December 2014 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for December: $298,146
Total Expenses for December: $98,695
Total Net Profit for December: $199,451
Difference b/t Dec & Nov: – $19,170.50
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.
**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 December 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!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Fire Nation. No, no – I’m not talking about Christmas, New Years or the other Holidays – I’m talking about TAX SEASON!
If you’re like most entrepreneurs and absolutely dread this time of year because you have no clue how to prepare, I have good news. This month I’m going to give you three steps to getting through tax season stress free.
1. Record ALL Income Received in Your Business
One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs make when it comes to their taxes is thinking all they need to know is their net income (what’s left over after expenses). Unfortunately, the IRS doesn’t make things that simple. Instead, you have to record all your income separately, and then deduct expenses.
The first thing you should do here is gather all 1099’s you received from clients and merchants. Basically, anyone who paid you $600 or more should be sending you a 1099.
After adding up your 1099’s, you need to account for any income outside of the 1099’s. This will probably come in the form of bank deposits or bank transfers. Or, if you’re really old school, cash you put under your mattress or buried in the backyard!
2. Record and Categorize All Expenses
When it comes to expenses, you can’t just come up with one lump sum number. Instead, you have to break the expenses down into categories.
Here is a list of the most frequently used categories to get you started:
- Commissions and Fees
- Contract Labor
- Cost of Goods Sold
- Legal and Professional Fees
- Office Expense
- Repairs and Maintenance
- Taxes and Licenses
- Meals and Entertainment
Have some expenses that don’t seem to fit into any of those categories?
That’s OK, simply make new categories. For example, you probably don’t see categories that your cell phone bill fits into, so you can go ahead and create and “Phone” category in your records.
The important thing to remember here is that you don’t have to get every single expense into the exact right category. There is some subjectivity involved. So I don’t want you spending an hour researching which category is best for a $50 expense. Use your best judgement and move on.
It’s more important to make sure the expenses are recorded versus having them in the perfect category.
3. Know Your Deadlines
Your tax requirements come with deadlines, and not meeting them can result in penalties and interest charges.
Here are the major deadlines you need to know this tax season:
January 31- If you have employees or independent contractors/affiliates you paid $600 or more to, you will need to send out their W-2 or 1099’s by the end of January. You will need to send a copy to both the recipient and the IRS.
March 15- If you are an S Corporation or C Corporation, your deadline to file your business tax return is March 15. You can also file an extension, which will give you until September 15 to file the return.
April 15- This is the deadline for sole proprietors, partnerships, LLC’s and individual tax returns. An extension will give you until September 15 to file the business returns and October 15 to file the personal returns, but it should be noted that any amount due is still required to be paid by April 15 to avoid interest and penalties.
If you can follow those three steps your tax season will go very smoothly. And I’m always here as a resource if you have any questions as you go through them this tax season! 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 December
Preparing for launch: The Fire Path Course
The Fire Path Course launch is coming up quick, and the month of December was largely dedicated to putting together the outline, framework and timeline for launch.
The idea for The Fire Path Course (TFPC) is a result of a lot of hard work that’s been over 1 year in the making! What started out as an email campaign in response to the most commonly asked questions we got from our audience has now turned into so much more.
Throughout TFPC we’ll be covering the core building blocks of starting and growing your own business, from step 1 all the way to monetization, through a series of video modules and workbook exercises.
As a result, once you’ve complete The Fire Path Course, you’ll have a solid framework to go back any time to guide you in your business moving forward.
What the prep looked like
I started prepping by laying out The Fire Path Course campaign: an email series to welcome those who are interested in the course and that gives them information and value leading up to the launch.
I also spent a lot of time in December gaining insights from my target audience through surveys and in online communities chatting with others about their biggest pain points, and how a course like The Fire Path might be able to help them.
- “What’s your biggest struggle with starting your business?”
- “What’s your biggest struggle with growing your business?”
- “What would you expect from a course like this?”
- “How would you want it to be laid out?” and
- “What would be your desired outcomes are after going through the course?”
…were at the top of my list.
A lot to consider
When creating a product or community, there is a lot to consider.
Marketing and launching it is a huge part of the equation, but what about the actual content and the delivery system? Once you know you can sell it, how will you actually present it?
Here are some of the things I’ve been focusing on and brainstorming in December to prepare:
- What type of content should be included?
- How should the content be presented?
- Should it be a structured or a go-at-your-own-pace set up?
- What platform should we use?
- How much should it cost?
Now that I have the initial interest campaign set up, an outline and a framework for the content, and some solid insights from my target audience, our next step is to do a pre-launch (or beta launch) within our Elite Mastermind Community, Fire Nation Elite.
We’re offering The Fire Path Course to our Tribe members as a bonus to their membership, and I’m really excited to dive in!
This beta launch will help us create the most meaningful content, work out some of the early bugs, and it will also give us time to build out the course content as we go.
You can expect The Fire Path Course to launch sometime in February 2015!
If you’re interested in being the first to learn about course developments and other details, head over to TheFirePath.com!
In our A year in review: 2014 post we talk a lot about automation. I really hope you take the time to fully digest that post because it’s filled to the brim with golden nuggets, especially when it comes to the incredible success we’ve seen as a result of launching FreePodcastCourse.com.
We continue to focus our efforts on the things that are working for us right now, and a free course on podcasting that introduces people to Podcasters’ Paradise through a series of valuable, free pieces of content is no exception.
Fire Nation Elite
Fire Nation Elite 2.0 is rockin’ and rollin’! It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 months since we closed the doors to new members, but as always… time flies!
As we do every 3 months, we will be opening the doors to Fire Nation Elite for 1 day only on January 29th. So if you are interested in joining an amazing mastermind filled with like-minded, passionate entrepreneurs, then don’t forget to sign up for your 8-minute chat with John.
*Note: Fire Nation Elite closed Dec 31, 2015.
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 December: 217 hours (vs. 207.30 in November)
Kate’s top 3 sites for the month:
3. Microsoft Word
John’s December: 248 hours (vs. 211 in November)
John’s top 3 sites for the month:
2. Adobe Audition
In December we said good-bye to one of our newest team members, Adeel. While it was tough to see him go, it was exciting to wish Adeel well on his new venture with a tech company in Dubai.
We kept it in the family however and Adeel has fully trained and equipped for duty our newest member, his older brother Tipu… YAY! Tipu is in Pakistan and is very excited to have the opportunity to add incredible value to Fire Nation and spend more time at home with his loving family!
We want to thank our entire virtual team for all of their hard work and for sticking with us throughout an eventful and very exciting 2014. We couldn’t be doing what we’re doing without the help of JM, Jess, Adeel, and now our newest team member, Tipu!
December 2014 Income Breakdown
Product/Service Income: $284,476
Podcasters’ Paradise: $201,694 (invoice total)
Create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
Free Podcast Course: $0 (it’s free, but generated $17,600 in passive sales of Podcasters’ Paradise!)
A free 15-day Podcast course!
Complete Podcast Course: $420 (purchase Free Podcast Course for download: $15/15 modules)
WebinarOnFire: $2,875 (invoice total)
Create and present a Webinar that converts.
The One Thing: $63
$7 mini training about how to craft YOUR Avatar.
Coaching: $2,500 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
Sponsorship Income: $60,592
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $11,080
Total Launch Package: $4,975
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $148
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $129
Affiliate Income: $13,670
*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.
- BlueHost: $3,750 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: $687
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $100 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Audible: $1,315
- Aweber: $0
- Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer: $170
- Infusionsoft: $0
- Music Radio Creative: $36
- LifeOnFire: $2,634
- Business Podcasters Summit: $0
- Libsyn: $0 (promo code Fire)
- Amy Porterfield: $613
- Simple Podcast Press: $63
- Jeff Brown: $2,615
- Optimize Press: $0
- WP Curve: $0
- Fizzle: $70
- Optin Monster: $0
- Virtual Staff Finder: $75
- Social Media Marketing World: $0
- Amazon: $1,500
- Other: $42
Total Gross Income in December: $298,146
Business Expenses: $96,853
- Advertising: $519
- Design & Branding: $596
- Education: $172
- Meals & Entertainment: $755
- Merchant Account fees: $352
- Libsyn: $172
- Other Business Expenses: $500 (includes intro/outro fees for podcast)
- Office expenses: $2,228
- Paradise Refunds: $51,129 (invoice total)
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $2,778 (invoice total)
- Fire Nation Elite expenses: $5,854
- Paradise expenses: $2,044 (SendOutCards)
- Paradise Affiliate Commissions: $7,626
- Software: $290
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $9,348
- Total Launch Package Fees: $1,200
- Travel: $4,394 (includes flights to Tropical Think Tank)
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $5,225 (includes the “13th month” in Philippines)
- Website Fees: $1,671
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,842
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $100
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $190
- Internet*: $171
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $388
- Insurance*: $551
- Quickbooks Online*: $25
- Chatroll: $199
- ScheduleOnce*: $42.19
- Skype*: $2.99
- Taxes & Licenses (recurring): $72
Total Expenses in December: $98,695
Payroll to John and Kate: $62,507
In our May Income Report, Josh focused on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check it out!
Total Net Profit for December 2014: $199,451
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!”
Lesson Learned In December
During the month of December we did a lot of reflecting back on 2014, giving ourselves time to digest what worked best, what didn’t work out so well, and to celebrate our many accomplishments.
In a post we just published, A year in review: 2014, we dive deep into why reflecting is so important, and what having a handle on the BIG 3 reasons why we believe reflecting is so important can do for both your personal and professional business growth.
So as we say good-bye to 2014, and hello to 2015, we’d love to hear what some of your reflections back on 2014 brought up for you.
- What worked best for you, and how can you leverage it to net more great results?
- What didn’t work out so well for you, and how will you pivot moving forward?
- How did you take time out to celebrate your accomplishments in 2014?
Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!
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.