August 2015 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for August: $308,882.50
Total Expenses for August: $82,404
Total Net Profit for August: $226,478.50
Difference b/t August & July: -$31,144.90
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 support – and a single resource where we share 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 just starting out. The most important part of the equation is what you’re able to pass on what you learn to others through teaching, which is what we aim to do here at EOFire.
EOFire “AH-HA Feature”
As an entrepreneur, I come up with A LOT of ideas. Some good, some not so good, and some TERRIBLE. In fact, 99% never see the light of day, and that’s ok, as you know my feelings on the POWER of FOCUS.
But one idea I had early in 2015 really struck a chord, and is now seeing the light day for the very first time.
I’ve always believed in the power of journaling. In writing things down. In accountability. In setting goals – and most importantly – in ACCOMPLISHING those goals.
I looked for something in the marketplace that would allow me to do all of that, and like my search for a daily Podcast interviewing entrepreneurs in 2012, I came up empty.
You know me, Fire Nation, I LOVE the quote by Gandhi: ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.‘
Allow me to introduce, The Freedom Journal.
The Freedom Journal is the change I wanted to see in the world just a handful of months ago.
It’s a beautiful, gold embossed, faux leather bound journal, that will be your guide in setting and accomplishing YOUR goal in 100 days.
The Freedom Journal is no fluff. It is designed to get results for YOU, Fire Nation.
You’ll start by learning how to set a S.M.A.R.T. goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Then, over the course of the next 100 days, through The Freedom Journal, I will guide you in 10-day sprints to accomplish your mini-goals (keeping you on point); quarterly reviews every 25 days (to find out what’s working, what’s not, and adjust if needed); and most importantly, help you charge ahead.
You WILL accomplish your goal in 100 days, and I’m SO excited for you!
Now, creating a physical product is not an easy venture, and I’ve been dedicating a lot of bandwidth to it over the last 6 months. Just yesterday (Aug 26th) I received pictures from the manufacturer, and WOW – it has exceeded even my loftiest expectations!
(More details on the “behind-the-scenes” of this project and all the steps we took to make it happen in a future post on the blog!)
Black faux leather, gold embossed cover, gold-edged pages, a golden bookmark tassel, beautiful illustrations throughout – it’s simply stunning.
We still have some work to do, but our launch date of January 4th, 2016 is looking like an AWESOME reality.
Now it’s YOUR turn, Fire Nation: join us on The Freedom Journal interest list and we’ll keep you updated every step of the way, and we have an exclusive gift for YOU once we launch!
It’s time to set and accomplish YOUR goals Fire Nation. Allow The Freedom Journal to guide you every step of the way!
Or just text ‘journal’ to 33444
The Freedom Journal hot off the press!
CPA On Fire
Our CPA, Josh Bauerle, shares his August Income Report Tip!
What’s up Fire Nation, my name is Josh Bauerle. I’m 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 EOFire to make sure their accounting systems are running smoothly and 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’ll also be providing tax and accounting tips to you along the way!
Josh’s August Income Report Tip: How to pay your significant other
“My wife does a little bit of work in my business, my buddy told me it would be a tax deduction if I paid her for it, is that true?”
“My boyfriend and I co-mingle our finances, but should I be paying him in my business anyway for the tax write-off?”
“Since you got me set up on payroll after becoming an S Corp, I decided to put my husband on payroll as well so we could get the extra deduction. Was this the right move?”
I received all three of these questions over the past week.
On top of that, it’s a topic that we recently started discussing at EOFire.
So what’s the deal? Is it beneficial to pay your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc? The answer, as with most tax-related questions, is it depends.
The first question you need to ask is: “If you’re married, are you filing a joint tax return?” (If you’re married, then it’s almost always better to file jointly).
If the answer is yes to both – you’re married and you’re filing a joint tax return – then there is absolutely zero tax benefit to paying your significant other.
Why? Because your incomes are combined on the tax return, so you are essentially moving money from you to your spouse and it’s all showing up the same way on the tax return in the end.
So despite what others may tell you, there is absolutely no tax advantage to paying your spouse if you file a joint return come tax time. In fact, it could actually increase your taxes, depending on your answer to the next question…
The next question you need to ask is: “What type of business entity am I operating under?” If you operate as a sole proprietor or LLC, then paying your spouse will have no impact either way. But if you operate as an S Corp, you will actually be increasing your taxes by close to 15% due to the self-employment or payroll taxes you will pay on the amount you pay your significant other.
So when could it be beneficial to pay your significant other?
Basically, if you’re an unmarried couple with one person making significantly more money than the other person, there could be a benefit to paying your partner.
Let’s look at EOFire as an example:
As of now, John and Kate are not married (Come on John, on behalf of all of Fire Nation, put a ring on it already!!)
Because the business is structured as an S Corp, all the profits flow through to John, and then he pays all the taxes on his personal return.
Last year, that meant John was taxed on over $1.5 million, which put over $1 million of that income in the top tax bracket, making it taxable at nearly 40%.
Kate, on the other hand, works entirely with EOFire, which meant she showed almost no outside income.
This meant that if EOFire started paying Kate, there could be a net tax savings of anywhere from 12 – 25%, depending on how much we actually set her wage at. That’s no small amount of money when you are at these income levels!
The bottom line here is this: do not listen to well-intentioned friends or family members who say you can save money by paying out more money.
There are times when it may make sense to pay your significant other, but you need to know your exact circumstances and how to structure it.
As always, I highly recommend talking with a CPA before making a decision on this.
I’m always here as a resource if you have any questions! 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!
*Bonus!* Get instant access to Josh’s free video training course: 4 Finance Lessons Entrepreneurs Can’t Afford to Miss!
Fire Nation Feature
A few month’s ago a guy named Matt reached out to John via email. In essence, this is what he said:
“I do video, and my specialty is capturing an event – filming and being wherever you need me to be – and then having a 60 second clip that pulls the event together (a trailer if you will) ready by the end of that same day.”
When John fw: me this email, I thought “WHAT?!” No way… most videographers take days – weeks even – to pull something like this together.
Matt was for real… and he wanted to come to Podcast Movement with his partner, Alyssa, and be our film crew for the weekend to prove it.
You saw the video clip in our last income report – pretty epic, right?
And after meeting Matt and Alyssa in person, spending time with them, and hearing more about their story, I knew they had to be the Fire Nation Feature this month.
Matt’s video production story started his senior year of high school when his journalism class needed someone to shoot videos for the school.
From there, he went to college for graphic design/photography while pursuing video production through online courses and mentors.
Shortly after graduating, he decided to go full-time in his own business to help as many people as possible.
When I chatted with Matt and Alyssa at Podcast Movement, I asked why they do what they do – and where they’re headed with the business. Like John and myself, Matt and Alyssa are partners in both business and in life, and I always enjoy hearing about others’ businesses who share the same passion.
They told me that they love shooting video because they love making people happy and helping them be more successful.
Whether I am delivering some On Site Sizzle (Same Day Edit) for a bride and groom or catching the smiles and epic moments at an event, I’m always having a great time!
Matt recently started looking to serve more people in the entrepreneurial space; while he has a great time shooting weddings, he loves the idea of working with entrepreneurs on a recurring basis so he can learn their style and create great videos to help grow and strengthen their business.
His pursuit of helping people in the entrepreneurial space is how he got connected with us.
Right now Matt is FIRED UP about helping as many creatives as possible live happier lives by making money doing what they LOVE, and he’s going to have his first on board gig coming up this November… we’re really excited to have Matt & Alyssa as our film crew on the Podcasters’ Paradise Cruise!
Matt has offered up a FREE chat to anyone in Fire Nation who is interested in learning more about videography, and whether or not Matt and Alyssa would be a great fit for your next live event! Click here to schedule a chat with Matt today!
What Went Down In August
The EOFire Team Shifts
Sometimes things don’t turn out just the way you expected – especially when it comes to running your own business.
Since we launched EOFire in Sept 2012, we’ve had a total of 6 virtual team members.
In the very beginning, it was John, JM + 1 other virtual team member.
I came on board in April 2013, and we let one of our virtual team members go, leaving me, John and JM running EOFire.
In Feb 2014, we hired Jess, making us a team of 4 for the first time. It felt AH-mazing when we hired Jess. Both her and JM are incredibly passionate about their work, and they do such an amazing job.
Then in Dec 2014, John hired Adeel, and he was with our team for about 4 months before deciding to take a job in a different field. Luckily, his cousin Tipu was a perfect candidate to take over, and so that transition was seamless.
Adeel and Tipu still collaborate and help one another out with stuff to this day ;) They’re both HARD workers, and excellent when it comes to audio and video-related tasks.
In Feb 2015, we looked right here in the States for our first US-based team member through a service called Priority VA (a really great service if you’re looking for US-based virtual team members).
That’s when we hired our 6th team member, Lisa.
Up until the beginning of August, our team was forging ahead, strong and sturdy. But at the very beginning of August, Lisa decided to pursue her own entrepreneurial venture, bringing us back down to 5 team members: me, John, JM, Jess & Tipu.
This was definitely a jolt. Lisa was not only our newest team member, but she was also the one handling to highest level tasks for our business out of all of our virtual team members.
When she left, it put every one of those tasks back on my plate, and it also made me realize I hadn’t done a very good job of documenting the processes I was delegating.
HUGE wake up call.
We’re in the process of finding another virtual team member through Chris Ducker’s Virtual Staff Finder, and we can’t wait to welcome them on board :)
Just remember: growing a team takes time, patience and a lot of training and documenting.
Don’t wait another day to start putting processes in place and then actually keeping them some place so that if you do end up in a transition period, you won’t be recreating the wheel when you hire and train someone new.
If you’re interested in learning more about the power of systems & processes – and more importantly, how to implement them in your business – check out our free email series that walks you through it step-by-step!
Podcast Cruise – Setting Sail!
In February 2015 we got an email from Dan Franks asking if we would have any interest in being involved in an event all about podcasting – on a cruise.
It wasn’t long before John and I were creating video invites to send to those who we knew would be the best speakers for this event.
And it wasn’t long after that we had locked in 10 of the brightest minds in podcasting to come on board with us.
In March we did an exclusive Webinar for our Podcasters’ Paradise community announcing the Podcasters’ Paradise Cruise: a 50-attendee floating conference that would focus on how to leverage your podcast for business growth.
In November we set sail out of Fort Lauderdale, FL to sail the Caribbean and hit Jamaica, Hati and Grand Cayman, and we couldn’t be more excited!
In August we closed the doors to the cruise with a full house – an incredible group that’s going to “rock the boat”, no doubt :)
We have a wait list, so if you’re interested in the opportunity to hop on board with Andrew Warner, Chris Brogan, Omar Zenhom, Chase Reeves, Tim Paige and a bunch of other amazing podcasters, let us know!
Podcast Websites: All Systems Go!
August 12th was an exciting day for us here at EOFire: we launched our joint venture project, Podcast Websites, to the world with our partner Mark Asquith.
After a couple of months in beta, we were all systems go!… and the feedback we’ve received from our beta members and from our newest Podcast Websites members has been incredible.
If you’re looking for all-in-one peace of mind for your podcasting website, check out PodcastWebsites.com!
Prep for Bermuda (& our departure)
At the end of August we started prepping for our 1st of two cruises this year, this one a family cruise with John’s parents, sister & brother-in-law and his niece KC (who you’ve heard on EOFire a couple of times now) ;)
While we did go for the unlimited Internet package, we plan on enjoying plenty of R&R while we’re away. Stay tuned, Fire Nation! We’re excited to share our vaca stories with you in September’s report!
We also have our teams’ contributions to add! We’re so grateful for each and every one of our team members, who without, we couldn’t be doing what we’re doing.
Our team includes 3 full-time virtual team members: JM, Jess, and Tipu!
Looking to hire your own Virtual Team?
Product/Service Income: $248,884
Podcasters’ Paradise: $111,528 (invoice total)
Create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
Free Podcast Course: $0 (it’s free :-)
A 15-day course on how to create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
WebinarOnFire: $10,477 (invoice total)
Create and present a Webinar that converts.
Free Webinar Course: $0 (it’s free :-)
A 10-day course on how to create and present Webinars that convert!
The Freedom Journal: $0 (still in production, January 2016 launch!)
Podcast Sponsorship Income: $105,980
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $7,224
Total Launch Package: $995
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $116
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $64
Affiliate Income: $59,998.50
*Affiliate links below
- BlueHost: $3,300 (Step-by-step guide and 23 WordPress tutorials)
- Create Awesome Online Courses: $17,331
- 3-minute expert: $14,500
- LeadPages: $1,735
- Marketing Inc Course: $1,292
- Ramit Sethi: $0
- AudioBooks FREE Audio Book!: $2,660
- Audible: $242
- Coaching referrals: $3,188 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $250 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Infusionsoft: $0
- Fizzle: $142
- Aweber: $0
- Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer: $0
- Fire Pole Marketing: $127
- Music Radio Creative: $133
- LifeOnFire: $934
- Rick Mulready’s FB ADvantage: $0
- Libsyn: $796 (promo code Fire)
- WP Curve: $190
- Virtual Staff Finder: $495
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $135
- DotCom Secrets (free book): $0
- Podcasting Press: $200
- Podcast Movement: $9,132
- ClickBank: $93
- Amazon Associates: $930
- Other: $2,193.50
Total Gross Income in August: $308,882.50
Business Expenses: $80,660
- Advertising: $3,038 (includes Facebook ads)
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $10,297
- Accounting: $250
- Design & Branding: $2,045
- Education: $284
- Meals & Entertainment: $1,572
- Merchant / bank fees: $3,668
- PayPal fees: $1,811
- Office expenses: $737
- Software expenses: $34
- Libsyn: $302
- Other Business Expenses: $186 (promotional included)
- Paradise Refunds: $17,372 (invoice total)
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $1,991 (invoice total)
- Fire Nation Elite expenses: $3,612
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $26,495
- Total Launch Package Fees: $175
- Travel: $2,398
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $4,135
- Website Fees: $258
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,744
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $100
- Boomerang*: $14.99
- Brandisty: $24
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $65
- Google Storage: $9.99
- Go2MyPC: $12
- Internet*: $110
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $389
- Insurance*: $551
- Chatroll: $150
- ScheduleOnce*: $16
- Skype*: $2.99
- Spotify: $9.99
- Payroll fee: $77
- Workflowy*: $4.99
- MeetEdgar*: $49
- WPCurve*: $29
- Taxes & Licenses (recurring): $77
Total Expenses in August: $82,404
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 August 2015: $226,478.50
Lesson Learned In August
Thank you!… I just needed a place to start
This month I realized something pretty massive: sometimes what’s holding us back from getting big things done in our business isn’t that we “don’t know how to do something” – or that we “don’t understanding the benefits of a particular strategy or tactic”; it’s simply that we don’t know where to start.
But that’s just it: sometimes it’s not about knowing exactly where to start, but JUST STARTING that will get you the momentum and traction you need to complete that big thing.
Here’s a quick example: We’ve been working on a nurture sequence for our email list – a series of valuable emails that will help us stay in touch with our subscribers on a consistent basis without having to be writing new emails 3x per week.
That’s a BIG project.
If you think about putting together 15 – 20 emails, then setting up a sequence, creating rules, setting up decision diamonds, creating the “funnel” that leads people to the nurture sequence – that’s incredibly overwhelming.
It looks a bit overwhelming, too:
BUT – in August, I decided that regardless of whether or not I knew “exactly where to start”, I was going to JUST START somewhere.
And I did.
And our nurture sequence is now complete.
It might not have been created in a perfect order, but I started. And starting is what helped me continue to create the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – 11th email in the series.
Sometimes all you need is a place to start – regardless of whether or not it’s the perfect place to start.
You’ll figure it out as you go
There are a lot of situations and projects we come up against in our business where we’re able to plan ahead – you know, prevent potential disasters by taking the time beforehand to plan it all out.
We try and avoid disasters by doing things like switching out old links, updating saved reports, and connecting the right dots in our campaign sequences (depending on the project of course).
But sometimes, you just have to figure it out as you go.
Sometimes, it’s really tough to prevent every hiccup or near-disaster from happening, especially when it comes to projects as big as a website domain transfer, or creating new order forms – both of which we did right here at EOFire in August.
We’ll be talking about our website domain transfer in more detail next month, but just to share a few things we had to figure out as we went:
Website domain transfer
- All of our private videos in Vimeo that we had marked as “only allow on EntrepreneurOnFire.com” all came up as “not available” – we had to go in and switch every one to EOFire.com.
- Our plugins all had to be “re-activated” (those that were only allowed on one domain, anyway). Re-authenticating our domain and API had to happen before we could use any of them.
- I’m sure we’ll be coming up against a lot more of these in the near future!
Creating new order forms
- Our welcome campaign had to account for the newly created “products” with the switch to 3 separate order forms as opposed to just 1.
- Everywhere we were linking to that 1 order form had to be updated to direct people to our new sales page, where they could select from the 3 options.
- This report you’re reading right now? We had to figure out how to account for the fact that our IFS reports no longer give us invoice totals for our products.
- Again, just a few of the many things I’m sure we’ll encounter along the way.
It’s definitely great to plan ahead and try to avoid and “catch” as many potential hiccups as possible before you launch into a major project, but sometimes it’s just about doing it and fielding the hiccups as they come.
Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!
Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!
~ Kate & John
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.