Pat Flynn: Building a Multi-Million Dollar Empire Giving Stuff Away

Any time I look for inspiration as an entrepreneur, I always tend to look to Pat Flynn. Why? Well, for starters, he kind of came by his first online income stream by accident. Then he built a HUGE million-dollar-a-year business being what he calls a “crash dummy” for online entrepreneurs.


Intrigued? I know I was the first time I heard of him!

So, who is Pat Flynn?

For starters, Pat is a pretty average guy in his mid-thirties with a college degree and a cute little family. Sure, he’s a millionaire a few times over, but what people love about Pat is his down-to-earth teaching style and nice-guy attitude. The thing about this guy is that he seems so genuine, and he’s even at a place in his life now where he can devote a ton of time to charity work, and he does! He’s currently serving on the board of Pencils of Promise and devoting his spare time and money to building schools in Ghana, Africa.

Pat Flynn’s History

But Pat Flynn wasn’t always a millionaire. He started out his young life okay, with a degree in architecture from the University of California Berkley and even landed a pretty decent gig with a local firm. Life seemed pretty good when he proposed to his girlfriend and made plans for a good future with the white picket fence and the whole nine yards. But things took a turn for the worst during the economic downturn when he lost his cushy job in 2008.

But then he took another look at a little website he’d put together to help organize his study notes for an elite architectural license he was preparing to test for. What Pat hadn’t realized up to this point was that many other architects searching for information for the same test had happened upon his website.

What happened next changed his life.

Small Beginnings

When he discovered how many visitors the website had been getting, he decided to make a way to collect their information and retain subscribers. He then put together some information he started to charge for in the form of a booklet.

This little booklet started to give him a way to work for himself and earn a real living without ever leaving his house!

But it didn’t stop there.

Pat then went on to build several other websites, but one that truly catapulted his success…

Smart Passive Income

Smart Passive Income is a website Pat built to share his online successes and failures in the pursuit to work for himself. It’s become sort of a handbook for all types of online entrepreneurs because he covers so many topics. He also shares awesome success stories and brilliant how-tos for almost any type of business from self-publishing to affiliate marketing. And the great thing about him is that he holds nothing back. Sure, he has some products he sells, but most of his information is available absolutely free and it’s just as in-depth as any paid course out there. He’s not afraid to give away the goods.

I know what you’re probably thinking. You can’t make money if you give everything away for free, right? Well, I guess Pat might have become a little richer if he’d charged for all the content he’s put out there over the years, but by most standards, he’s doing okay. In fact, he had made $3 million by 2014, just a few short years after building the foundation for what would become a cash-generating empire. An if you hop on over to his website, you’ll see that he made over $180,000 just last month, and pretty close to $2 million just this year. And the year is not even half over!

I’d say he’s doing okay, wouldn’t you?

What Can You Learn?

So, what can you learn from this guru of all things web-preneurial?

Just about anything you want to know! He currently hosts a pod-cast with weekly doses of encouragement and guidance. He regularly blogs and shares information with his readers. In fact, for a pretty penny, you can even hire him as a keynote speaker for your next event. But the main things he covers are online sales, email marketing, podcasting, blogging and affiliate marketing.


There are lots of people you can learn from about online business, but the key is to do your homework and find people like Pat Flynn who are the real deal. Don’t waste your resources trying to learn from people who are just trying to make a buck. The internet is full of them!

Who inspires you?

This is a guest post from Cheri Read, a single mom, entrepreneur and freelance writer for hire. You can find out more about her or her services over at

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Pat Flynn: Building a Multi-Million Dollar Empire Giving Stuff Away

  1. Pat Flynn, Nick Loper, and Chris Guillabeau are my current heroes. I am also enjoying the reading of your site. I have been using sites like yours as inspiration to document my own journey: I hope you check it out and let me know how I can improve it, as well as possibly keep it on your radar. Cheers!