April 2015 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for April: $298,195
Total Expenses for April: $71,460.50
Total Net Profit for April: $226,734.50
Difference b/t April & March: +$79,240.50
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 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 April 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!
How to properly deduct travel expenses
This month, I want to chat about something you may notice on the EOFire income reports: John and Kate typically have a lot of money in the travel category.
This is especially true lately, and while they do plenty of work during their travel time, they are also enjoying themselves at the same time.
So how are they writing off these travel expenses when it involves non-business stuff as well?
It’s all in the beauty of the tax code.
You’ve heard me mention several times in these income reports that the US tax code is written to favor entrepreneurs, and travel is one of my favorite ways to take advantage of that. But writing off your travel as a business expense isn’t as simple as taking a laptop with you and working for a couple hours a day on your trip. There has to be a clear business reason for the trip itself, something that directly helps you make more money in your business.
Like most tax strategies, writing off your travel all comes down to planning ahead. So as we head into summer and the major travel season, here are three tips for deducting as much travel as possible on your taxes.
3 Tips for deducting travel expenses
1. Plan Your Vacations Around Conferences, Masterminds and Meetups
The absolute best way to turn personal travel into business travel is to plan your vacations around conferences and other business meetings.
Let’s say you want to take a family vacation to Portland, OR this summer. By planning the trip around – and attending – World Domination Summit, you may be able to write-off some (or all) of your trip on your taxes.
The same goes for mastermind meetups, or even just meeting with clients, suppliers, etc. If you can turn the trip into a business purpose you can write off a portion of it.
2. Know What Parts are Deductible
If your travel will involve paying for people not involved in your business (such as spouse and kids) it’s important to understand exactly what costs are and are not deductible.
Any costs that can be traced directly back to the person involved in the business are deductible. So things like your airline ticket, meals and conference/meeting costs are definitely write-offs.
On top of that, any shared costs are also deductions. So things like a hotel room and rental car are fully deductible even though they are being used by other people outside of your business.
Finally, the percentage of costs you can write off is based on how much business is being done. If you attend a conference or meeting for all five days of your five day trip, all the costs we discussed above are deductible.
If, on the other hand, you were only conducting business for five days of a ten day trip, then only 50% of those costs would be deductible.
3. Consider Rental Properties
Do you have a place you and your family travel to every year? Maybe it’s where your family or in-laws live, or maybe it’s just a favorite vacation spot. If there is spot you travel to frequently, then one of my favorite strategies for turning it into a tax deduction is to purchase a rental property there.
Then, every time you travel to that location, make sure you spend several days checking in on the property and making small improvements.
Rental properties aren’t for everyone, but if you are open to the idea, they create awesome tax write-offs, including travel to your favorite locations.
As always, these tips come with the caveat of using basic common sense. If the “work purpose” for your trip is fictitious, it’s not worth trying to take the take deduction. But if you can find legitimate business related activities to do on your trip, then you can cut the cost of your travel by 30-50% depending on the tax bracket you are in.
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!
What Went Down In April
Recovery & relaxation
If you checked out our March 2015 Income Report, then you know we had quite the month!
Our conference extravaganza “hangover” came on strong in early April, and we spent the better half of the month getting back into our routines and buckling down.
A lot of great things came from our recovery and relaxation period, including:
The Ancient Podcast Launch
Yep! John Lee is at it again with the launch of a new podcast – this time, a non-business related one.
The Ancient is a book I wrote during my 13-month deployment to Iraq. It was a HUGE undertaking, and is a massive novel. If you like LOTR (Lord of the Rings) The Hobbit, Game of Thrones…you’ll LOVE the ancient.
It’s a battle for survival between Humans, Elves, Dwarfs, Orcs and Dragons, and I have A LOT of fun with sound effects and the such. I’d love if you gave it a listen…click the logo below to check it out in iTunes, or simply visit EOFire.com/TheAncient
Revamp of The Fire Path
The Fire Path got a major facelift in April, and as you can see from our sales numbers, it needed it!
After an “AH-HA” moment in mid-April (the numbers don’t lie), I was determined to revamp not only the look of The Fire Path, but also how it was structured and how it was being communicated / marketed to our audience.
Here’s a sneak peek at the new look:
Check out our lessons learned this month (at the bottom of this post) for all the details on how I came to the conclusion that something needed to change – and the steps I took to make it happen in just 2 short weeks!
>> Get the step-by-step guide we used to create EntrepreneurOnFire!
The Fire Path Roadmap is all yours! <<
Paradise Hub Meet Ups
Since Lisa joined the team here at EntrepreneurOnFire we’ve had the opportunity to focus more bandwidth on our Paradise Hub Meet Ups.
The Paradise Hubs are something we started back in Q4 2014 as a way to help Paradisers who were in the same city meet up in person once per quarter. We’ve learned a ton of lessons along the way about what it takes to coordinate meet ups around the globe – that’s for sure!
Here’s a quick look at some of the Hub Meet Ups that went down in March 2015!
With Lisa giving the Hub Meet Ups her full attention, we’re in the process of revamping the program to now include 11 cities around the globe, each of which have at least 10 or more Paradisers.
April was the start of our monthly meet ups – something we implemented to try and gain more awareness, traction and momentum for the individual Hub locations.
We had the pleasure of hanging at our very own San Diego Hub Meet Up in April, and we had a blast!
Fire Nation, if you’re not leveraging in person meet ups to help you on your journey, what are you waiting for?! Check out MeetUp.com, or reach out to others in the online communities you’re already a part of to see if there is anyone in your city you could be meeting up with!
Podcast Cruise is setting sail Nov 2015!
Speaking of Paradise…
A few months ago Dan Franks and Jared Easley approached us with an idea: they proposed we join forces to bring something to the podcasting world that’s never been done before: a 7-day, all-inclusive cruise that would combine 10 of the top podcasting experts in the business space, 50 amazing podcasters, and the warm, blue waters of the Caribbean.
Our response? YES, PLEASE!
Now when we say 10 of the top podcasting experts in the business space, we MEAN IT. Andrew Warner, Chase Reeves, Chris Brogan, Chris Ducker, Farnoosh Torabi, Tim Paige… WOW!
We’ve been working hard over the past several weeks to put together an unparalleled event – an experience that will not only bring together 50 really awesome like-minded podcasters (and their families), but that will also help each and every one of us learn the best ways to move our podcasts – and our businesses – forward.
Ready to set sail with us in November 2015? We started with only 50 spots, and they’re going fast!
Check out everything the Podcast Cruise has to offer!
note: this is not just for members of Podcasters’ Paradise – the first 50 podcasters to register will be welcomed aboard!
Prep for the Philippines & #TTT15
May will be a big travel month for us as we pack our bags for Chris Ducker’s 2nd annual Tropical Think Tank conference! We couldn’t be more excited about meeting up in Cebu City with 50 incredible entrepreneurs and an all-star line up of speakers (including us!)
We’ll look forward to sharing our lessons learned and an behind-the-scenes look at what Tropical Think Tank is really like in our May 2015 income report ;)
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 April: 209 hours (vs. 207 in March)
Kate’s top 3 sites for the month:
3. Adobe Audition
John’s April: 201 hours (vs. 219 in March)
John’s top 3 sites for the month:
2. Adobe Audition
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: $272,071
Podcasters’ Paradise: $134,148 (invoice total)
Create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
Free Podcast Course: $0 (it’s free :-)
A 15-day Podcast course on how to create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
Complete Podcast Course: $420
WebinarOnFire: $30,795 (invoice total)
Create and present a Webinar that converts.
The Webinar Course: $0 (it’s free :-)
A 10-day Webinar course on how to create and present Webinars that convert!
Complete Webinar Course: $50
The Fire Path Course: $738
Sponsorship Income: $94,112
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $9,828
Total Launch Package: $995
Blitz Calls: $750
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $152
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $83
Affiliate Income: $26,124
*Affiliate links below
- BlueHost: $3,000 (23 WP tutorials included with use of affiliate link)
- Ramit Sethi’s 3 Courses: $9,280
- LeadPages: $2,136
- Coaching referrals: $3,421 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $760 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Audible FREE Audio Book!: $1,715
- Infusionsoft: $0
- Fizzle: $130
- Aweber: $0
- Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer: $0
- Easy Webinar: $0
- Fire Pole Marketing: $394
- Music Radio Creative: $56
- Optimize Press: $138
- LifeOnFire: $890
- Libsyn: $0 (promo code Fire)
- Podcast Movement: $0 (promo code Fire)
- WP Curve: $0
- Optin Monster: $0
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $75
- ClickBank: $45
- Social Media Marketing World: $1,000
- Amazon: $1,058
- Other: $2,026
Total Gross Income in April: $298,195
Business Expenses: $69,734
- Advertising: $3,005
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $10,544
- Accounting: $250
- Design & Branding: $465
- Education: $368 (conferences included)
- Meals & Entertainment: $1,189
- Merchant fees: $3,834
- PayPal fees: $1,523
- Office expenses: $1,557 (includes postage fees & new laptop)
- Software expenses: $1,117 (includes purchasing Microsoft software, snag it, etc.)
- Libsyn: $335
- Other Business Expenses: $265 (promotional & conference wear included)
- Paradise Refunds: $16,848 (invoice total)
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $2,411 (invoice total)
- The Fire Path Refunds: $167 (invoice total)
- Fire Nation Elite expenses: $4,914 (includes annual meet up in San Diego)
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $13,185
- Total Launch Package Fees: $405
- Travel: $3,766
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,065 (includes full-time contractor for 1 month)
- Website Fees: $521
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,726.50
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $100
- Boomerang*: $15.99
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $197
- Internet*: $149.50
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $273
- Insurance*: $551
- Chatroll: $49
- ScheduleOnce*: $50
- Skype*: $2.99
- Payroll fee: $77
- Workflowy*: $4.99
- MeetEdgar*: $49
- WPCurve*: $29
- Taxes & Licenses (recurring): $77
Total Expenses in April: $71,460.50
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 April 2015: $226,734.50
Lesson Learned In April
Tell them what they want, give them what they need
I mentioned earlier in this report that I had an AH-HA moment about The Fire Path in April, and oh man… was it ever MASSIVE!!
In March 2015 we launched The Fire Path Course: Where your passion and our guidance unite! Those who already knew us, and who knew about The Fire Path Course, were totally on board. That first month we did 2 live Webinars and brought in over 50 members – it was quite the launch!
In April, we were looking to automate the entire buying process: from when someone found out about The Fire Path to when they purchased was all going to be hands off. We figured with a lower investment and a big name behind it, the automation part wouldn’t be a problem.
In April, we sold 3 memberships, and 1 of those ended up being a refund.
I knew within the first couple of weeks of the month that something wasn’t right. The messaging, the campaign, the pitch – nothing seemed to be working together, and I wasn’t quite sure where to even start.
That’s when I brought my struggle with The Fire Path to my mastermind and asked them for their input.
In addition to a couple of audience emails I’d received earlier in the month, my mastermind crew told me they didn’t feel like my messaging was quite right: that the tagline “Where your passion and our guidance unite!” wasn’t really telling people what they were going to get.
They suggested that maybe an upgrade of the tagline would do the trick.
I definitely agreed with them – and was FINALLY willing to let go of our precious tagline ;) – but something still didn’t feel right.
Even though The Fire Path has always been about building a strong foundation for your business, I was hearing from a lot of folks (both via email, and from listening to conversations in our beta round), that all of their actual struggles were rooted in the growth and monetization of their business.
While I continued to preach that the reason they were having those struggles was due to the fact that they hadn’t created that solid foundation, and that The Fire Path could help them do just that, I was ignoring the fact that I was only focusing on what they needed most: a step-by-step guide for how to build a strong foundation.
BUT, what they wanted was to learn how to grow and monetize.
AH-HA! What if I not only change up the tagline so it’s more obvious what it is The Fire Path is actually going to offer, but I also revamp the tagline AND the messaging?!
Big changes coming to The Fire Path, and it’s all thanks to my AH-HA around telling people what they want, then giving them that PLUS what they need.
Stay tuned for more updates on the “re-launch” of The Fire Path!
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.