PEP: 002 Pat Flynn Discusses Potty Training and Entrepreneurship

Welcome to Parent Entrepreneur Power

The Podcast for the Success of Parents in Business

PatFlynnPicMy conversation today is with Mr. Pat Flynn of, and he gets pretty personal about his lifestyle, and how he structures his time around his kids and their needs…like potty training?!

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At the end of our conversation Pat shares a crazy funny tip he learned from his in-laws about baby hiccups…sorry, I just couldn’t stop laughing.

I hope you enjoy it, and I would love to hear your craziest parenting or business story, too (Pat’s is unbelievable!). Please leave a comment below!



Here are the notes from our conversation for your review:

Pat Flynn is the guest who started it all for PEPower!

His main site is SmartPassiveIncome with other niche sites:

His Book:

Welcome Pat Flynn!

The start of PEPower was SPI : Session #77 with John Lee Dumas of EOFire talked about  The Baby Effect of Entrepreneurship.

How has parenting affected you being an Entrepreneur?

Before having children, I was having fun in business, making money.  After having kids, that all changed.

My daily life and business had to now reflect my “Why” which is to be with my family.

Structure my businesses to work for me…for me to work on my businesses, not in them. ¬†Many other people make lots more money, but they aren’t home with their kids.

When I think about making an important decision with my business, I think about my kids, and how that decision will affect them.  Will my kids look back at my decisions thinking I made the right ones, or not?

I talk a lot about business with my wife, who brings me back to reality from the “the bright lights that chase us everywhere, or that we chase.” ¬†She reminds me when I get the “Entrepreneurial Bug” why I’m doing this in the first place.

I couldn’t do this without her.

What parenting has taught me about entrepreneurship

  • patience ~ Like potty training – first attempts didn’t work, very frustrating, read all the books, learned to work with our son and his motivation:¬† Toys for successes worked!
  • There’s no one right way to do something – you read what works for others, but you need to create what works for you.
  • Adapting to situations as they occur – son is 4 and negotiates everything – bath time, for example. ¬†The struggles, stress and failures are part of the process if you apply the lessons to the next steps. ¬†You also adapt to each child and the different businesses.

I’m thankful for the business structure so that I can walk away and take vacations or time to be with the family – “I’m blessed, and can’t imagine being away from them”

I do work when they are asleep at night

“I’m not a perfect parent,” but learning gets you closer to perfection. My wife tells me when I make mistakes, and I learn and grow.

You need to feel safe to make those mistakes in front of your wife.

It’s just important to be able to make mistakes and grow with a mastermind group for your business.¬† You get honest answers, and strong advice. ¬†That is the same relationship I have with my wife.

I had “superman syndrome” trying to do everything on my own – YouTube 8 hours a day learning CSS‚Ķthen asked someone to do me a favor, and they completed in 5 minutes what I had been trying to learn to do in 8 hours. ¬†That was the lesson to not try to do everything myself.

Communication is Key!


Define success as parent and entrepreneur, then determine how you balance the things that go into that definition.

Be your own boss, provide for an audience and get paid back for it, and provide for the family.

It’s hard to quantify, but talk with partner about your ideal business – Reverse engineer to get to your “Why”!

To keep your “why” in your sights, set goals to know you are on your journey.

Is there Balance?  Perfect Life Balance?

The thing in the middle of a scale (the pivot point) that the bar balances on requires perfection – that is dangerous to try for…that perfect balance.

You must be able to adapt, and allow yourself to teeter to one side or another, and getting as close to the middle is the ideal.

My take on trying to achieve balance…

Most of us know our “why” but we lose sight of it, and just keep busy – we need to consciously be aware of it. ¬†When I exit the doors of my office, I am reminded instantly why I do what I do.

What have you learned from the companies you worked for that you either would change, or keep in your own business?

I graduated from U.C. Berkeley – I didn’t learn much that I could apply in the workforce. ¬†You learn best when you do.

I had to learn things completely new because the real world isn’t school. ¬†Reading, using tools for business, and parenting is good, but doing is better.

In Architecture, I worked 80 hour weeks, you are never done, you can always improve the building until the client is finally happy with it.

I would overwork myself, and had the same lifestyle when I started my businesses.  There is always more you can do on your business.

I had a serious conversation with my wife, and she told me that I was approaching entrepreneurship the same as I did in Architecture.  The solution for me was to create a schedule!

As an entrepreneur, you want to break away from the 9-5, but you still need a schedule.

Non-parent entrepreneurs can work 16 hours a day, because they have no other requirements on their time. ¬†My wife brought me back to my “why”!

In Architecture, it would have taken me 30 to 40 years to reach the level I was striving for.

People don’t think of who designed the building they walk into, but I get “Thank You” letters all the time from people whose lives I touched, and that is so amazing to me.

Just like when my son finally got potty trained!  My wife and I were high-fiving, so we learned to appreciate the small wins!

The same with parenting – appreciate the small wins and go crazy with them for your kids’ self esteem.

What did you learn from your own parents that you vowed never to repeat, or kept in your arsenal?

My mother was amazing, she worked so hard serving others.  She followed me through my schooling as a cafeteria lady.

Now she is a security guard – the short little Filipino woman who is so nice at the mall.

That taught me my business model – give as much as you can, and you will get it back 10 fold.

My dad traveled a lot – months at a time – and I don’t want to do that for my kids, not that he was a bad father – I just remember that, and don’t want my kids to remember that.

My dad was very good with money and budgeting – he would give me a quiz before he would buy me anything. ¬†Many times the answer was “no” because of my answers to that quiz, and that taught me to think about what I buy. ¬†He gave me lots of money saving tips and budgeting advice.

My dad tutored me, and I hated it! ¬†He graduated from college at, like, age 18, so he had “The curse of knowledge.” ¬†He didn’t really understand when I didn’t get something as quickly as he did, so I would feel very intimidated by him.

This taught me to be patient with my son and daughter.

How will you nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in your children?

I will understand what their skills and interests are first, and help them apply them in life. ¬†It’s my job to listen and help them apply those skills. ¬†It’s their job to just be themselves.

You are very high energy!  That is a compliment!

What if your children are less energetic?  How do you adapt your personality type to them?  Same thing with your business?

My wife jokes with me about coaching soccer and becoming the CRAZY dad screaming at the kids.¬† I don’t want to be that way.

I guess I’ll adapt with experience – sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t, and my wife with her totally different perspective, we’ll get through it.

My son has the crazy energy, too, and sometimes wants to pretend to podcast.  I will tell him that is available, and will let him try it, but he is not me, and I have to remember what it was like as a child, and not to force things on him.

We will have open lines of communication between me and my kids.

Lots of times growing up I was scared to talk to my dad, because I was intimidated.

For instance, I didn’t want to tell my dad I was laid off when I was in Architecture. ¬†I thought he might judge me.

What was the craziest thing that has happened to you as a parent?

My mother and father in law, both Filipino, we go to their house to hang out, and they watch the kids when we have a date night each week.

My son was a few weeks old, and got the hiccups. ¬†My¬†in-laws got very concerned, but they¬† hand’t been parents of babies for a really long time.

My father in law got a paper towel, tore a piece off, wet it, and stuck it to the middle of my son’s¬†forehead. ¬†After a few minutes the hiccups stopped.

He said the paper towel tip worked. ¬†We said, “What?! ¬†Are you kidding me?! ¬†That wasn’t due to the paper towel!” But, whatever.

Next time, my son got the hiccups,¬†Grandma did the same thing, but, like, 15 minutes the baby was still hiccuping, so it didn’t work.

We said, “See! That stupid trick doesn’t work!”

Grandpa came downstairs, and saw the baby was hiccuping, and said the paper towel was in the wrong spot on his forehead.  Literally, he moved the paper towl a few centimeters over, and the hiccups stopped.

We clash sometimes, but for the big things we stand up for the way we are trying to raise our kids.  My in-laws spoil them, and we are still trying to control that.

That got us out of our comfort zone, and we had to have a conversation with them about those things, but wet paper towel…really?

The Craziest thing in Business?

in March, 2009, I had grossed $30K, then received a cease and desist letter about a trademark I was using in the domain for my Green Exam Academy website, and I freaked out.

I started to question whether I should do business on my own? ¬†I got back to reality by going back to my inbox and reading all the “Thank You” comments.

I submitted a 301 redirect to Google, so I didn’t lose my rankings, and everything went along smoothly. ¬†Lesson learned – Do not use a trademark in domain.

For a good two weeks I questioned myself as an entrepreneur.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with it. When I got laid off, I could have just gotten back in the work force, and found another Architecture job.

Parting words?

Henry Ford Quote – “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”

You don’t have to have all the answers, you have to be confident that you have what it takes to do whatever you want.

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  1. Thompson May 5, 2016 at 11:18 am

    This one takes a bit of timing, and a lot of patience: as soon as you see the signs, get your child to the potty/toilet as quickly as you can (you might need to lift them up and run!), and put them on the toilet seat. Sit with him reading or with an iPad or whatever until he goes. Huge applause and reward. Repeat until the connection is made. Thanks.

  2. Edwardo November 14, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing effort.

  3. minneapolis seo October 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about pat flynn.


  4. […] PEP002 Pat […]

  5. […] Mary’s interview with Pat Flynn […]

  6. […] Pat and John have generously shared their stories, advice and lessons with Power Parents on this very […]

  7. […] Pat Flynn of Smart Passive […]

  8. […] Pat Flynn‚Äôs schedule outlined in his blog post, and our conversation […]

  9. […] team that created¬†– the training program that produced the likes of Pat Flynn of […]

  10. how to potty train my toddler May 25, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Wo’łderful, what a webp…Ďge it is! –Ęhis website gives useful data to us, keep it up.

  11. douglas May 9, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Great show guys. I really like how you highlight similar skills necessary to be an entrepreneur and a successful parent. The skill set is so transferable!

    Your kids are going to benefit greatly from spending time with such fun, creative and entrepreneurial parents. That is the best thing we can do for our kids, bar none.


    • Mary Kathryn Johnson May 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks so much for your visit, and kind words, Douglas!

      Yes, the skills are completely transferable!

      You sound like you are speaking from experience?! Are you a fellow Parent Entrepreneur?

  12. […] of both the interviewer and interviewee. Mary was able to land Pat Flynn as a guest on her¬†episode #2, which caught my attention (since he’s, you know, basically my online biz idol and […]

  13. […] the only one I have met via Skype for our PEP: 002 podcast […]

  14. Pam Flowers February 26, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Great information!!!

  15. Mary Kathryn Johnson February 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you, Pat, for your wonderful contribution to Parent Entrepreneur Success! Anytime, you want, we welcome you back!

Comments are closed.