March 2015 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for March: $232,761
Total Expenses for March: $103,267
Total Net Profit for March: $129,494
Difference b/t March & Feb: -($226,225)
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 EntrepreneurOnFire.
CPA On Fire
Our CPA, Josh Baurle, shares his March 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 EntrepreneurOnFire 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!
Well Fire Nation, we did it!
The end of another tax season is in sight, and what a tax season it’s been! Over the last three months we’ve prepared nearly 200 tax returns here at CPAOnFire, most of which were for entrepreneurs.
Believe it or not, I’ve loved every minute of it!
Helping people get through one of the most stressful events in their lives is totally worth the insane hours we put in; but what I don’t love is telling someone they owe a lot more in taxes than they were expecting to pay.
It seems like every time I give this bad news, the person receiving it becomes down on entrepreneurship. More than ever this year I heard comments like, “Man I was way better off when I was just an employee, I feel like everything I make is going to taxes now.”
If this describes your thoughts this tax season, I have two pieces of good news:
1. You are still much better off from a tax perspective as an entrepreneur than as an employee.
2. There are steps you can take to make sure you aren’t getting hit with those huge tax bills any more.
Here are the four biggest tax mistakes I saw from entrepreneurs this tax season that you can still avoid in 2015.
1. Not Paying Quarterly Taxes
The reason most entrepreneurs feel like they’re paying more in taxes than they did as employees is because they are making the mistake of waiting until tax season to pay any taxes.
As an employee, you have a portion of your total taxes taken out of each paycheck. Instead of one huge payment at tax time, employees are usually coming close to breaking even or possibly even getting a refund.
As an entrepreneur, you have the option (and technically the requirement!) to make quarterly estimated payments to soften – or even eliminate – the burden of a huge tax payment come April.
2. Terrible Record Keeping
I feel like we talk about this every income report, but proper bookkeeping is incredibly important for entrepreneurs. Among the many other benefits of a good bookkeeping system, it will allow you to know where you are throughout the year so you can plan and save for the exact amount your tax liability will come to.
3. Being Set Up in the Wrong Entity
I’ll keep this one simple: if you are making at least $50,000 net income in your business and you have not made an S Corp election, you are throwing tax dollars away. Depending on your income level, choosing the right business entity could be the single biggest tax decision you make.
4. Waiting Until Tax Season to Talk With a CPA
If you are aren’t making contact with a CPA or qualified tax preparer until it’s time to prepare your taxes, you’re almost certainly missing out on several strategies that can save you thousands of dollars in taxes.
The best tax strategies are implemented throughout the year, not at tax time. Find a CPA you can talk to every quarter to make sure you are doing everything you possibly can to lower your tax bill.
Thanks for making this a great tax season, Fire Nation! By avoiding these four common mistakes we can make next year’s tax season even better!
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!
Fire Nation Feature
We’re starting to hear so many amazing stories from our Fire Nation faithful – how could we NOT feature some of them in our monthly report?! We love you, Fire Nation, and we think it’s awesome that you’re making big things happen.
This month, we wanted to feature one of our very own team members, JM!
JM has put together an outreach program called The Children’s Joy Foundation Inc., a shelter for neglected, abandoned and surrendered children, and on March 15 she was a integral part of the outreach team in Manila, Philippines.
Donations included school supplies, clothing, food, toiletries, sports equipment and funds that will go directly to helping 3 students who will graduate from high school this month.
We wanted to give JM a huge shout out this month for all that she does in her community to help others!
What Went Down In March
Fire Nation Elite Annual Meet Up
What happens when 20 Elite entrepreneurs converge in one location for a full day mastermind?
On March 23rd we invited our Elite Mastermind Tribe out to San Diego to participate in our annual Fire Nation Elite Meet Up. The agenda? HOT SEATS!
We got together bright and early at Co-Merge, a co-working space in Downtown San Diego and started the day off with some good old introductions so everyone could become familiar with where everyone else was at in their business (including a great introduction from our very own John Lee Dumas & Dean Patino!)
After that, we put 2 Elites on the hot seat in front of the entire Tribe (so everyone understood the flow), and then we broke off into 2 groups of 10 each – this would guarantee everyone had FOCUSED time on the hot seat.
Each hot seat included:
- A 5 minute description of your current business;
- Your 30, 60 & 90-day goals;
- The #1 struggle you’re currently facing in your business;
- Your top monetization strategy;
- Something that’s working for you right now;
- Request for a connection.
Following this flow ensured that everyone was clear on their goals, could gain insights and advice from the other members in response to their #1 struggle, and had the opportunity to share something of value that’s working for them right now.
We followed up a hard days work with a night out at The Commons Bar right down the street from Co-Merge.
Since our meet up, one of our Elites, Jason, has put to action the advice and insights he gained from his hot seat with incredible success: he held his first live Webinar and as a result made his first online sale!
Another one of our Elites, Joel, finally started promoting a course he had already finished but that he wasn’t yet promoting; he also locked in his first sale for his new course last week.
Fire Nation, the power of masterminds and hot seats goes beyond what words can describe. If you’re not already a part of a mastermind, check out this post for tips on how you can either join or start your own mastermind today!
Social Media Marketing World
The day after our Fire Nation Elite Meet Up we dove straight into Social Media Marketing World, one of the biggest Social Media conferences in the world put on by Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner.
The opening night party?… Yep – that’s us about to board the USS Midway!
We both set out to maximize every aspect of the event, strategically choosing sessions and meet up opportunities where we knew we’d not only gain insights that would help us on our own journey, but that also included those who we wanted to get to know, support, and/or meet during the event.
For me, those sessions included the opening keynote presentation from Michael Stelzner, and sessions from Darren Rowes, Michael O’Neal and Chris Brogan, Pat Flynn, and of course, our own John Lee Dumas.
My Biggest Takeaways from #SMMW15
1. From Michael Stelzner’s Keynote
In his kickoff Keynote, Michael reviewed the Top 8 Trends in Social Media from his 2014 survey. One that hit home for me:
Trend #4: Facebook is BIG for marketers
93% of marketers use Facebook; 51% say Facebook is their MOST important social channel; and 62% say they are increasing use of Facebook in 2015.
If you’re not already using Facebook in your marketing efforts, sounds like now is the time to dive in and test it out!
2. From Darren Rowes’ talk on How to be successful by being meaningful
We live in remarkable times! Ordinary people are doing extraordinary things.
This is how Darren opened his talk, and throughout he described what this actually mean in terms of the content we’re creating, the noise we’re competing against, and the ever-present feeling that we have to “create more” to keep up.
Darren’s suggestion: Don’t compete for the moment, compete for meaning.
3. Speaker Spotlight: Chris Brogan & Michael O’Neal
Be YOU. Yep – that’s it: just be YOU.
4. John Lee Dumas: How to build a viable business around your podcasting community
John talked about the 5 stages of community engagement, and how to move your listeners through these stages in order to get to a place where they know, like and trust you enough to want what it is you have to offer.
From Ice Zone to Trust Zone, and the 3 most important words that will guide you the entire way: FVC: Free Valuable Consistent.
5. Pat Flynn: How to use Masterminds to grow your business
A fitting topic having just wrapped our Elite Mastermind Meet Up!
Pat defined a mastermind and what it is beautifully:
A mastermind is:
- Formal, structured & focused;
- Productive, encouraging and inspiring;
- Brutally honest;
- A place of trust.
Ready to join (or start your own) mastermind? Click here to learn more about building relationships and how you can become a part of a community – both online and off!
Podcast San Diego
That’s right – our conferencing and masterminding didn’t stop with SMMW15! The next day we attended #PSD15, a 1-day podcasting extravaganza hosted by Dan Franks and Jared Easley, two of the guys behind Podcast Movement.
Podcast San Diego included a line up of great speakers and a crowd of amazing podcasters! Plus, this was a pretty special day for me personally because it marked not only my first solo stage presentation, but also my first keynote!
My prep for this talk included hiring Sandy Donovan of Clearly Influential. Sandy helped me craft the entire talk, as well as gave me key advice and insights the entire way. I could not have done this without her!
There was some solid podcasting advice shared throughout the day from the likes of Anthony Tran, April Perry, and Omar Zenhom & Nicole Baldinu, among many other greats!
If you’re looking to get into podcasting (or you already are), and you want to participate in an upcoming event, you can find details on Podcast Chicago here, and stay tuned for info on Podcast New England!
Flip Your Nine to Five Live
Two incredibly awesome power couples, Shane and Jocelyn & Jill and Josh, came together in March to put on a 2-day, live event in San Diego called Flip Your Nine to Five Live.
I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in their masterminding on Sunday, which involved joining the crew on a yacht in the San Diego Bay!
During our 4 hour excursion I got to chat with some really incredible entrepreneurs, and to say I learned a lot would be an understatement! A huge shout out to Shane, Jocelyn, Jill and Josh for putting on such a game-changing event, and a big “thanks!” to their Flip Crew for welcoming me aboard!
If you’re interested in checking out info on the next Flip Your Nine to Five Live event, click here!
Yes, our March was incredibly intense! On the heels of Flip Your Nine to Five Live we were hopping on a plane to Phoenix, AZ to attend ICON, the conference put on by Infusionsoft, our Client Relationship Management platform.
This was our first time attending ICON, and we were IMPRESSED.
What was so great about it?
I saw the most impressive talk to date when Jon Acuff took stage for his talk, Go with Grit. During his talk, he brought to light the rate at which change accelerates every single day, but presented it in a way that encourages us to take advantage of this change: to start looking at it as an opportunity for a “Do Over” (his most recent book).
Sally Hogshead also took the stage to talk about her research (10 years in the making) on How to Fascinate.
Want to know what your Fascination Advantage is? Click here and enter code ICONSHARE to take the Fascination Advantage test for free!
Here’s what the Fascination Advantage revealed about our team at EntrepreneurOnFire!
John: The Victor – primary: prestige; secondary: power
Kate: The Orchestrator – primary: passion; secondary: alert
JM: The Trendsetter – primary: innovation; secondary: prestige
Jess: The Orchestrator – primary: passion; secondary: alert
Tipu: The Mediator – primary: alert; secondary: trust
Lisa: The Intrigue – primary: passion; secondary: mystique
What’s your Fascination Advantage? Take the test using code ICONSHARE, then share with us in the comments section below!
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 March: 207 hours (same exact amount as February!)
Kate’s top 3 sites for the month:
2. Microsoft Word
John’s March: 219 hours (vs. 245 in February)
John’s top 3 sites for the month:
2. Adobe Audition
We’re not the only ones who traveled during the month of March…
JM and Jess met up in JM’s hometown and spent the weekend together exploring and spreading the word for EntrepreneurOnFire! :)
We’re so grateful for each and every one of our team members, who without, we couldn’t be doing what we’re doing. JM, Jess, Tipu, and Lisa: thank you!
Product/Service Income: $212,170
Podcasters’ Paradise: $100,950 (invoice total)
Create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
Free Podcast Course: $0 (it’s free, but automated & generates sales of Podcasters’ Paradise!)
A free 15-day Podcast course on how to create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
Complete Podcast Course: $585
WebinarOnFire: $15,736 (invoice total)
Create and present a Webinar that converts.
The Webinar Course: $0 (it’s free, but automated & generates sales of Webinar On Fire!)
A free 10-day Webinar course on how to create and present Webinars that convert!
Complete Webinar Course: $40
The Fire Path Course: $6,490
The One Thing: $140
$7 mini training (now free for our email subscribers!) about how to craft YOUR Avatar.
Sponsorship Income: $75,442
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $12,614
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $104
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $69
Affiliate Income: $20,591
*Affiliate links below
- BlueHost: $3,300 (23 WP tutorials included with use of affiliate link)
- ClickBank: $1,336
- LeadPages: $970
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $260 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Audible: $1,530
- Aweber: $129
- Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer: $0
- Best Year Ever: $5,169
- Easy Webinar: $1,500
- Infusionsoft: $908
- Music Radio Creative: $83
- LifeOnFire: $190
- Libsyn: $834 (promo code Fire)
- Coaching referrals: $1,067 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- Podcast Movement: $251 (promo code Fire)
- WP Curve: $640
- Fizzle: $118
- Optin Monster: $0
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
- UDemy: $203
- Amazon: $734
- Other: $1,369
Total Gross Income in March: $232,761
Business Expenses: $101,666
- Advertising: $1,576
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $11,913
- Accounting: $250
- Design & Branding: $1,113
- Education: $507 (conferences included)
- Meals & Entertainment: $1,498
- Merchant fees: $2,997
- PayPal fees: $1,061
- Office expenses: $6,748
- Paradise expenses: $131
- Libsyn: $298
- Other Business Expenses: $5,063 (promotional & conference wear included)
- Paradise Refunds: $38,797 (invoice total)
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $3,528 (invoice total)
- The Fire Path Refunds: $167 (invoice total)
- Fire Nation Elite expenses: $5,884 (includes annual meet up in San Diego)
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $7,923
- Total Launch Package Fees: $835
- Travel: $2,640
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $7,567 (includes full-time contractor for 1 month)
- Website Fees: $1,170
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,601
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $100
- Boomerang*: $15.99
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $202
- Internet*: $96
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $273
- Insurance*: $551
- Chatroll: $49
- ScheduleOnce*: $50
- Skype*: $2.99
- Workflowy*: $4.99
- MeetEdgar*: $49
- WPCurve*: $29
- Taxes & Licenses (recurring): $77
Total Expenses in March: $103,267
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 March 2015: $129,494
Lesson Learned In March
Staying afloat while traveling
Plain and simple, traveling for conferences and meet ups come with a cost – and I don’t just mean financially.
The investment to attend a conference -including travel, your conference pass and any activities you end up participating in while there – is definitely worth it. The people you meet and the relationships you build, along with the massive spike of incredible knowledge and insights that are shared by speakers and attendees alike is priceless.
But the investment to attend a conference extends much further than just money: it also requires that you invest your time, your emotions and YOU, and if you’re not careful, this could result in feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and it might even put you behind in your business if you’re not prepared.
While John and I both do a really good job of prepping for conferences, there’s not a whole lot you can do to prepare for the amount of energy required to go at a conference ALL IN. While we love every second of interacting with Fire Nation and others who are in attendance – and participating in meet ups and talks – it does take a toll. I’ve not realized this quite to the extent that we did this month due to the multiple back-to-back events we committed to.
SO, in order to help YOU prepare for your next conference or meet up, we thought we’d include some of the steps we take before traveling in order to make sure we set ourselves up for success: both at the conference, and in our business.
5 Steps to prep for your next conference or meet up
1. Get ahead
The most important step is to get ahead so that you don’t add unnecessary stress or pressure to your plate while you’re away.
What things can you schedule ahead BEFORE you leave so that you don’t have to worry about them while you’re away?
Some examples might be:
– Scheduling blog posts
– Scheduling podcast episodes
– Scheduling emails
Staying consistent in your business even while you’re away is important, and it’s definitely do-able if you plan ahead.
2. Have a plan
Create a conference plan for yourself so that once you get wherever you’re going, you’re not spending time trying to figure out where you need to be and when.
All it takes is two or three 30-minute sessions to review the agenda, choose the sessions you want to attend, and research who you want to connect with while you’re there. Make an effort to reach out to those who you really want to connect with beforehand so that you ensure you have the opportunity to create that relationship. It’s not every day we get to meet up in person!
3. Set aside time
There are some things that you can’t do ahead of time, like handle customer service, engage on social media and stay on top of your email inbox (unless you want to put up an away message). Make sure that you set aside time while you’re traveling to “stay afloat” with these types of tasks. This is as simple as waking up 30 minutes earlier and using just one of your breaks in between sessions to check in.
The last thing you want to do is create a pile of work for yourself when you get back home! It’s a lot more enjoyable to return from traveling with a clear head versus coming back to a mess.
4. Go ALL IN
You might be attending 1 conference this year, or you might be attending several. In either case, make the most of this opportunity you have to make connections, create relationships and LEARN from the leaders in your industry or niche!
If you’re going to be away from your business, and you’ve already invested the money, the time and YOU – you might as well go ALL IN. What do you have to lose?
5. Live in the moment
I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely experience the anxiety of being at a conference and feeling guilty or wondering “what’s going on in my business right now?“
Trust that, because you’ve followed the 4 steps above, your business is JUST FINE. Live in the moment, because at the end of the day, the experiences we create are what we’re left with. If you’re spending your time and bandwidth worrying about “what might be happening“, then you’re missing out on a whole lot that is happening right in front of you.
Soak it all in!
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.