July 2014 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for July: $282,353.16
Total Expenses for July: $40,765.42
Total Net Profit for July: $241,587.74
Difference b/t July & June: +$78,879.76
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 is a lot of hard work that goes into learning and growing as an entrepreneur, 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 building block towards your future success.
**We’ll receive a commission on the affiliate links below. If you click on my affiliate link and sign up for the products and services I trust and recommend, then I will earn a commission.
CPA On Fire
Our CPA, Josh Baurle, shares his July 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 have 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 last few months we’ve discussed tips for building a good tax foundation for your business.
But after going through the basics, I can tell you are ready for more: you want the good stuff. You want to know how you can get those nasty tax numbers as low as possible, am I right? Well, here at EOFire, we aim to please. :)
So over the next five months, I’m going to give you the 5 Best Ways Entrepreneurs Can Save Money on Their Taxes.
Today, I’m going to start with deducting everyday expenses as a business owner
One of the best advantages of being an entrepreneur is the ability to deduct everyday expenses in your business. Things like your cell phone, your Internet, your meals, your vacations and even a portion of your home suddenly become partially or even fully deductible in your business.
Here’s a rundown of those expenses and how to best take advantage of your deductions:
Phone and Internet
Although you probably had a cell phone and Internet service before you started your business, and have continued to use them for personal reasons after starting your business, you can still deduct a portion of your bills on your tax return.
Simply estimate your business versus personal use and deduct that portion of the bill.
For example, if you spent $1,000 on cell phone charges last year, and estimate you use it 75% of the time for business reasons, then you can deduct $750 on your taxes.
Meals and Entertainment
Any meals you have for any business purpose are 50% deductible in your business.
You can also deduct 50% of any entertainment involved in business meetings, such as playing a round of golf or attending a sports event.
Here’s a tip to maximize this rule: Let’s say you own a law firm, and your golf buddy owns a marketing firm. If you were to get together with him every Friday so that he can give you marketing advice and you can give him legal advice – and you were to grab lunch and play 18 holes while talking business – you can deduct 50% of those costs in your business.
Any travel done for business purposes is fully deductible on your tax return.
Vacations, on their own, are not deductible on your tax return; but what if you combine the two? If you can plan your vacation around your business trip, you could end up deducting most or all of the costs of your trip.
For example, I have a client who had recently started up a crossfit gym and was planning a trip to Miami. While there, he set up a meeting every day with the owner of a successful crossfit gym in the area to pick their brain. Suddenly, his trip is almost entirely tax deductible.
If your primary place of business is in your home, or you use a portion of your home to store inventory, your house is now partially tax deductible.
Simply take the square footage of your home office or storage area, divide it by the square footage of your entire house, and you can then deduct that percentage of your mortgage interest, property taxes, property insurance, utility bills, cleaning bills and even depreciation on the home.
Or, if you like to keep things even more simple, you can deduct $5 per square foot of the room, up to a total of $1,500.
The ability to deduct everyday expenses in your business can end up saving you thousands of dollars on your taxes. As a business owner, you should constantly be asking yourself how you can relate an everyday expense to your business. And as with anything else, when it comes to the IRS, documentation is your best line of defense. Always keep notes and receipts on any expense you plan to deduct on your taxes.
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 July
World Domination Summit
Who ever said you needed a ticket to go to a conference?
John and I knew that the crowd who would be converging in Portland, Oregon for World Domination Summit was too good to miss. So what did we do? Snagged tickets on Southwest Airlines, booked an AirB&B place that we shared with 5 other people, and had an absolute BLAST.
While in Portland, we decided to go big on Friday night and hosted THE roof deck party of the weekend to get everyone together in one place. Then, on Saturday, Pat Flynn, Chris Ducker, and our very own John Lee hosted the Virtual Freedom Party, where we were able to meet a ton of people from Fire Nation!
So by going to Portland, we were able to attend some incredible meet ups, including the two above, Scott Dinsmore’s Live Your Legend, Amy Clover’s Strong Inside Out Tour, and more (you know how we’ve mentioned once or twice how important building relationships is?), AND we also got to spend time with our very own CPA, Josh Bauerle, and many others who we don’t get to see in person too often.
My favorite part of the trip? I got to meet Jeff Goins, someone who I admire and owe huge thanks to for opening my eyes just about three years ago when I wasn’t feeling much like a writer. Ever heard of his book, You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)? HUGE impact.
John’s #1 tip for conference goers? Have fun!
Prepare for Launch – times three!
Aside from being a heavy travel month for us, we were also busy preparing for 3 really exciting launches.
How are we even able to make time for all this stuff? Well, in our last two income reports we talked a lot about the systems we’ve been building and putting into place over the past year and half, and that’s had a huge impact on our ability to be working ON our business (creating) versus of IN our business (reacting).
This probably deserves a space in the “lessons learned” section, but we’ll keep it here since it directly applies. Know that it takes a lot of time and several pivots before you start to see the benefits of the systems you’re building.
So John and I talk a lot about the importance of utilizing multiple mediums to get your content out to your audience, and this is a great example of us doing just that.
QuotesOnFire: A daily podcast sharing quotes from history’s greatest Entrepreneurs
John preparing to launch QuotesOnFire was a result of listening to Fire Nation and surveying the industry as a whole. What do people gravitate towards and love to talk about after listening to EntrepreneurOnFire? What seems to be a “trending topic” on social media?
He found the answers to these two questions had one thing in common: quotes. Enter: QuotesOnFire.
People are not just inspired by quotes, but quotes really get you thinking outside of the box – they open up the possibility to brainstorm, and each and every quote applies to your own situation in a unique way.
Does listening to your audience work? Well, with Quotes On Fire claiming the #1 spot in all of iTunes, the results speak for themselves! If you like quotes, then I know John would LOVE your support: subscribe and review!
Kate’s Take: A twice per week podcast geared towards helping you uncovering your own Entrepreneurial journey
I’ve been practicing my writing over the past year A LOT, and as I’ve become a better writer I’ve also realized that there is an entire strategy that can be built up behind your content that most people brush over.
When I took a step back and thought about what was actually happening to my content once I hit publish, I knew that there was something big missing: the strategy. Sure, I was sharing it on social media and doing some cross-referencing when possible, but I felt like there had to be a better way to maximize what I was creating.
Enter: the audio blog! The content I’m reading is content that I’ve already produced and put a ton of time into, so why not repurpose it on another medium that I know is incredibly powerful to help spread the message?
Exactly. Why not?
MorningsOnFire: A daily video from John Lee Dumas to help Ignite Your Day!
One platform we’ve always been intrigued by but never had the bandwidth to pursue is YouTube. We know it’s powerful, we know it has a ton of potential, but it all goes back to having that laser FOCUS.
Once John brought our 5th EntrepreneurOnFire team member on board, Adeel, we knew it was time. Adeel not only has incredible video editing skills, he’s also very skilled at learning new platforms quickly.
Hhmmmm… If we want to get on YouTube, what type of content can we create that will be of value to our audience? Ah-ha! A daily video from John, which will help us better connect with our audience AND provide inspiration to them every single morning.
A couple of YouTube certifications later and Adeel was coming to us with entire presentations about what our YouTube strategy might look like. All we need to do now is create the content.
It’s still a work in progress, but we’re both very excited to help Ignite Your Day!
Fire Nation Elite 2.0 Ignites! Are you looking for a tribe?
You heard right Fire Nation: Our Elite Mastermind Tribe is setting the world ON FIRE!
We’ve just welcomed 15 new Tribe members into the mastermind and we couldn’t be more excited about the direction of Fire Nation Elite 2.0.
RescueTime is an incredibly powerful tool for anyone looking to manage their time more efficiently.
After learning the hard way, John and I have realized that the first step to managing your time more efficiently starts with fully recognizing what it is you’re spending your time on. 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.
Kate’s May: 221.5 hours (vs. 196.5 in June)
Kate’s top 3 sites for the month (in order):
2. Infusionsoft / CustomerHub (our CRM / membership site platform)
3. Microsoft Word
John’s May: 270.5 hours (vs. 267.5 in June)
John’s top 3 sites for the month (in order):
2. Microsoft Word
3. Adobe Audition
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: $273,964.16
Podcasters’ Paradise: $190,893 (invoice total)
Create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
WebinarOnFire: $17,413 (invoice total)
Create and present a Webinar that converts.
PodcastOnFire: $1,321 (invoice total)
Create and launch your Podcast in 14 days.
The One Thing: $77
$7 mini training.
Sponsorship Income: $45,353.16
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $13,693
1-on-1 Mentoring: $5,000
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $143
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $71
Affiliate Income**: $8,389
- BlueHost: $1,800 Step-by-step guide and 23 WordPress tutorials included! Disclaimer: This is my affiliate link and I will receive a commission if you sign up through my link
- LeadPages: $2,506
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $580 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Audible: $2,616
- PodcastMovement: $311
- Amazon: $576
*Affiliate links above – if you click on my affiliate link and sign up for the products and services I trust and recommend, then I will earn a commission.
Total Gross Income in July: $282,353.16
Business Expenses: $39,383.20
- Advertising (mostly FB ads): $1,270
- Design & Branding: $506.25
- Education: $830
- Meals & Entertainment: $2,323
- Merchant Account: $355
- LibSyn: $293
- Other Business Expenses: $1,823
- Paradise Affiliate Commissions: $1,845
- Paradise Refunds: $16,028 (invoice total)
- Promotional: $2,600
- The One Thing Refunds: $0
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $1,768 (invoice total)
- PodcastOnFire Refunds: $0
- Software: $494
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $5,629.95
- Total Launch Package Fees: $425
- Travel: $852
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $1,316
- Website Fees: $1,025
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,382.22
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $49.99
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $165
- Internet*: $171
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $382
- Insurance*: $172
- Quickbooks Online*: $25
- Chatroll: $199
- ScheduleOnce*: $42.19
- Skype*: $2.99
- Taxes & Licenses (recurring): $72
Total Expenses in July: $40,765.42
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 July 2014: $241,587.74
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 new Podcast Workshop that we are hosting next week on how YOU can create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
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 through how to Create and Present a Webinar that Converts.
Things We Learned In July
“Stuff” gets in the way… if you let it
On June 30th @ 1:10pm PST I committed to launching my very first podcast, Kate’s Take: The EntrepreneurOnFire Audio Blog.
I had just a few days before teamed up with an accountability partner because I knew how important that would be in helping me reach my goal. He asked me what my “big tasks” were in order to make it happen.
I emailed him and I laid out the major steps I had to take in order to hit my launch date. Here’s exactly what I sent him:
1) Nail down the name, consistency and logo by July 7th;
2) Figure out best recording set up and familiarize myself with Audition/Libsyn by July 10th;
3) Gather notes for the first set of episodes (20 episodes) and record them all by July 28th (plus have a set schedule for when I’ll record ongoing episodes);
4) Launch Aug 4th.
On July 17th – one of our “check in dates” – I had my name and consistency down, and my logo was “in progress”, but I hadn’t watched a single video to help me learn Audition or Libsyn.
I had made some pretty good progress with getting my notes together (I would be launching the podcast based on already existing content, it was just a matter of getting that content in some sort of order), but I wasn’t even close to being ready to start recording yet.
On July 25th at 9:30am I was getting ready to get on a call with two incredibly inspiring entrepreneurs for a bi-weekly mastermind I’m a part of. We always start out with a “high/low”, and my low was that I felt like I wasn’t making enough progress in order to hit my launch date.
I talked about all the “stuff” I had going on that I felt was distracting me from reaching my goal – traveling, Webinars, email campaigns – and I sat on one end of our Google Hangout waiting for some secret solution from them to help solve my over-crowded schedule.
They both had only 1 response: “Kate, why on earth are you letting all this ‘stuff’ get in your way?”
They were so right.
I was spending more time talking and thinking about the “stuff” that was getting in my way, when in reality, all I needed to do was not let it. And so that’s exactly what I did.
Ten days later I submitted my podcast to iTunes with 14 episodes recorded, 6 short of my original goal, but with a solid plan in place for my recording schedule moving forward.
A simple mindset shift? Yes, please!
80 / 20 Rule
Ever heard of it before? This was John’s major lesson learned for the month of July, and a powerful one at that.
After listening to several podcasts that discussed the topic, John realized the insane impact this rule has on all entrepreneurs: 20% of your actions produce 80% of your results. Therefore, if your actions are all over the place – you’re distracted, you’re constantly in reaction mode versus producing or learning mode, you’re letting the bright and shiny object syndrome take over – then your results are going to reflect that.
This has been a huge failure and lesson learned for both myself and John, and it’s definitely something we continue to struggle with every day. Distractions never go away, but your ability to squash them before they squash you gets easier, if you practice it. We get it – it’s REALLY easy to let all those great ideas and fun activities distract you.
Set aside some time and do this:
Analyze the results you’re seeing right now. If they’re not the results you want, then your actions have to shift.
What results are positive for you right now? FOCUS on the actions that have helped you achieve those results.
It took John 11 years to realize his dream of becoming an entrepreneur, and it took 32 years worth of experiences to help make it a reality.
It’s taken me 9 years to realize that my dream has been sitting right in front of me the entire time, and 29 years worth of experiences to push me over the edge so I could actually go out and grab it.
Everyone’s journey is very different for many reasons. How you got where you are right now, what types of experiences you pull out and use to benefit your current ventures, and most importantly, where you go from here, is up to you to determine.
So, where will your journey lead you from here?
Your turn! What’s your #1 takeaway from this month’s income report?
Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!
~ Kate & John
PS: Click to Tweet… we’ll love you for it!