September 2014 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for September: $241,492
Total Expenses for September: $64,527.22
Total Net Profit for September: $176,964.78
Difference b/t Sept & Aug: -$48,400.24
Why We Publish An Income Report
This monthly income report is created for you, Fire Nation. By documenting the struggles we encounter and the successes we celebrate as business owners every single month, we’re able to provide you with a single resource that tells you what’s working, what’s not and what’s possible.
There’s a lot of hard work that goes into learning and growing as an entrepreneur (especially when you’re starting at ground zero), but the most important part of the equation is what you’re able to pass on to others through teaching. We’re passionate about helping you build the life YOU want to live, just like we have.
Now that may look very different from ours, but the lessons learned and techniques for running a successful business can be applied in many situations.
As you read through our day-to-day struggles and successes that help define our journey, focus on the lessons we’ve learned from these experiences. Our goal is to make YOUR journey as enjoyable and successful as possible.
That’s not to say you won’t encounter roadblocks. Believe us – we know that no one can escape those no matter how much reading or studying you do. Just keep in mind that every roadblock is a stepping stone towards your future success.
CPA On Fire
Our CPA, Josh Baurle, shares his September Income Report Tip!
What’s up Fire Nation? My name is Josh Bauerle, and I am a CPA and the Founder of CPA On Fire, where we specialize in working with entrepreneurs to minimize their tax liability while keeping them in line with the ever changing tax laws.
I’ve been working with EntrepreneurOnFire to make sure their accounting systems are running smoothly and that their taxes are as low as possible. John and Kate have included me in the monthly income reports with unlimited access to all their accounts so I can verify that what they report here is complete and accurate.
And because they believe in delivering an insane amount of value, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level. I will also be providing tax and accounting tips to you along the way!
Over the next few months I’ll be going over the 5 best ways for entrepreneurs to save money on their taxes.
This month, we’re going to talk about renting your house to your business.
As a business owner, you likely host gatherings with clients, employees or even mastermind members from time to time, and you might have these small events at a restaurant, bar or other venue. But have you ever thought about hosting these events in your own home?
If you’re interested in hosting business-related events in your own home, and at the same time significantly increase your tax write offs, then you should consider renting your house to your business.
Since you’ve been reading the tax tips I provide every month, and as a result are much more knowledgeable on how the IRS operates, I know what you are thinking: “But if we rent our house to our business, don’t we have to claim the income on our taxes which takes away the benefits?” Great question, and the answer is no! Here’s why:
The IRS has a small loophole that allows you to rent your home out for less than 14 days a year and not have to claim any of the income on your taxes.
So say a few times a year you hold a business event in your home. Your business would then pay you rent for using your home, and you now have a write off in the business by simply transferring money from your business to your personal funds.
Here’s an example from EntrepreneurOnFire
Earlier this year, John and Kate hosted a meet up for their Elite Mastermind, Fire Nation Elite. They had all the attendees come to their home, and they provided the food and entertainment. Because it was a business event being held in their home, they charged the business rent for hosting the event.
All in all it allowed them to hold an awesome meeting from the comfort of their own home AND turn it into a huge tax write off without technically spending any money.
While this is a great loophole to take advantage of, there are some rules to follow:
- This has to be a legit business event at your home: no making things up!
- You have to charge a reasonable price for rent. For example, you can’t charge $10,000 in rent for an hour meeting. The best way to do this is to call around to some of the places you would normally consider for a similar event and see what they charge. As long as you stay in line with that, then you’ll be fine.
- You have to do it by the books, meaning you have to do all the necessary paperwork, including issuing yourself a 1099 from the business at year end.
- Certain rules may vary based on the type of business entity you are. Be sure to discuss your event with your CPA before using this strategy.
If you can stay inline with these rules, then you can create an awesome tax write off without any money ever leaving your pocket!
As always, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss what would be best for YOUR business. I LOVE chatting with Fire Nation!
What Went Down In September
On September 11 John flew cross country for a pretty unique experience: to keynote and attend Camp Good Life Project. When John first told me about Camp GLP, I thought it sounded really amazing, but from everything John shared with me after his fun-filled weekend at Camp, it was so much more.
Some things are hard to describe with just words, but thanks to Jonathan Fields and his team over at GLP, this video says it all.
But of course we wouldn’t mention it without sharing John’s #1 takeaway:
Fire Nation, my time at camp GLP was incredible, and interacting with the over 250 attendees all weekend was a game-changer. The major takeaway I want to share with you is this. If you are not experiencing the type of success you want, stop looking at external factors, but instead look within. Our own limiting beliefs subconsciously sabotage MUCH of our efforts, and until your inner game is razor sharp, your external game never will be.
Read this book: Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, it could be the start you need.
Agents of Change (& a trip to Maine!)
Straight from Camp GLP, John headed north to his home state of Maine, where I joined him on the 16th of September to start a 2 week stay with his family.
It was the best kind of trip: time with family, friends, a few speaking gigs here and there, an incredible conference (Agents of Change) and a beautiful wedding all included. It was a busy two weeks to say the least, but we had a blast hiking, laughing, relaxing and enjoying everything that Maine has to offer in the Fall.
Amidst all of the Fall time family fun, Agents of Change was an extra special treat: a 1-day, single track, action packed conference featuring Pat Flynn, Nathan Latka, John Lee Dumas, Heather Jackson, Greg Hickman, Chris Ducker, Stephanie Sammons, Cynthia Sanchez, Nick Unsworth, Rick Mulready, and last but not least, hosted by the incredible Rich Brooks. WHEW!
Now as you can see, this crew was pretty epic, but in addition to their glowing personalities and beautiful faces, the content, energy and value they put forth was through-the-roof-awesome. From Raving Fans to Facebook Apps to Avatars to Email and Mobile Marketing, and then on to SEO, People to People Relationships, LinkedIn, Pinterest and leveraging Facebook for advertising, Rich and this crew left no stone unturned.
I really appreciate the single track format of this conference because it created a very strong sense of community throughout the day. One example? I got to spend the entire day with a crew of Fire Nation Elite and Podcasters’ Paradise members thanks to the fact that none of us were running off to different sessions, or scrambling to find a seat in an over-crowded room.
But of all the incredible time spent with friends, and in the mountains hiking, and at the Agents of Change Conference, I have a couple of favorite moments from the trip overall, and that was the time we got to spend with the family.
It’s easy to get wrap up in everything that is running your own business, and keeping your focus on those things is definitely important. But if you’re willing to make the sacrifices involved in order to get your business to a place where you do have systems and you are able to take time off while still providing your audience with incredible value – that’s where the magic happens.
We turned 2!
Fire Nation, Happy Anniversary! Can you believe it’s been 2 years since we started on this incredible journey together? We’ve loved EVERY second of it, but what we would love even more is to hear from YOU:
What’s been your most memorable moment on our journey together?
Let us know in the comments section below!
I put together a pretty cool book of our journey up to this point to surprise John, and among many amazing memories were some incredible milestones. You can check out the infographic that Aaron Fifield from OneDeepDesign created for us to help celebrate our entrepreneurial journey in our EOFire Journey post.
Thank you, Fire Nation, for making these 2 years so incredibly special!
SMS Mobile Campaigns: An Update
Our SMS mobile campaigns are doing really well, and in September we did a lot of testing so we could share our experience with you here.
Here’s what we tested in September:
Instead of just offering the text-to-register option, which was all our registrants could do in order to opt in to the text reminders in August, we also added the text opt in to our Thank You pages in September.
This meant once someone had claimed their spot on either the Podcast or the Webinar Workshop online, they’d be directed to a Thank You page with the option to sign up for SMS reminders. Here’s what the Thank You page looks like:
We’ve been seeing upwards of a 50% opt in rate on this Thank You page, along with amazing feedback from our attendees, who all think it’s “super cool to receive a voicemail prior to the Webinar“, and who “would have forgotten about the Webinar completely had they not received the text reminder.”
This proves to us that the campaigns are actually working, and over the past month, some of our Webinars have seen a 25% increase in show up rates thanks to the SMS mobile campaigns!
We haven’t been seeing too many actual text-to-register participants – on average maybe about 2% of our sign ups come directly from someone texting in. But the fact that our Thank You page sign ups are converting SO well, AND it’s getting more people to attend our Webinars, the campaign overall is well worth it (especially given we’re only paying about $50/month for the text messaging service).
Greg Hickman is the guy who helped us set this all up, and he’s working on a killer training right now called Convert From Anywhere. If you think SMS can help you convert more email signups, get increased show up rates at your webinars, and up loyalty and retention with your customers, then you’re right – it can! Click here to learn more about Greg’s training!
RescueTime is an incredibly powerful tool for anyone looking to manage their time more efficiently. In fact, John and I both attribute a huge chunk of our time management and efficiency skills to the RescueTime App itself. Honing these skills starts with fully recognizing what it is you’re spending your time on, and most people don’t take the time to track this because it’s difficult to write down every single thing you do in a day.
With RescueTime, you have software constantly working behind the scenes to log your time for you. Simply, easy and so powerful!
Kate’s September: 195 hours (vs. 245.25 in August)
Kate’s top 3 sites for the month:
1. Infusionsoft / Customerhub
John’s September: Not applicable as 21 days were spent on his Mac Air without tracking capabilities :-(
We also can’t forget about all the hard work and time that our team members contribute! We couldn’t be doing what we’re doing without the help of JM, Jess and Adeel!
Product/Service Income: $220,574
Podcasters’ Paradise: $132,390 (invoice total)
Create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
WebinarOnFire: $11,678 (invoice total)
Create and present a Webinar that converts.
PodcastOnFire: $462 (invoice total)
Create and launch your Podcast in 14 days.
The One Thing: $42
$7 mini training.
Sponsorship Income: $62,167
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $11,417
1-on-1 Mentoring: $1,000 (John’s last month as a mentor)
Total Launch Package: $995
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $216
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $207
Affiliate Income: $20,918
*Affiliate links below
- BlueHost: $2,850 (23 WP tutorials included with use of affiliate link)
- LeadPages: $986
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $0 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Audible: $1,757
- Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer: $95
- Infusionsoft: $221
- Music Radio Creative: $103
- Jeff Walker: $2,230
- LifeOnFire: $2,673
- Optimize Press: $155
- Optin Monster: $416
- Ramit Sethi: $7,600 (includes July, Aug, Sept)
- Studio1Design: $607
- Amazon: $323
- Other: $902
Total Gross Income in September: $241,492
Business Expenses: $62,742
- Advertising: $1,159
- Design & Branding: $465
- Education: $2,124
- Meals & Entertainment: $1,080
- Merchant Account fees: $500
- LibSyn: $156
- Other Business Expenses: $820
- Paradise Refunds: $24,617 (invoice total)
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $3,721 (invoice total)
- PodcastOnFire Refunds: $0
- Webinar Giveaways: $779
- Fire Nation Elite expenses: $6,266
- Paradise Affiliate Commissions: $3,562
- Software: $655
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $12,433
- Travel: $1,286
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $2,635
- Website Fees: $484
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,785.22
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $49.99
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $189
- Internet*: $171
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $382
- Insurance*: $551
- Quickbooks Online*: $25
- Chatroll: $199
- ScheduleOnce*: $42.19
- Skype*: $2.99
- Taxes & Licenses (recurring): $72
Total Expenses in September: $64,527.22
Payroll to John and Kate: $13,193
In our May Income Report, Josh focused on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check it out!
Total Net Profit for September 2014: $176,964.78
Can you believe this all came from the launch of a single Podcast?!
If you’re looking to start your own podcast, don’t miss our Podcast Workshop that we’re hosting next week on how YOU can create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast. Yes! Sign me up for the Podcast Workshop!
Here’s what our attendees are saying about the Podcast Workshop:
Rob: “This was a smart hour to set aside!”
Dave: “This is perfect for me! John is laying out exactly what I am working towards!”
We also host a Webinar Workshop every other week that walks you through how to Create and Present a Webinar that Converts. Looking to present Webinars for your business? Yes! Sign me up for the Webinar Workshop!
Lesson Learned In September
If it’s not a “HELL YEAH!”, then it’s a no
THANK YOU Derek Sivers!
I don’t know about you, but John and I struggle with competing priorities, lots of incredible opportunities, and offers that sometimes seem too good to be true. But we’re learning more and more is that – after spending entire days working on our promotional calendar and other scheduling demands – we’re saying yes to way too much.
It’s a tough spot to be in: of course we wish we could say HELL YEAH! to everything, and never have to say no to anyone or anything. But the fact is, that’s not sustainable.
We’ve spent a lot of time saying yes to a lot of things, and in September, it finally caught up to us. Not for the first time – because we’ve of course felt somewhat overwhelmed at other times during our journey (what business owner doesn’t?!) – but this time it was different.
At first, we thought it was the fact that we were traveling in Maine for two weeks, or that we were wrapped up in the rapid fire awesomeness of all the conferences we’ve attended over the past few months, but when we really sat down and got real with ourselves about what was causing our schedule overload, it was very apparent that it was us.
We’ve been saying yes to way too many things.
Is saying “yes” a bad thing? Well, to be honest, it can be. Because like we talked about in last month’s income report, essentialism teaches us that every time we say yes to one thing, we’re saying no to another.
Now if we only say “yes” to the absolute most worthy and necessary things in life, then we’re doing good. But when we start saying “yes” to the not so necessary things in life, that’s when we force ourselves to inadvertently start saying no to the things that are most important to us. The things that help us propel our business forward. The things that make us happy.
Saying “no” isn’t a bad thing. Saying no is empowering yourself to choose what’s most important to you, your business and your life. Don’t be afraid to do it.
Quick tip: How do you decide?
When you’re faced with something that sounds like an incredible opportunity, ask yourself how it’s going to contribute to your overall business goals. If you’re not able to easily make a connection between the opportunity (or what the opportunity will net you) and your overall business goals, then it’s a no.
Plain and simple, if it’s not getting you one step closer to your goals, then it’s not something you should be spending your time on.
Your turn! What’s your #1 takeaway from this month’s income report? Let us know in the comments section below!
Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!
~ Kate & John
PS: Click to Tweet… we’ll love you for it!
Note: we report our income figures as accurately as possible, but in using reports from Infusionsoft to track our product income, they suggest the possibility of a 3 – 5% margin of error.
This post was written by Kate Erickson, Content Creator and Implementer at EOFire. Follow Kate on Social: