Interview with Pat Flynn: How do successful people spend money (and a Blogger-themed WipeOut?)

How do successful people spend money? I interviewed Pat Flynn, a successful blogger and awesome podcaster at, during the Financial Blogger Conference. He shares with us his first financial experience as an adult, his 5 year goals, and if he would enter a Blogger-themed edition of Wipeout.

What was the first financial experience that made you feel like an adult?

“I remember in college I started working as a waiter, then a bartender. It was the first time that I used my own money to pay for rent instead of my parents money.

That was my first financial experience that made me feel like an adult, meaning it was money that I earned to pay for something like shelter. It felt really good to write that large check.”

How did you handle your first financial emergency?

“In 2008 I was working a good job as an architect and learned I was going to be laid off. That was 2 months after I proposed to my wife. My wife is Philippine, weddings with Philippines are huge so I was thinking ‘Wow, we have a lot of things think about as far as paying for the wedding and what are we going to do for a living' among other things.

We both decided to move back in with our parents. That was an interesting time in my life; Being a 23 year old moving back in with their parents. It was cool because of the free meals and laundry, you know.

A lot of people think moving back in with your parents is failure. For me it was an opportunity to reset and figure out what to do next. That was when I got into internet business, which definitely was a life changing thing for me.”

When did money from savings come in handy?

“My family and I had been saving for a Disney cruise. Money is doing OK for us but we always know that we don't want to just spend money without a reason.

We had been planning this vacation for a long time, putting a few hundred bucks into savings every month for about a year and a half knowing that it would pay off. We finally went on this vacation with our 2 kids, a 1 year old daughter and a 4 year old son, and we all had a great time.

It was so nice to know that the money was there waiting for us. Going on this trip was like the reward for saving all that money.”

Do you have a 5 year goal?

“I do. I have a 1 year goal, a 5 year goal and a 10 year goal. It's important to have these goals and 5 years is a long way away. That's why it's important to break them down and have a 1 year goal to help you progress to a larger, 5 year goal.

My 5 year goal is to have my kids in a school that is teaching them an education that will help them improve who they are as a person. That's very important to us as a family.

Personally and business-wise I want to have a traditional book on the market. I have ebooks, and a lot of people are going the route of publishing an ebook, but there's something about having that traditional book. I want to go to a Barnes and Noble with my kids, find my book on the shelf and say ‘This is daddy's work. He worked hard for this and you can be here too.‘”

Have you ever spent more than $1,000 for a suit?

(pause, audience giggles)

“Only recently, and I'm not trying to make an excuse for this but I've been doing a lot of public speaking lately. I'm trying to give myself as much of an edge as possible while on stage.

Recently I purchased a jacket, just a jacket, that was $2,500. It's the most I've ever spent on clothes but it's one that's going to last a really long time. I don't think I'm growing anymore, so I don't have to think about that.

Psychologically, when I put on that coat I'm in ‘Presenting Mode'. It helps me as a speaker and it helps everyone the audience as I deliver information. But it was definitely weird paying that much, I mean I shop at Target, but I figured it was an investment for my business.”

Is podcasting alive, dead, or is it just treading water?

“It's just starting out. Podcasting has been around for a while and it was just the ‘techie' people who could figure it out but it's getting easier now to produce a show. You will see more and more shows coming out.

There are 350,000,000 blogs out there and only 300,000 podcasts – there's still a lot of opportunity in the podcasting world and it's going to grow.”

Would you compete in a Blogger-themed edition of WipeOut?



Thank you Pat Flynn for granting me the interview. I had a blast and I pray for continued success in your business.

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