November 2015 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for November: $152,275.20
Total Expenses for November: $80,584
Total Net Profit for November: $71,691.20
Difference b/t November & October: -$367,648.8
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.
CPA On Fire
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 November Tax Tip: The Audit Series, Part II
As we mentioned last month, your chances of being audited by the IRS are incredibly low.
Even if you are one of the unlucky few who is audited, chances are it will be the low pressure “correspondence audit” that you can handle through the mail.
But I get it – the IRS is really, really scary, and you of course want to reduce your chances of landing in their crosshairs by any means necessary. So here, in Part II of our audit series, I’m going to give you a couple ways to decrease your chances of seeing an IRS letter in the mail even further.
Step 1: Report all of your income and report it correctly
When someone gives you a tax form for income earned, whether it’s a W2, 1099, K-1 or any other, they also send a copy to the IRS. If you don’t report those same tax forms on your tax return, even if you accounted for the income in a different way, you will likely trigger an IRS audit.
The #1 reason I see individuals and small businesses being audited is because they’ve failed to properly report all of their income.
- Sometimes it’s an honest mistake of simply forgetting about a small W-2 or 1099 they received.
- Sometimes they’ve recorded the income in their business, but the tax form was made out to them personally.
- Sometimes they recorded the income in their gross receipts and mistakenly believed this meant they didn’t have to report it on the tax form itself.
Regardless of the reason, not reporting all of your income properly is the fastest way to end up in the 1% club – that’s the 1% you don’t want to be in.
Step 2: Hire a competent tax preparer
All tax preparers are required to register with the IRS via a PTIN number. This number is used for the IRS to track all tax returns being submitted by that particular tax preparer.
This makes it easy for the IRS to track which preparers have a history of sending in “less than accurate” returns.
Use one of these tax preparers with a history of sketchy returns and you could find yourself getting some unwanted attention from the IRS.
So what should you look for in a tax preparer to be sure you aren’t getting one with a questionable history?
Well, in my opinion it starts with hiring an actual CPA.
There are a ton of great tax preparers out there without a CPA. I’m sure the H&R Block guy with the bow tie is one of them (no offense to H&R Block).
A CPA offers you assurances that a chain shop tax preparer can’t.
You know a CPA has a degree, significant experience, plenty of continuing education and no major ethical transgressions.
The only thing a chain shop preparer assures you of is they met the companies very minimal education requirements, typically a few classes.
While nothing can completely take away the risk of an audit, by reporting all of your income correctly and hiring a competent tax preparer, you can further minimize your chances of ending up in a fight with the IRS.
And remember, you should never, ever not take a deduction you are entitled to just because it will supposedly increase your chances of being audited!
Next month we will talk about what to do if you are actually audited, so be sure to tune in for that!
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
The #1 Thing Most Entrepreneurs Don’t Know About Trademarks (That Could Hurt Them)
Here’s the scene: you just listened to another amazing episode of EOFire, and, in a moment of entrepreneurial inspiration, you finally think of the absolutely perfect product for your niche. You just know that it’s going to turn into a lasting success, and you can already picture yourself being interviewed by John Lee Dumas himself on a future EOFire episode, sharing your “Aha Moment.”
So you’ve got your idea – now, what’s the first thing on your to-do list?
That’s right – you have to figure out what you’re going to call your product. But before you do, there’s something you need to know.
I’ve been helping innovative entrepreneurs secure their intellectual property assets for over ten years, and in that time, I’ve discovered the #1 most important thing that entrepreneurs don’t know about trademarks.
Quick definition time: a “trademark” is anything that identifies you as the source of your products and services. Typically the word “trademark” refers to a brand name, business name, logo, or tagline. Nike, “Just Do It,” and the Nike swoosh are all trademarks. Got it? OK.
Now, what’s the #1 thing you need to know? It’s that if someone else is competing in the same space or niche, and they’re using the same or a similar brand name, you can’t use that trademark.
“Sounds simple enough,” you think, “I’ll just check the trademark office website to see if that brand name is available.” In the U.S., that’s the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (uspto.gov.) You log on, type in your chosen brand name, and nothing comes up. You’re good to go, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy.
If a competitor is using a similar brand name – even if they’ve never filed anything with your country’s trademark office – they still might have legal rights that are superior to yours. If you use that name, you might be walking into a lawsuit.
So you’ve got to dig deeper and do what we lawyers like to call “due diligence.” Start by Googling every variation of the name you can think of. Think where these products or services could be found – if it’s a physical product, look on Amazon; if it’s a brick and mortar business, try Yelp.
For the highest level of protection, you can hire an attorney to do a full search and to provide a legal opinion on the availability of your preferred brand name.
Remember, when you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, your brand name may be the single most valuable asset you own. If you’re serious about your business, make sure to allocate time and resources to making sure you really can own and protect that asset.
Here’s a final bonus tip: people often ask me how long trademarks can last. The answer: forever! Some trademarks have been in use and generating profits for hundreds of years. Make sure to get it right at the beginning and set yourself up for long-term success.
— David Lizerbram, Business Law Strategist and Host of Products of the Mind, a conversation about the intersection of business + creativity
*Bonus!* Download David’s 1-page Checklist, which includes everything need to know when you’re first starting out about Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs!
What Went Down In November
The Podcasters’ Paradise Cruise!
We have an entire recap post on the Podcasters’ Paradise Cruise – one that shares how the idea of a cruise even came about, who was involved in planning it, our biggest lessons learned from hosting our first “real event”, and exactly what went down on that boat.
But here, in November’s income report, we’d like to share this 3 minute video with you that was created by Matt & Alyssa of Re-Peet Productions, because it sums it all up beautifully:
Behind The Closed Doors (Paradise)
In October 2015, we welcomed 164 new members to the Podcasters’ Paradise family over the 3-day close, and during the entire month of November, we kept the doors closed.
WHAT?! Why on earth would you keep the doors closed for an entire month?!
There are 3 major reasons why we closed the doors:
- We were on the Cruise for the entire first week of November, not to mention the prep we’ve been doing for the launch of The Freedom Journal. We knew that our FOCUS had to be on these 2 things in November;
- We had a few major improvements we wanted to make within the community, and knowing what it takes to welcome & onboard new members, we decided that having the space to make these improvements would be well worth the break.
- We decided to move from a lifetime membership to a monthly (or annual) recurring membership, and in order to make that a smooth transition, we had a lot to learn!
Was it scary to close the doors, make some major improvements, AND change our entire pricing structure?
Absolutely. We were pretty nervous about “what might happen”.
But we decided NOT to focus on that, and instead, we focused on the things we DO know: when we continuously improve and give everything we had to the Podcasters’ Paradise community – even if we do make a wrong turn – it continues to grow, and people continue to create, grow and monetize their podcast as a direct result of the community and resources within the membership area. And that’s what matters most.
Be sure to check back for December’s monthly income report, as we’ll be sharing all the numbers and the behind-the-scenes as we re-opened the doors to Paradise with a completely new pricing model!
Saturday Sunrise Hike
When I saw the calendar invite, I thought it had to be a mistake… meeting a group of 12 people at a trail head at 5:45am on a Saturday morning?
It wasn’t a mistake; rather an amazing idea from yours truly, JLD :)
In an effort to bring a group of amazing entrepreneurs together right here in San Diego – and show Mr. & Mrs. Adventure (aka Brittany & Drew, future EOFire guests) the best view in all of San Diego AS the sun rises – we hiked Cowles Mountain.
The turnout was stellar, the sunrise breathtaking, and the relationship-building second-to-none.
What will you do this weekend that’s different, inspiring, active and maybe a little bit out of your comfort zone?
RI Meets Cali (Happy Thanksgiving!)
John couldn’t have been more excited when his alma mater, Providence College, was announced one of the eight teams that would be playing in the Wooden Classic Basketball Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend in Fullerton, CA. …and after watching a few games on TV, and getting to know the players (one being Kris Dunn, who was named THE BEST player in college basketball this year), I was pretty stoked, too.
So Thanksgiving afternoon John and I packed our bags and drove north, stayed at an AirBnB across the street from campus, and enjoyed 3 glorious days of some really amazing basketball.
Thursday night Providence faced Evansville and walked away with the W – but it wasn’t easy.
Friday night Providence faced #11 Arizona and again, walked away with the W – that really wasn’t easy.
On Saturday, the tournament took a little timeout, and so we took advantage of being in the LA area and spent the day at Disneyland!
Disneyland was a blast, and we crushed the park thanks to our handy little guide, The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland.
And then came Sunday – the Championship game day – where Providence would face #3, Michigan State. While it was an amazing game, unfortunately Providence did not walk away with the W.
Nonetheless, we had a really fun weekend meeting up at a reception with other local Providence graduates, exploring Disneyland, and watching some good old college basketball.
The Freedom Journal Launch Party!
It’s official! We’ll be hosting The Freedom Journal launch party on January 4, 2016 right here in San Diego, and we’d LOVE for you to be there to celebrate with us!
We’re going to be hosting the party at a co-working space in Hillcrest, giving away some killer prizes, plus, you’ll get to hang with an incredible crew of people – win/win/win!
You can RSVP for the Launch Party right here :)
In other news, Caleb Wojcik and his team paid us a visit in November for a full-day video shoot of The Freedom Journal Journey, if you will.
Caleb is still putting the video together, which will be used mainly for the Kickstarter campaign, but he did send us a sneak peek with a few photos he took (edited by his amazing wife, Jen):
Image credit: Caleb & Jen Wojcik
Can’t join us for the launch party because you’re not in San Diego? No worries, you can celebrate with us via our interest list, as we’ll be sending info and special updates to our TFJ Interest List FIRST!
Or just text ‘journal’ to 33444
Photo credit: Brandy Shea
Product/Service Income: $110,533.50
Podcasters’ Paradise: $3,808 (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: $1,319 (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: $97,500
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $5,668
The Fire Path Course: $94
Total Launch Package: $1,990
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $108
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $46.50
Affiliate Income: $41,741.70
*Affiliate links below
- BlueHost: $1,350 (Step-by-step guide and 23 WordPress tutorials)
- Click Funnels: $4,137
- Podcast Websites: $2,000
- Create Awesome Online Courses: $5,771
- Fizzle: $1,605
- 3-minute expert: $0
- LeadPages: $1,236
- Rick Mulready’s FB ADvantage: $1,602
- Booked and Paid to Speak: $4,667
- Marketing Inc Course: $0
- Ramit Sethi: $7,936
- Audible: $1,135
- Coaching referrals: $597 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $30 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Smart Podcast Player: $0
- Infusionsoft: $0
- Aweber: $132
- Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer: $0
- Fire Pole Marketing: $48.50
- Music Radio Creative: $63
- Libsyn: $736 (promo code Fire)
- WP Curve: $100
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $105
- DotCom Secrets (free book): $0
- Podcasting Press: $210
- Podmastery: $6,000
- Amazon Associates: $1,051.50
- Other: $1,230.20
Total Gross Income in November: $152,275.20
Business Expenses: $78,575
- Advertising: $924
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $6,714
- Accounting: $250
- Design & Branding: $1,045
- Training & Education: $304
- Consulting: $0
- Meals & Entertainment: $539
- Merchant / bank fees: $5,235
- PayPal fees: $569
- Office expenses: $446
- Libsyn: $355
- Other Business Expenses: $250
- Promotional / community: $143
- Paradise Refunds: $24,456 (invoice total)
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $1,344 (invoice total)
- Fire Nation Elite expenses: $2,834
- The Freedom Journal: $5,139
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $19,500 (20%)
- Total Launch Package Fees: $475
- Travel: $1,202
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $6,720
- Website Fees: $131
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,009
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $100
- Boomerang*: $14.99
- Brandisty: $24
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $194
- Google Storage: $9.99
- Go2MyPC: $12
- HelloSign: $13
- Internet*: $110
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $389
- Insurance*: $551
- Chatroll: $150
- PureChat: $20
- ScheduleOnce*: $16
- Skype*: $2.99
- Spotify: $9.99
- Payroll fee: $77
- Workflowy*: $4.99
- MeetEdgar*: $49
- Wistia: $25
- Sweet Process: $29
- WPCurve*: $29
- Taxes & Licenses (recurring): $77
Total Expenses in November: $80,584
Payroll to John and Kate: $18,193
In our May Income Report, Josh focused on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check it out!
Total Net Profit for November 2015: $71,691.20
Seize the opportunity; take action
It’s not always going to feel comfortable.
The outcome isn’t always going to be super obvious, which tends to worry us – it’s causes us to second-guess ourselves.
But seizing an opportunity – taking action – could mean the difference between…
- an amazing day, and a “just okay” day.
- meeting someone incredible, and never meeting them at all.
- getting to experience something completely new – that you LOVE – or not experiencing anything new.
- moving yourself and your business forward, or continuing to stand still.
It’s okay if it doesn’t feel that comfortable, or if you end up second-guessing yourself. We’re only human.
But it’s through taking action that we’ll always be continuously improving and giving ourselves the opportunity to have an amazing day, meet someone incredible, experience something completely new, or move ourselves and our business forward.
Seize the opportunity, Fire Nation!
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.