May 2015 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for May: $525,059
Total Expenses for May: $97,976
Total Net Profit for May: $427,083
Difference b/t May & April: +$200,348.50
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 May 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! This month, I’m excited to share a 4-Point checklist with you to help you optimize your tax and accounting systems!
4-Point Tax & Accounting Systems Checklist
Can you believe it’s already coming up on mid 2015?!
I know several of you have set goals to get your finances in order this year, and so we thought mid-year would be a great time to share this 4-Point Checklist to make sure you’re doing everything you can to optimize your tax and accounting systems.
You may recognize some of these items as things we’ve discussed here before, but there’s a good reason for that: they are incredibly important.
1. Is Your Bookkeeping Set up?
We talk about this topic every single month actually, and it’s because your bookkeeping is the foundation of your tax and accounting systems. Until you set up some type of bookkeeping system it’s impossible to address the rest of these points or take advantage of all the tax savings available to you.
Whether it is finding a way to do it yourself, or outsourcing the task to someone else, set up a bookkeeping system today.
p.s. EOFire outsources their bookkeeping to Kahuna Accounting.
2. Are You Operating in the Right Entity?
Few things are more important to your finances than operating your business out of the right entity. Most of you should have your entity narrowed down to three choices: sole proprietor, LLC or S Corp. I highly recommend talking with a CPA before making a decision, but here’s a quick guideline for choosing among those three:
- If your business is making less than $35,000 per year in net (after expenses), and you have no concern of being sued, you’re just fine operating as a sole proprietor.
- If your business is making less than $35,000 per year in net income and you do have some legal concerns, then an LLC is probably the right choice for you.
- If your business is making $35,000 per year or more and you aren’t an S Corp, you are literally throwing thousands of dollars away.
3. Are You Deducting Everything Possible?
The tax code offers several advantages to entrepreneurs, many of them in the way of deducting expenses that are used on the personal side as well as business.
In order to take advantage of these deductions, you need to be monitoring and planning throughout the year. Things like travel, meals and entertainment, your car, your phone, Internet and several other expenses can be written off in your business with proper planning. But if you are waiting until tax time to address them, it’s probably going to be too late.
4. Are You Talking With a CPA?
This one’s simple; if you are waiting until you file your taxes to talk to your CPA, you’re on the wrong track. At that point, it’s often too late to take advantage of many of the opportunities available to you.
If you have a CPA willing to talk with you throughout the year, then take advantage of that!
As the old Chinese Proverb says, the best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is today. If you haven’t gotten started on these 4 items yet, get started today!
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
Casey DeStefano reached out to us a few weeks back with quite the announcement: she was creating a Fan Site for EntrepreneurOnFire, and she wanted our blessing to move forward.
When I wrote back to Casey, I asked her to share some details on her reasoning behind creating the Fan Site to ensure it was in line with our brand, mission and message.
Here’s a “clip” of what she wrote:
Two years ago, I didn’t know anything about running my own business. Once I had children I put my passion in my pocket and settled for a low paying teaching gig to be able to do something I enjoy while raising my kids.
One night while making dinner, I searched for “entrepreneur/podcast”, and that’s when I found EntrepreneurOnFire. John had me at “Are you Prepared to IGNITE!?”
The EOF podcast was a complete life-changer.
There was so much free value being provided through the podcast; I would listen to 2 episodes per day, then implement as much as I could in creating my new dream business. Listen – implement; listen – implement….
I learned how to realize my passion, model others and take action (along with about a million other things!)
The most valuable element of it all was the honesty and transparency from John & Kate. Seriously, it was the first time in my entire career that I heard of such a thing.
Moreover, I realized how unfortunate it was that NOBODY I knew was an entrepreneur, and I needed to be in the company of entrepreneurs.
So I looked at all my notes and said to myself, “How can I give freely with something I’ll love doing, that will also add value to other people’s lives?”
And that is when I had my Ah-HA moment.
An interactive fan site where Fire Nation can come and practice what they’ve learned through the EOFire brand – where we all add value to each others’ lives, just like EOF has done for us.
The site is essentially a playground for entrepreneurs young and old, to come to and be a part of a community, all while putting into practice what they’ve learned from EOF to progress on their own journey.
John & Kate, what you are doing really works. Don’t ever stop.
We were blown away by Casey’s passion and dedication to helping Fire Nation come together in one place to share their talents and lessons learned. We’re excited to support Casey on this journey, and we’d love for you to check out the EOFire Fan Site!
What Went Down In May
Tropical Think Tank & Hong Kong
It’s pretty tough to put into words the epic adventure we went on in May 2015 to attend and speak at Chris Ducker’s 2nd annual Tropical Think Tank (you can check out our full recap of the event + our key takeaways here!)
One thing is for sure: we talk about the importance of putting yourself out there, attending conferences, and building strong relationships with like-minded people for good reason. Tropical Think Tank highlighted all of these things beautifully.
We also decided since we were across the globe, we may as well take a few days to explore Hong Kong. …and what better travel partners than Chris and his wife, Erz?! (Seriously – they are amazing!)
After some tasty dim sum, a Periscope session on a ferry ride, and seeing Hong Kong from 100 stories in the sky, we were spent!
But we did manage to do a few other things while we were there, too, like:
Try to be in two places at once
And we even staged a cafe visit (can you tell that’s just a painting in the background?)
Shout out to Chris and Erz for being amazing friends, incredible travel guides, and our photographers extraordinaire along the way!
Our time away reminded us how much we love to travel, and we look forward to the upcoming trips and conferences we’ll be participating in for the rest of 2015!
Team Fire IGNITES!
An amazing bonus to our trip to Tropical Think Tank: we got to fly JM and Jess to Cebu for the weekend and meet up with them!
We originally planned to have a dinner and breakfast with Team Fire, but unfortunately we missed our connection upon arriving in Hong Kong and so we were stuck there for the night – missing both our dinner and breakfast opportunities with JM and Jess.
But we weren’t going to let that hold us back from hanging out!
It was so incredible to meet JM and Jess in person and spend some time together face to face. We had such a blast!
The Doors to Paradise Closed
In Feb 2015 we did what we called a “Paradise Push”: a 4-day email campaign (2 emails per day) that announced to our podcast interest list that the lifetime membership investment for Podcasters’ Paradise was increasing.
Each day the price went up by $25, and each day the bonus we were offering to action takers that was associated with joining Paradise diminished.
Since then, Paradise has been more on fire than ever, because during that push we welcomed in more than 125 new members.
> 125 members in 4 days! <
That’s why when May rolled around, we decided to close the doors to Paradise.
Our “Close Campaign” included 5 emails over 6 days that went out to our podcast interest list, plus 1 email that we sent out to our entire newsletter list.
During those 5 days we welcomed 254 new members into Paradise.
Note: notice how many times we’ve mentioned our podcast interest list, and the associated memberships. The power of a segmented list when it comes to offering targeted content is unrivaled.
Our decision to close the doors was mainly based on affording us uninterrupted time to improve our systems and processes, which included:
- Working with Lisa, who is our newest team member; she’s helping us manage and run the Accountability Partner Program and our Paradise Meet Ups Hubs;
- Adding and updating video tutorials and other site content;
- Upgrading our on-boarding process (even more!); and
- Other administrative updates, like switching over to SamCart.
While the doors were closed, we were very much aware that there would still be folks interested in joining Paradise (especially those in our Free Podcast Course). That’s why we set up a redirect so that any links connected to our order forms would lead prospects to an opt in page where they could sign up to be notified when Paradise opened.
We had 560 people opt in to find out when the doors re-opened, and on June 3rd we started a sequence announcing the reopening to just that list of 560 people.
This announcement was followed by a 2-day campaign announcing the reopening to our entire podcast interest list, which went out on June 4th.
More about us reopening the doors and what the results looked like in June’s monthly 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 May: 147.5 hours (vs. 209 in April)
Kate’s top 3 sites for the month:
John’s May: 162 hours (vs. 201 in April)
John’s top 3 sites for the month:
2. Adobe Audition
We also have our teams’ contributions to add! We’re so grateful for each and every one of our team members, who without, we couldn’t be doing what we’re doing.
Our team includes 3 full-time virtual team members: JM, Jess, and Tipu; and 1 part-time virtual team member: Lisa. Much love to Team Fire!
Product/Service Income: $510,117
Podcasters’ Paradise: $392,989 (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: $540
WebinarOnFire: $7,267 (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: $60
The Fire Path Course: $394
Sponsorship Income: $95,844
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $10,823
Total Launch Package: $1,990
Blitz Calls: $0
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $116
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $94
Affiliate Income: $14,942
*Affiliate links below
- BlueHost: $3,150 (23 WP tutorials included with use of affiliate link)
- Ramit Sethi’s 3 Courses: $0
- LeadPages: $1,460
- Coaching referrals: $1,115 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $230 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Audible FREE Audio Book!: $2,260
- Infusionsoft: $0
- Fizzle: $0
- Aweber: $123
- Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer: $0
- Easy Webinar: $0
- Fire Pole Marketing: $315
- Music Radio Creative: $0
- Optimize Press: $0
- LifeOnFire: $1,023
- Jeff Goins: $417
- Rick Mulready: $547
- Libsyn: $0 (promo code Fire)
- Podcast Movement: $0 (promo code Fire)
- WP Curve: $240
- Optin Monster: $0
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $150
- ClickBank: $995
- Amazon: $853
- Other: $2,064 (includes cash rewards from cc)
Total Gross Income in May: $525,059
Business Expenses: $96,205
- Advertising: $3,813
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $7,188
- Accounting: $250
- Amazon Prime annual membership: $106
- Design & Branding: $465
- Education: $330 (conferences included)
- Meals & Entertainment: $1,193
- Merchant fees: $708 (SamCart, incl’d initiation fees)
- PayPal fees: $1,698
- Office expenses: $1,380 (includes postage, new headphone, phone mic, comp gear)
- Software expenses: $172
- Libsyn: $233
- Other Business Expenses: $973 (promotional & conference wear included)
- Paradise Refunds: $38,927 (invoice total)
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $5,621 (invoice total)
- The Fire Path Refunds: $0 (invoice total)
- Fire Nation Elite expenses: $5,113
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $14,724
- Total Launch Package Fees: $835
- Travel: $2,311
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $10,010 (includes full-time contractor for 1 month)
- Website Fees: $155
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,771
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $100
- Boomerang*: $15.99
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $193
- Internet*: $106
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $389
- Insurance*: $551
- Chatroll: $49
- ScheduleOnce*: $16
- Skype*: $2.99
- Spotify: $9.99
- Payroll fee: $77
- Workflowy*: $4.99
- MeetEdgar*: $49
- WPCurve*: $29
- Taxes & Licenses (recurring): $77
Total Expenses in May: $97,976
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 May 2015: $427,083
Lesson Learned In May
Big risk, big reward
Whenever we have a serious conversation about business – whether it be talking about a new strategy, a new idea, or a new project – it starts with John coming into my office and taking my stability ball out of the closet.
He takes a deep breath, bounces on it a few times, does a little drum roll on it between his legs, and then he looks at me.
This is the beginning of a serious conversation about business at EOF, and 9 times out of 10, the first words out of John’s mouth are: “So while I was on my morning walk today…”
The first 3 minutes are pretty predictable: John comes up with an amazing idea, I over-think it and ask what happens in approximately 5 different scenarios, we continue talking about it, and about 50% of the time we decide right then and there whether or not it’s going to happen, and the other 50% of the time we revisit in a day or two.
Making big decisions in your business shouldn’t be taken lightly, but a huge lesson learned for us in the month of May is that sometimes, big risks come with a big reward.
One such stability ball conversation in May was John telling me about his idea to close the doors to Paradise, which we describe in detail above.
My immediate response was that the risk was way too big.
What if we discourage people by closing the doors?
What if closing the doors causes us to lose the momentum we’ve been building up over 2.5 years?
As we both acknowledged the concerns, John was strong with his stance, saying that sometimes in business, we have to take a big risk in order to net a big reward.
John and I have both learned a whole lot about mindset over the past couple of years since launching EntrepreneurOnFire, and if there’s one thing we can definitely be sure of, it’s that what we’ve created here – none of it would exist if we didn’t continue to take big risks despite the fear, doubt and uncertainty that might sometimes try and hold us back.
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.