Pat Flynn’s Smart From Scratch Course Review

by | Sep 24, 2019

What is “Smart From Scratch�

Smart From Scratch is an online course from Pat Flynn that teaches any aspiring entrepreneur proven strategies for picking business ideas. This course covers the lean model of startups, or ways to validate a niche before going into it. It’s a very specific course, but it’s one that can save any entrepreneur from failure. The course doesn’t delve into the “make millions†[vibe] that most courses succumb to. Flynn focuses on just one topic: niche validation. 

Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course Intro
Smart From Scratch is Pat Flynn’s course teaching niche validation.

Who Is Pat Flynn?

Did you ever hear of the “Smart Passive Income†podcast? Pat Flynn produces online content teaching anyone how to start a side hustle and produce a passive income. He’s been running the blog for around nine years, starting in 2010. Flynn accidently discovered passive income as he made a website to help him study for his college exams. After a couple of years, he noticed that his website has been generating a vast amount of traffic. From then on, he’s been on the forefront of online business, teaching many people how to develop their online businesses. He’s developed a podcast teaching everyone how to achieve the same success, and publishes very informative content.

Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course - Pat Flynn
Pat Flynn is the founder of The Smart Passive Income Podcast.

The best thing about Pat Flynn is his transparency. Unlike other internet “gurusâ€, Flynn doesn’t sell you on a get rich quick dream. His main goal is to give you another paycheck a month, or some beer money. He never pushes a “make millions†mindset. Flynn even publishes his earnings every month, showing you exactly what he makes, and how he makes it. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air from the get rich noise.

Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course - Published Earnings
Pat Flynn publishes his earnings publicly on his website. He includes personal anecdotes about the month, I highly recommend reading it.

How Much Does Smart From Scratch Cost?

Smart From Scratch costs $249, and comes with a 30 day refund policy from the time of purchase. All courses are available instantly once you purchase the course.

Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course - Pricing
Smart From Scratch costs $249.

Pat Flynn only opens Smart From Scratch once a year, so be mindful of this. At the time of writing this, Patt estimates another launch around Spring 2019. This annual launch is designed to build anticipation and demand for his course.

It comes with two main bonuses:

  • Build Your Own Brand Course- A five day course that teaches you the technical aspects of starting a business. It shows you how to build your website, social media marketing, email marketing, and google analytics.
  • Will It Fly PDF And Audiobook- A book by Pat Flynn that gives you advice for every stage of your startup. It’s a very good tool to use on top of the course.

What’s Does Pat Flynn Cover?

The course is set up in 3 simple stages:

  1. Idea & Market Visibility – Give yourself a broad overview of your niche, from your customers, ideas, businesses, and market itself. These are the critical components that determine a niche’s viability. You’re going to explore them.
  2. Adjust & Refine- Before you go into your niche, Flynn teaches you how to set up a “map†of it. It’s easy enough to have ideas and a vision, but once you hit the ground running, anything that’s not in writing or organized can easily be lost or forgotten. Flynn shows you how to develop and organize your idea more clearly
  3. Testing- Before you invest a lot of time and money, make sure your niche makes money. Flynn teaches you how to start selling a product before you even open, allowing you to see just how profitable your niche really is. 

Stage 1: Idea And Market Visibility

  • Lesson 1: Setting Up Expectations- Understand what it is you’re going into
  • Lesson 2: Focusing On Real Business- Niches that are already proven
  • Lesson 3: Figuring Out Your Top Idea- Learn what makes your best idea the best
  • Lesson 4: Discovering Your Niche- Different ways to discover and explore niches
  • Lesson 5: Researching Your Customers- The basis of your market are your customers. Learn who they are
  • Lesson 6: Positioning Your Business Idea- How to leverage your strengths as a company
  • Lesson 7: Reaching Out For First Reaction- Getting that initial reaction from your potential customers
  • Lesson 8: Reflecting On Your Plan- Take a second glance before your jump
Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course - Competitors
Pat Flynn teaches you how to look up competitors for a knitting niche.

Stage 2: Adjust And Refine

  • Lesson 1: Creating Goals- Get realistic insight to your aspirations with your company.
  • Lesson 2: Building Your Mind Map- Get all the ideas that are inside your head out on paper in an organized way.
  • Lesson 3: Making Sense Of Your Mind Map- Not all mind maps are the same. Although you have your ideas on paper, the tough is to make them functional.
  • Lesson 4: Prototyping Your Idea- Get a good idea as to what your business is really going to sell.
  • Lesson 5: Connecting For Feedback- Before you even open your doors, get feedback on your progress so far. Cut out waste, strengthen your weaknesses, and evolve your idea.
  • Lesson 6: Checking Your Excitement Levels- Get an understanding to how your customers are reacting to your product.
Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course - Videos
Pat Flynn explaining the importance of creating tangible goals.

Stage 3: Testing

  • Lesson 1: Finding Your Direction- Learn how to find your own drive for yourself and for your business
  • Lesson 2: Selling Before You Build- Start selling your product before it actually launches
  • Lesson 3: Developing Your Pitch- Create the best marketing campaign by focusing on your product’s selling points.
  • Lesson 4: Collecting Payments- This one is pretty self explanatory here…
  • Lesson 5: The Fortune Is In The Follow Up- Double down on sales by creating follow up systems for those lost customers.
  • Lesson 6: Maintaining Your Smart Business- Revisit your mindmaps and refresh the fundamentals of your business.
Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course - Analytics
In Smart From Scratch, you’ll learn how to read analytics in order to better understand your business.

Bonus: Build Your Own Brand Course

This bonus section is more technical, as it teaches you how to build a website and get your business running quickly. It’s split across 5 days, most of the lessons here are self explanatory…

  • Day 1
    • Lesson 1: How to build a successful brand
    • Lesson 2: Picking a brand name
    • Lesson 3: Getting your website up
    • Lesson 4: Setting up your email account
  • Day 2
    • Lesson 1: Picking a theme + an important lesson
    • Lesson 2: Necessary Plugins
    • Lesson 3: Google analytics
    • Lesson 4: Google search console
  • Day 3
    • Lesson 1: Your first page (the most important one)
    • Lesson 2: Clean up
    • Lesson 3: Navigation and more pages
    • Lesson 4: Building your homepage
  • Day 4
    • Lesson 1: Social media 101
    • Lesson 2: Authority figures and influencers
  • Day 5
    • Lesson 1: Creating a content plan
    • Lesson 2: Logos, themes, and other website items
    • Lesson 3: How to build your email list
Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course - Website Setup
Pat Flynn goes over how to set up different parts of your website.

How Is Smart From Scratch’s Course Quality?

Smart From Scratch has amazing course quality. Most of it will be Pat Flynn speaking to you directly, with great audio and video quality. It adds a very personal touch to it, and helps keep you engaged with the content.

The other side of it will be screen recordings, mostly for the tutorials. The audio has excellent quality, as it’s the same audio setup he uses for his podcasts.

Overall, Flynn puts a lot of effort into his production quality, and it shows. 

Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course - Behind The Scenes
Flynn uses a professional camera to record his videos, as seen during a behind the scenes look from his Youtube channel.

Does Pat Flynn Deliver?

Pat Flynn absolutely delivers on Smart From Scratch. It’s important to note that Flynn never makes any outlandish promises, and tells you exactly what it is your purchasing. He tells you from the start what the course is, what it comes with, and who it’s best for. There’s complete transparency from the start.

That being said, his sole purpose of this course was one thing, and one thing only: niche validation. 

And he does it quite well.

As stated, Flynn tells you that this course is meant entirely for you to test your market before you fully fledged out an idea. It’s this sole purpose that he covers extensively, fully delivering on his promise.

Who Is Smart From Scratch Best For?

You have an interest in business, but have you ever thought to yourself:

  • What do I even start?
  • I have no idea where to begin.
  • I don’t know if it’ll work.

If you said yes, this course is for you. 

See, the course is best for anyone who hasn’t been able to decide what niche to pursue. Flynn teaches a very fundamental skill that any entrepreneur can pursue: validation. Anyone who is unsure of a niche to go into should first test it, and that’s exactly what Flynn teaches you to do. Even if you already have an idea, you should first test it before you start. Using this skill can save you months of wasted effort, and not to mention a lot of money as well. It’s the perfect way to dip your toe into the water before you dive in.

Pat Flynn Smart From Scratch Course - Who's This Course For
Pat Flynn’s personal take on who this course is meant for.

Is Smart From Scratch Worth The Money?

It really depends on one question: how much do you know about startups?

If you’re an absolute beginner, you’re going to find a lot more value in this than someone who’s already been through the ropes. This course is specifically designed for niche validation. As such, if you already have a business up and running, you don’t need it. Additionally, the “Build Your Own Brand†course is designed for a general overview of business systems, but it never gets into anything advanced.

So, how much do you know? Because that’s going to answer if it’s worth the money. I will say that this is one of the best beginner courses for digital entrepreneurship available. It’s easily comprehensible, useful, and not entirely expensive. Any person going into their new market blindly will definitely find Smart From Scratch worth their money.

Alternative Options To Smart From Scratch

 Flynn’s course covers a very specific niche, but that’s not to say that it’s the only one out there.

Will It Fly?– One of the best alternatives is from Pat Flynn himself.  If you already have an idea of what you’re doing, then this book is for you. Flynn wrote this as kind of a condensed version of Smart From Scratch. It gives you advice on how to test your market before going into it. Sound familiar? If you like the idea of learning niche validation but you don’t want to shell out the $250, then pick yourself up a copy of this book.

Pat Flynn Course Work
Pat Flynn’s explanation of the contents of Will It Fly?

Dropship Niche Mastery- This Udemy course covers all the research that Flynn taught in Smart From Scratch. It’s designed for dropshippers, but everyone from affiliate marketers to business owners can find the course useful. Coming in at 1/25th of the price, the course teaches you the best strategies for researching, testing, and validating a niche you want to pursue.

 Our Final Verdict

Smart From Scratch is a very good course. The transparent marketing gives users an exact idea to what they’re buying. It doesn’t try to focus too much on other aspects of startups, rather it hones in on one specific strategy, and very wel tool. Flynn has created a thorough course that any new entrepreneur will gain value from.


  • User friendly
  • Excellent quality
  • Transparent marketing
  • Focuses on one strategy only
  • Flynn has a great personality
  • Great option for beginners


  • Doesn’t get into any advanced strategies
  • Slightly expensive at $250
  • Only available once a year

Andrew Green

Andrew is a successful entrepreneur and lifelong learner. Throughout his career, he has watched hundreds of online courses that have allowed him to achieve success in highly competitive fields such as online marketing, investing, and sales. Andrew is committed to expanding his knowledge and expertise and he reviews the premium courses he watches on his online blog.
Overall Rating: 4.48 out of 5

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