From Office Break-In to An Amazing Partnership (A Look at My New Office Space!)

Earlier this year, my video studio was broken into. This was the space where I recorded a ton of YouTube… Pat Flynn July 8, 2019 Earlier this year, my video studio was broken into. This was the space where I recorded a ton of YouTube videos, course videos, and livestreams, as well as hosted a lot of team meetings. It was a special space, and I grew to love it very much. But because of the break-in and the lack of security in the business complex where this office was located, I decided it was time to move out and find a new space. Here’s how that process has unfolded, and the exciting new partnership that has emerged! Losing Gear and Dealing with Fear Shortly after the break-in happened, I published a YouTube video showing what happened. I also got a little emotional about it, mostly because it just felt very […]

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Smart Work Report: Matthew Gartland

In the first of the Smart Work Report series, COO/CFO Matthew Gartland shares how he works, his favorite business tools, and the transformation of Team SPI. Matthew Gartland April 15, 2019 Editor’s Note: This is the first in a new series we are testing out here at SPI, and you know how much we love experiments! We’re inspired by other journal-like content we’ve seen around the web like the Money Diaries and Feel Good Diaries from Refinery29, as well as the standard format of the much loved How I Work series from Lifehacker.com. In this series we hope to capture a vast array of not only different types of work that people do in the online space, but also the different ways we all work toward our goals and positive impact with our jobs, businesses, or brands. We’re starting off this series with the members of Team SPI and, if […]

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Here’s a Sneak Peek Behind the Curtain of How SPI Operates

Take a sneak peek behind the curtains of how SPI operates, from our core values and mission to management to business systems and tools for performance. Matthew Gartland April 8, 2019 Tony Robbins. A primetime news broadcaster. The front-man for a popular band. What do they all have in common? One heck of a team behind the scenes that brings their respective magic to life. Your favorite newscaster, for example, may be a star. But the folks in the control room are the ones running the show. Aaron Sorkin’s show Newsroom puts the chemistry between newsroom team and big personality broadcaster on captivating and insightful display as only Sorkin can. I love it so much not just because the writing is brilliant but more so because of the truths it conveys: big personalities cannot do it alone; uncontrolled ego is a destructive force; mutual deference between authority figures (e.g. between […]

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Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing with Paul Jarvis

Paul Jarvis: For me, it’s always, I want a business that supports my life, not a life that supports my business. So I don’t want to Elon Musk things and work eighty hours a week and sleep on a couch in my office. I want to work thirty-ish hours a week and enjoy the rest of my time. As long as I make enough money to cover that, put money into savings and all of that, I feel good. I don’t need to . . . Working awards ten times more than that wouldn’t serve me, wouldn’t serve my life in any way. I don’t think it would serve my customers, even. Pat Flynn: I recently read a really interesting book, it was called Company of One, Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business. When I was initially going to read it, I was thinking about the […]

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How & When They Grew Their Team

Take your business to the next level by making your first hire! Learn from 20 entrepreneurs who reveal their first hire story today on the blog! Pat Flynn April 1, 2019 Ah, your first hire. When you’re just starting out, it can be tricky to know when it’s time to start building your team. The key, my friends, is to remember that you can’t do it alone—and that it’s okay to start small. Like many entrepreneurs, I started out working with contractors for things like building iPhone applications, copywriting, and web design. But a couple of years in, as I was building new passive income streams, I realized I could use help with things like building websites and creating backlinks. Even though I enjoyed doing those things, they probably weren’t exactly the best use of my time. So I started using sites like Elance and Odesk to find help for a few […]

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10 Timeless Business Lessons I Learned During My 7-Year Agency Career (And Why I Sold Mine)

Matt Gartland, CFO and COO at SPI, shares 10 timeless business lessons, from the importance of your people and culture to why ideas alone don’t make a business. Matt Gartland February 25, 2019 By: Matthew Gartland, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at SPI. If you haven’t heard the news, something special is happening here at SPI. The team has officially forged as one. We’re upping our game with smarter and bigger plans for the future of SPI. (Hello, FlynnCon1!) And all of us as the collective “Team Flynn” community are invited to have a louder voice than ever to help empower entrepreneurs from all walks of life to create a lasting impact with their work. Personally, I couldn’t be more excited to press start on this new chapter! As Semisonic made famous during my youth, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Ends are bittersweet. This […]

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My First Physical Product (Costs, Manufacturing, and More)

How a common pain point led us deep into the physical product world, from designs and prototypes to a KickStarter launch and everything in between. Pat Flynn February 4, 2019 “There’s got to be a better way.” This is what my videographer Caleb Wojcik and I said to each other 15 months ago—almost in unison—as we observed video creators of all types walking around the VidSummit event in Los Angeles. That thought immediately turned into an idea, which then turned into some drawings, which turned into prototypes, which turned into what is now a new hardware brand that just released its first physical product into the world on Kickstarter last week. Meet the SwitchPod, the first tripod invented specifically for vloggers. This blog post is an all-in, super-detailed account of every part of this entire process. From how this idea came to be, who we worked with, every single design […]

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Everything Behind the Launch of My New Invention—the SwitchPod

Pat Flynn: Fourteen-ish months later and here we are from idea to launch. I’m so scared. I’m so excited. This is something I’ve never done before. For those of you who don’t know, myself and my videographer, Caleb, we partnered up, we invented an actual physical product. This idea was conceptualized in October of 2017, and it just launched on Kickstarter. This is a big experiment. Some people have called it a big gamble, but Caleb and I are gonna talk about it and everything about it, including how much money we spent in the process so far, what we hope to achieve out of this, where this idea came from, the entire prototyping process, and how we have been marketing this overtime to hopefully have a successful funding campaign. We’ll even answer questions like, well, why are we even funding it on Kickstarter and where is it gonna be […]

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The Origin of FlynnCON1 and What I’ve Learned So Far Creating My First Conference

Step behind the scenes of of FlynnCON1: Why I’m doing it, what to expect, and the top five lessons I’ve learned on the journey! Pat Flynn January 21, 2019 For the last six months I’ve been working with Team SPI to create an amazing and unique event experience for people who want to press start (or restart) on their vision for their future. That experience is FlynnCON1—and it happens in my hometown of sunny San Diego this July 26–28. Today, I want to share how FlynnCON1 came about, give you a taste of what to expect at the event, and go over some of the biggest lessons our team has learned while putting together our first ever large-scale in-person event. Why FlynnCON1 Is Happening: The Origin Story I’m incredibly excited to be finally putting together an event like this. It’s not an understatement to say that I’ve been looking forward […]

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The Next Big Steps in Business—with Matt Gartland from Team Flynn

Matt Gartland: Yeah. It’s tremendously exciting, gratifying, and probably, mostly just a humble moment for me, and certainly for the team. Because as we’ve talked about today, we didn’t necessarily know, I didn’t necessarily know it was going to lead to this tremendous moment, right, but it naturally, I think, led there. You have always been . . . Pat Flynn: You’re listening to one of my team members, Matt Gartland, who I have on the show today, to make a huge announcement with you about the SPI brand, about where I am in business, and about where we are in business. Matt’s been on my team for quite a while. Some of you may not even know what our relationship exactly is, and my relationship with the team is. I’m just going to tell you upfront, right here before we get into it, that up until January 1st, I […]

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How to Become an Inventor Entrepreneur with Ryan Gorman

Ryan Gorman: So basically, if you create a product that gets used more than someone’s toothbrush, that’s a good way of figuring out if it’s going to be a viable product or if it’s something that will just be a trinket that somebody will buy and sit on the shelf and never touch or maybe not even buy at all. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody has to use it twice a day, period . . . Pat Flynn: You’re listening to Ryan Gorman, who is an entrepreneur, an inventor, and somebody who has made a business out of selling his ideas and actually creating physical products, and I wanted to invite him on to share with us a little bit more insight with how he’s done what he’s been able to do, to hopefully inspire some of you who, whether you have an audience already or not, whether […]

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SPI 312: This “Hole” Can Cost Entrepreneurs Thousands—Let’s Fix It

Today’s guest is Casey Graham, the founder of Gravy, a company that’s filling a huge hole for businesses. The thing is, a lot of people don’t even know that hole exists. It takes a lot of effort to go back and recover failed payments. That’s what Casey and his team at Gravy do, and they do it very well. When I started working with Casey I didn’t even realize how much I needed him and his service. But he’s helped me recover tens of thousands of dollars. Read that sentence again. Yeah—this is that important. That money would have been lost if it weren’t for Casey. I didn’t even know that stuff was happening. Casey’s giving us a huge wealth of information today. A lot of what he’s talking about, even if you don’t have a business yet—it’s so good to know. This is stuff that doesn’t get talked about […]

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SPI 307: Copyright Infringement and DMCA (with my Attorney)

What if someone copied your written content, online course, or digital products, and used them to make money? What would you do? How would you respond? This happens to me all the time, but it doesn’t have to weigh you down, and it doesn’t have to be difficult to respond. That’s why I invited Richard Chapo from SoCalInternetLawyer.com onto the show, my attorney of almost a decade, to answer these questions and give you practical strategies for responding to copyright infringement. This happens all the time; you may even be dealing with this right now. But even if you’ve never run into these issues, please listen closely. Stealing other people’s work on the internet is so easy these days, and it’s important to know how to handle these cases. It could easily happen to you, and once you reach a certain level with your business, it almost certainly will. Richard […]

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SPI 272: Starting and Running a Business as a Couple Featuring the Bakers

Not long ago, I asked you guys to send me your favorite business partnerships—couples and friends who’ve teamed up to start and run a business together. I received lots of recommendations for one couple in particular, who’d impressed you all with their transparency as business owners and knack for communication: Bryan and Erika Baker from TheBakers.tv. Through their blog, live video series, online course, and private coaching, the Bakers help couples (romantic and otherwise) improve their communication. Bryan and Erika draw from their personal experiences as partners and parents to give their audience an honest, authentic look at how real couples resolve conflicts and grow closer. This strategy has helped them grow a thriving business and won them a huge community of raving fans. I had to know how they’d done it. In this episode, you’ll hear first-hand advice on navigating a business partnership from two people who’ve been through it all. Bryan […]

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A Dos and Don’ts Guide to Finding Business Partners

Some of the most common questions I receive from the SPI audience are about the legal aspect of starting a business. Although I’ve had my fair share of legal-related experiences (both positive and negative) since starting my business, I also know that I don’t know everything and need someone in my corner who does. That’s why I’ve been working with Richard A. Chapo from SoCalInternetLawyer.com for almost ten years now. He’s my attorney, and he’s here to help all of us understand the bits and pieces of legal information we might need to know to protect our online businesses. Richard was featured in Smart Income Podcast Session 231 where he and my trademark attorney, Alena Herranen, tackled the most common legal questions for those just starting out in business. Richard is back today to tackle the important decision of starting a business with a partner, and all that should be […]

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3 Tiny Shifts That Made a Huge Difference in My Business

In this post, I walk you through three tiny changes that made a huge impact on my business. Pat Flynn January 23, 2017 In one of my all-time favorite books, The One Thing [affiliate link – I make a commission if you buy], authors Gary Kellar and Jay Papasan describe the domino effect, which is what happens when you focus on the small task or project you should be doing that’ll have the biggest impact on everything else that happens ahead of it. Because a domino can knock over another one that’s 1.5x its size, the effect is massive over a relatively short period of time. If you started with a two-inch domino, for example, the one seventy-three dominoes later would reach from the earth to the moon! In my experience, sometimes it’s the smallest tweaks or shifts that can make the most dramatic difference in my business over time. Here are […]

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SPI 244: Bootstrapping a Startup with Nathan Barry from ConvertKit

Nathan Barry is back, and in this episode, he’s giving you a look under the hood at his own email marketing company, ConvertKit. If you’ve ever wondered how to bootstrap a business, this is the episode for you. Nathan has built and grown ConvertKit using customer funding and money from his own pocket—and that’s all. He’s here today to reveal how he did it, and what you should expect when bootstrapping a business of your own. You’ll learn how he structures his business, how it’s grown, where it’s headed, who gets paid when, and lots, lots more. As an advisor and current customer of ConvertKit, I’ve watched Nathan accomplish amazing things with his business. Don’t miss this story—you just might hear a few things that’ll inspire your own business growth, too! Thanks for Listening! Thanks so much for joining me again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section […]

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What Are Vision and Mission Statements and Why Having Them Is Essential

In business, just as in life, it’s important to have an understanding of who you are, where you’re going, what you want to achieve, and why you want to get there. You need to have goals, and those goals need to serve an overarching purpose. But, to get there, it takes effort. That’s why having a solid vision and mission statement for your business (and yourself!) is important. Let’s quickly define what those are: Vision Statement: A Vision Statement is about the future. It defines the ideal future state for you/your business. It’s about what you are striving for and how you envision yourself once you complete your mission. Mission Statement: A Mission Statement defines what you or your business are about in the present. It is action-oriented, determining what your business does, who it serves, and how it does what it does. It is the action you take now […]

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SPI 237: An Online Business Success Story. . .in Knitting, with Lauren from Girly Knits

Online business owners often say that you can build a successful business in any niche—even “in knitting,” as the cliché goes. Well, today’s guest proves it can be done: She’s built a booming online business creating totally awesome knitting patterns, and she’s here to tell us how it’s done. Lauren creates custom knitting patterns and earns a passive income selling them through her website, Girly Knits. Thanks to smart strategy, some clever branding, and one very successful owl hat, Lauren has carved out a unique place in her niche and turned a profit doing what she loves most. (She even scored a spot on a reality TV show for knitting all-stars—and won!) Lauren’s story is proof that with the right strategy, any passion can become a profitable online business. Tune in to hear her straightforward approach to branding her business, building her audience across multiple social channels, and navigating the challenges of working from home. Thanks for Listening! Thanks so much for joining me […]

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5 Reasons Why It Took 5 Years to Build My Team

For the first five years after starting my online business, I did about 99 percent of the work on my own. There were a few one-off projects here and there that I had help with, such as getting voiceover work done for my study guide at GreenExamAcademy.com (which I actually did try to do on my own at first), but beyond that, it was all me. I set up my own websites. I customized the themes. I wrote the content. I recorded, edited, and published all of my podcast episodes. I did all of the graphic design on my own using Photoshop. I handled all of my own emails and social media channels. It was all me. If there was something to do and I didn’t know how to do it, I figured it out on my own by watching YouTube videos, reading books, and taking courses. If you were […]

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