Interviewing Mike Flynn, PSBJ Publisher and Creator of 40-Under-40 Award

Date July 31, 2008

mike_flynn.jpgAbout Mike Flynn
Mike grew up in Spokane and graduated from Gonzaga Prep and Gonzaga University.  Mike married Betsy, whom he met in math class. They have three children and six grandchildren. Mike worked 20 years for United Press International before joining the Puget Sound Business Journal, where he retired in April of 2006 after 24 years as Publisher. Mike has moved to what he refers to as his “entrepreneurial encore” of consulting, counseling and advising businesses, business people and business organizations. His hobbies are playing the guitar and running the 100 meters in senior and masters’ track and field events.  You already know about Mike’s lifetime achievements but what we admire is his commitment to the community we live in through his involvement with Junior Achievement, Seafair, Downtown Seattle Association and Washington Wine Country – to name a few.  You can keep tabs on Mike through his blog “Flynn’s Harp” where Mike continues to share his wisdom and connections in the business commmunity. 

How did you earn your first dollar?
Parking cars in high school.

What do you appreciate about being over 40?
The ability to be myself…and to have a better sense of “100 years from now, who’ll care”.

What or who inspired you to get where you are today?
My mom.

What advice do you have for the under 40 crowd?
Keep a balance and seek people not things…the things will take care of themselves.

What would you still like to achieve?
Learning new things and being able to compete in running events.

What are you passionate about?
My wife, children and grandchildren…and on a business level, creating relationships.

How do you balance work and life?
Don’t try to create separate silos for work and life…sometimes they’re the same.

What book is on your nightstand?
At home, “Healthy Aging” by Dr. Andrew Weil. At our cabin, “The Phenomenon of Man”.

What is in your iPod?
The songs by which I work out…led by “Forever Young” by Joan Baez.

What other career would you like to try?
Folk singer.

What other person would you like to meet – living or dead?
Robert Kennedy.

What superpower do you want?
Reading minds, then I could tell who is genuine and who is disingenuous.

Favorite movie?
The Magnificent Seven.

What is your favorite quote?
“100 years from now, no one will care.”

Who created the original idea for Seattle’s ’40 under 40’ award?
My son.  We had a young staff at the Eastside business journal and I gave him a list of events that other papers were doing at the time and said create something that would be different and unique to the paper. He came up with the ’40 under 40’ list. The corporate marketing guy at the time, told him to pick something different, no one would advertise and it wouldn’t work. He did it anyway and the rest is history. When I joined the PSBJ, the award came with us. I get emails from individuals asking, “what about ’50 over 50’?

Mike: “Great idea for ’40 over 40’, who came up with that?” Credit goes to Chris….

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