“Will It Fly?” Book Review

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur who has a great idea but needs some guidance with launching your next venture?  If so, or even for experienced business owners, I encourage to take a look at Pat Flynn's latest publication, Will It Fly? Although my wife is self-employed and her hobby scaled into her occupation, we were both looking for a resource that would help my wife & I launch a second business idea.  In my opinion, Will It Fly was very beneficial to us & a quick read at 157 pages.  I wanted to express our experiences with this book review of Will It Fly.

For those who might not be familiar with Pat Flynn, he is an online entrepreneur who runs the blog Smart Passive Income that helps you develop an online business with his articles and weekly podcasts.  His first successful entrepreneur idea was a study guide for the LEED exam.  He has also written several books and eBooks that are related to his areas of expertise.

What Does Pat Teach In Will It Fly? 

Keep in mind that the name of this book is Will It Fly, so you need to get into an aviation, NASA-esque frame of mind for the book theme.  Pretend you are the test pilot for a plane, just as your are the leader of your business idea.  Pat Flynn separates the book into five different sections:

  1. Mission Design– Pat lays out a series of thought-exercises that will help you compare the goals of your business idea to your life priorities and your past experiences.  After these tests, you will have a better idea if your current idea is viable or needs some modification.
  2. Development Lab– So the basic premise of your business idea looks good and you can confidently say your idea can fly.  This section of exercises is expand & strengthen your idea.  The first of three exercises is creating a mind-map.
  3. Flight Planning- I believe two words sum up this section, market research.  You have developed your business plan the best you can on paper and it's now time to prepare for the test flight, but you do not want to crash and burn as soon as you lift off.  Flight Planning helps you assess current market conditions and the most ideal people, places, and products to launch your idea.  Part of this section also includes analyzing the competition.  Will your idea be able to compete head-on with the 300 lb. gorilla in your realm or do you need to take an alternative route to launch your idea.  The best advantage that newcomers possess is the ability to market a solution to the weaknesses of the established businesses in your respective niche.  Use these exercises to develop your marketing plan.
  4. Flight Simulator– Small-scale validation and testing of your idea.  The previous section focused on market research so establish your marketing strategy, now it's time to start publicizing your idea.  Chapters and case studies in this section will give you different platform ideas to help you get quality feedback, interested customers, and perhaps your first business sales.  Responses from your target market will help you fine-tune your idea.
  5. All Systems Go– Your idea is now ready for launch.  This brief section lays out several rules to help you measure business success and advice to be successful.

Will It Fly Book

What I Like Most About The Book?

There are several features of the book I like.  Probably the most important aspect I like about Will It Fly? is his personal tone.  This book isn't a technical journal that will put you asleep after the first paragraph.  Pat is very transparent in every chapter and will include his own prior experiences in every chapter.  He also includes case studies from fellow entrepreneurs, when appropriate, to help expand the teaching material.

The exercises are also very beneficial.  To get the most out of this book, you should at least attempt the various exercises.  Depending on where you are in the development process, you might be able to breeze through some of the initial exercises.  But they can serve as an excellent refresher as well.  Perhaps you are already in Stage 3 or 4 of your idea but some unknown adjustment is needed.  Maybe one of the earlier exercises will improve your business plan and allow you to proceed.

Most of the exercises do not require a lot of time and if you have any business background, you might have done some of these already for your current or previous ideas.  Pat also includes excellent visual examples of the various exercises and for the tech-savvy, the book also comes with online complementary material to help some of complete exercises and expand the chapter material.

I also like that Pat does not guarantee success.  Here is one quote from Pat that I think will summarize my point:

Entrepreneurship math is weird: 1 negative comment is greater than 100 positive comments. Just
remember every second you stay upset or mad about a negative comment is a second you take
away from improving your business, and the lives of others.

Any entrepreneur knows that success is not guaranteed with even the best business idea.  Launching an idea requires a lot of hustle and trials by fire.  Pat does a great job of encouragement throughout his book and will make any reader feel that they can launch an idea.  He also explains how negative feedback or setbacks can be beneficial.

Remember that the subtitle for Will It Fly?, is “How To Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time And Money.”  One objective of the various exercises is to help you determine if you business idea is marketable or if you are the best person to market the idea. Some ideas will pass all the tests, but might not succeed for a certain reason.  On the topic of failure, Pat also includes personal examples of his own business failures and wants his own readers to avoid similar setbacks.  Not every business idea will succeed.  Lots of successful leaders failed several times before becoming successful (research Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Edison).

Will Your Idea Fly?

As I write this, I don't know if our business idea will be successful.  But I can confidently say that Pat's book has only improved our prospects.  After going through the various exercises, Stages 3 & 4 were most beneficial to us.  The most difficult portion of our venture, is developing a marketing and validation strategy, due to our inexperience.

At 150+ pages, Will It Fly? is a pretty quick read and is easy to follow along with.  The exercises are productive and I wouldn't consider them “overkill.”  After reading this book, I am confident you will be feel encouraged and have a spark of entrepreneurial spirit ignite within you!

Where To Purchase Will It Fly?

The print version & eBook of Will It Fly? released on Feb. 1st, 2016 and available on Amazon ir?t=monebuff 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0997082305for about $10 a copy.  If you live outside the United States, Pat is working on getting the book released as soon as possible.  As he has written several times, there have been some hurdles to jump over when trying to do business abroad.

Have you read any of Pat Flynn's previous books?  Do you want your idea to fly?

Thanks For Reading & Enjoy The Book,


Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.