomes with whatever you’re deciding to do. That being said, you never really know unless you take action.
After one year of hard work, you have managed to make a very respectable income from your internet business. How do you feel about your current life situation (financially and your lifestyle)?
Like I had said before, I feel very fortunate to be where I’m at today. I have to be honest and say that life has never been better, and if I could thank my old firm for my lay off, I would, because it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Unfortunately, the office closed its doors just a few months ago.
Financially, although I’m making good money, I know from experience that things that seem like they are going well can turn a 180 in a flash for whatever reason, so I’m not spending more money than I used to, and at the same time, I’m not just sitting here as I passively earn an income online.
I continue to work hard on other projects to supplement my income and I’ll always dream about bigger and better things.
As far as my lifestyle is concerned, I am a much happier person. My wife appreciates the fact that I can stay home with her (I hope, lol!) and it will be great because we have a baby boy due in January, and we’re excited to be there together for him as he goes through all of his firsts in life.
You might think that someone making this much money would have a fancy car, a large home, and a maid or chef or whatever. For some, they need those things in their lives to be fulfilled, but for me, fulfillment comes from spending time with my family, and being able to do things like go to Park on a Tuesday afternoon, just because. Doing business online has allowed me to do this, and I am very thankful for that.
Can you tell us about some of the problems and difficulties that you encountered along your journey? Was there ever a point where you felt it was not working and that you wanted to give up?
There were many points along my journey where I did feel like things were not going to work. Self-doubt is human nature, especially with things you’ve never done before. However, I never once wanted to give up.
If I was presented with a problem, or came to a stopping point, I’d plan out my next move, or do massive research to figure out how to make things work – but I would never give up.
One difficulty I had was trying to figure out how to do a lot of the web stuff. At times, I would get so frustrated because nothing was working the way I wanted it to, but eventually I asked some friends to help and it all came together quite nicely. Looking back, I probably should have just paid someone to do it for me, so it could get done faster better, and I could of started making money earlier.
Another difficulty I encountered happened after I finished my eBook. I had no idea what to do next! Figuring out how to take orders and sell online was really frustrating, especially because I had a finished product just sitting there. Searching for the right way to do things was difficult, because although I knew people were doing exactly what I wanted to do online, which was sell an eBook and take orders on a website, no one ever laid out the exact process of how that works. I ended up connecting with some Internet marketers who knew exactly what I wanted to do, so I picked their brains and learned exactly how to do it, and then I took action.
So many people start things, things that are awesome and could possibly make them really happy and wealthy, but for whatever reason – fear, doubt, or even the influence of other people or society, they stop doing what their doing, and that’s sad to me.
Imagine if a person who was about to discover the cure for cancer did not because they just gave up. Imagine a person who had a great idea for an online business, one that would have been successful, but decides not to give it a shot because they are scared, or because they don’t think it will work.
Which words of wisdom would you give to anyone who would love to do exactly what you have done but is too scared to take the leap. Is it possible for anyone with determination, perseverance and hard work to build an online business that can cover their cost of living?
I live by this motto: The Harder You Work, The Luckier You Become. I actually have it posted on the wall next to my computer here.
If you read Gary Vaynerchuck’s “Crush It”, he mentions right away that anyone can make money and be successful doing anything they want, as long as they have three things:
2) Patience, and
3) Big Dreams
I couldn’t agree more, because I’m living proof of it.
Finally, I’d like to end with this:
Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen?” If you start an Internet business, and it fails, what’s the worst that can happen? So you lose a couple hundred bucks. Hopefully, you’ll take what you learned and make that up in no time in your next venture. Seriously, what’s the worst that can happen? The worst isn’t probably as bad as you think, so take the risk, because the potential returns are so much higher than any other kind of investment that you can make.
If you’re afraid of failing, like I was, don’t be. Within my online businesses, I’ve failed many times, but each failure has taught me something new and gives me a better and clearer understanding of what I should do next.
“I’d like to thank you all for your time and attention.
I’m always on Facebook, so if you’d like to stop by and say hi, please do at :
I’d love to hear from you. Thanks again, and I wish you all nothing less than success. Cheers! ”
You can also visit Pat’s Blog:Smartpassiveincome.com