September 2015 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for September: $271,612.50
Total Expenses for September: $76,522.50
Total Net Profit for September: $195,090
Difference b/t September & August: -$31,388.50
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 EOFire.
**We’ll receive a commission on the affiliate links below.
CPA On Fire
Our CPA, Josh Bauerle, shares his September 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 EOFire 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!
Josh’s September Income Report Tip: Tax benefits for event hosts
As an entrepreneur, chances are you’ve gone to some type of 1-day or multi-day business event.
Maybe you’ve even reached a point in your business where you’re considering hosting your own event?
While there are some great business reasons to do so, there are also some awesome tax benefits that come along with hosting events!
In fact, there are so many tax deductions involved with hosting an event, it may be easier to make a list of items that aren’t deductible.
But remember, if you include your family in travel to and from an event, you cannot deduct their direct expenses, such as plane tickets, meals, separate hotel rooms, and so on. Anything else you spend money on in connection with hosting an event will almost always be a tax deduction.
What can I deduct as the event host?
As the host of an event, you can deduct your travel, materials, contractor fees, affiliate payouts, meals while you’re there and almost anything else you could potentially spend money on to put on the actual event. These will all reduce your taxable income.
This essentially could even reduce your cost of putting on an event like this by as much as 25 – 35% or more, depending what your marginal tax rate is.
Meals & entertainment = 100%
And on top of those tax deductions, there’s an even bigger deduction for an expense that’s usually restricted for tax purposes… If you’ve been following these tax tips every month, you know that meals and entertainment in connection with your business are limited to only being 50% deductible.
What you may not know is that there are a few exceptions to this limitation, and one of the main ones is providing meals and/or entertainment for an entire group at an event like this.
So if you spend $2,000 on a dinner for every attendee at your event, instead of getting a $1,000 deduction like normal, the entire $2,000 will be deductible. So it’s key to let your bookkeepers and tax preparer know that these costs fall under the rarely used 100% meals and entertainment rule.
An event like this is a great way to build your business and rack up some major tax deductions. As with any major business expenditure, I highly recommend talking with your CPA before categorizing your event expenses (or getting too carried away with what you can and cannot deduct!)
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!
*Bonus!* Get instant access to Josh’s free video training course: 4 Finance Lessons Entrepreneurs Can’t Afford to Miss!
Fire Nation Feature
Join me Thursday, Oct. 8th, at 3pm EST on Blab.im for PodCon! RSVP here!
International #PodcastDay, September 30th
International #PodcastDay was founded by Steve Lee in 2014, and to celebrate the 2nd annual #PodcastDay, him and his team (including his son Dave) put together a lineup of over 30 speakers spanning 30+ hours via live stream on #Blab.
Huge shout out to Steve, Dave and the entire International #PodcastDay team for bringing podcasters around the world together to celebrate something we’re passionate about, something that has changed our lives in many ways, and something that can help change others’ lives, too!
And a shout out to Podcasters’ Paradise and Fire Nation for coming out to support John and I as we rocked the live stream for 2 straight hours on Sept 30th as Platinum sponsors of #PodcastDay!
To spend 2 hours on the live stream chatting with amazing Paradise community members, podcasters and friends from around the world was an incredible experience.
Thank you Steve and Dave for sharing your passion with the world! The ripple effect is… in effect! :)
What Went Down In September
The Freedom Journal Update
Fire Nation, The Freedom Journal is hot ON the press – right now!
September brought us some really incredible progress, including actually going ON press, locking in our Kickstarter dates (we launch January 4th!), and receiving “yes’s” from an lineup of guests who will be joining me on the EOFire podcast to chat about setting and accomplishing goals.
So get ready, Fire Nation – we have SO MANY amazing surprises in store for you as we approach The Freedom Journal launch! But to be sure you’re the first to hear about them, make sure you…
Or just text ‘journal’ to 33444
Podcasters’ Paradise Podcast Launches
It’s not the first time we’ve thought about launching a Podcasters’ Paradise Podcast – a podcast with real stories from real podcasters. But when a fellow seasoned podcaster approached John and offered to be the host of the show, it took on a whole new meaning for us.
Before, questions like:
- Is this something we have the bandwidth to manage?
- Will the community want to participate?
- How much time will we be spending to set everything up?
…were holding us back.
While we loved the idea of a podcast that was created specifically to help share our members’ stories, it wasn’t something we had the bandwidth to focus on.
We knew immediately he would be the perfect host.
But now it was a matter of getting proof from the community this would work… We needed guests on the show, plus a lot of questions to help us source the Q&A portion of the podcast.
We would also need to find someone to help us with the show notes, uploading the podcast episodes to Libsyn and scheduling them out, and publishing everything on the Website.
…oh yeah, we’d also need a website!
Lucky for us, Phillip Swindall, a fellow Paradise member, has made quite a name for himself as THE Show Notes Guy. And we know Tipu, one of our virtual team members, already knows exactly how to upload podcasts and schedule them out.
We also know that Jess, another one of our virtual team members, knows how to publish posts on WordPress.
We’re so excited about the Podcasters’ Paradise Podcast, not only because we’re helping spread real stories from real podcasters who are in our Paradise community, but also because we know it has the potential to reach and help so many others outside of the community learn from the mistakes and successes of others.
Of course, this podcast also serves as a great marketing tool for us.
We’re leveraging the intro and outro of every episode to talk not only about the many benefits of being a member of Podcasters’ Paradise, but also about the resources we have over at EOFire.com :)
Fire Nation, creating something new isn’t easy, but it’s certainly possible when you pull together the right resources, along with others who have the experience and expertise you’re looking for and who can help.
Webinar Ninja LIVE!
On September 26th our great friends Omar Zenhom and Nicole Baldinu hosted an amazing 1-day, live event called Webinar Ninja Live.
The day consisted of top-notch speakers sharing knowledge, experience and tips with the audience around the impact webinars can have on your business.
What was really special about this speaker lineup is that it was filled with webinar experts – individuals who have changed the course of their business using Webinars as a tool to help them connect with, and grow, their audience.
The event was all-around amazing, from start to finish, and what Omar & Nicole have created with the Webinar Ninja platform (all-in-solution for hosting webinars), is so exciting.
If you’re looking for a single solution that will take the guesswork out of “how do I do Webinars?”, join The Webinar Course, a free 10-day email and video series on how to create & present webinars that convert, and then check out the Webinar Ninja platform! :)
Special offer for Fire Nation: If you love what you see over at Webinar Ninja (and we’re confident you will), then you can get $100 off your lifetime membership to the software with promo code EOFIRE.
Note: This code is connected to us, and we will receive a commission if you use it.
Affiliate Program Upgrades
With the help of Greg Hickman over at System.ly, EOFire has taken some big strides with our Infusionsoft App in the past 30 days.
A timeline of our Infusionsoft experience
To put our Infusionsoft journey into perspective, when I joined the EOFire team back in April of 2013, one of the first things we did (I’m talking within a few of weeks) is switch from AWeber to Infusionsoft.
We’d been hearing from a lot of leaders in our industry that a more robust CRM platform was an absolute necessity if we wanted to continue to grow our business.
What started out as a tool to help us send email broadcasts to our list of about 1,000 contacts, (which was the extent of what we were doing in AWeber), has now become – literally – a marketing machine thanks to Infusionsoft.
I even checked back to find out how many contacts we imported from AWeber to Infusionsoft and on what date: 1,825 contacts were imported into our Infusionsoft application on June 11, 2013.
That’s how big our email list was when we switched from AWeber to Infusionsoft.
Does this mean that if you have a list of 1,825 contacts that you should be using Infusionsoft? Nope, definitely not, because every business is different, and Infusionsoft is a big investment to make (you’re looking at a minimum of $200 / month plus an on boarding fee).
One of the first lessons we learned post June 11, 2013?
With everything Infusionsoft has to offer, it’s TOUGH to keep up.
Once you “master” one thing (like the campaign builder, or understanding how tags work), there are immediately 1,976 other things to learn.
So a few months ago, probably around July 2015, I took a step back and evaluated where I was spending my time in the business.
After much searching and thinking and chatting, I decided to redirect my time and bandwidth towards improving how we leverage Infusionsoft for our business.
But I knew I couldn’t do it alone. < another lesson learned from this whole experience.
Enter: Greg Hickman and his team over at System.ly, who have helped us really move on some projects that have sat on the back burner for well over a year now.
Our Affiliate Program upgrades are just one example of the several things we’ve implemented in just September alone.
What do I mean by “upgrades”?
I more or less am talking automation.
An affiliate program requires a TON of management, and in recent months, that management has been taking time away from my day-to-day – it’s simply time I do not have.
I knew Infusionsoft could help us automate huge parts of the process, but I didn’t know HOW to put these automation tools to work.
Luckily, Greg did.
Fire Nation, invest in support when it will help you reach your goal 10x faster!
In September John and I tested out our sea legs pre-Podcast Cruise with a Dumas Family trip to Bermuda.
The cruise was incredible, but what really blew our minds was the island of Bermuda itself.
We took 100% advantage of our 3 days in port, which included cliff diving adventures, a catamaran sunset cruise, a trek along the old railroad (which is now a walking trail), snorkeling (John said it was the BEST snorkeling of his entire life!), several ferry and bus rides to get us around town, and a complete roundtrip scenic tour that went the length of the island.
We did have an unlimited Internet package, which was pretty impressive in terms of connectivity, and it also helped us keep up with our inboxes and stay in touch with our team to make sure everything was running smoothly; however, we definitely spent plenty of time in full relaxation mode, too!
Feels great to be back home, and we cannot wait to do it again: Nov 1 the Podcasters’ Paradise Cruise sets sail with over 50 incredible podcasters!
Celebrating 3 years with Fire Nation
Sept 22nd marked the 3 year anniversary of EOFire’s launch!
What have we learned in 3 years?
That’s a lot to think about, and we’re currently working on putting together something to help share our biggest lessons learned in 3 years of business.
In the meantime, you can check out some of the other lessons learned we’ve shared recently, like our Top 5 Biggest Takeaways in 999 episodes in episode 1,000!
Thank you, Fire Nation, for being you. We never would have made it this far without you!
Our team grows!
We mentioned briefly in our last income report that we’d be bringing on a couple of new team members, and in September we made it happen. We’re so excited to be welcoming Claire & Goldy to Team Fire!
We’re so grateful for each and every one of our team members; without them, we couldn’t be doing what we’re doing.
Now our team includes 5 full-time virtual team members: JM, Jess, Tipu, Claire & Goldy!
Wonder what our virtual team helps us with? Check out this post: Tasks for your virtual team that will give you freedom.
Looking to hire your own Virtual Team?
Check out our series on growing your own virtual team! We cover the hiring process, interview questions you should ask, what (and how) to delegate, and the importance of building a relationship with your own team!
Product/Service Income: $239,371
Podcasters’ Paradise: $103,688 (invoice total)
Create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
Free Podcast Course: $0 (it’s free :-)
A 15-day course on how to create, grow, and monetize YOUR Podcast.
WebinarOnFire: $11,274 (invoice total)
Create and present a Webinar that converts.
Free Webinar Course: $0 (it’s free :-)
A 10-day course on how to create and present Webinars that convert!
The Freedom Journal: $0 (still in production, January 2016 launch!)
Podcast Sponsorship Income: $110,402
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $7,857
Total Launch Package: $5,970
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $96
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $57
Affiliate Income: $32,241.50
*Affiliate links below
- BlueHost: $3,300 (Step-by-step guide and 23 WordPress tutorials)
- Create Awesome Online Courses: $5,820
- 3-minute expert: $1,029
- LeadPages: $1,242
- Marketing Inc Course: $2,113
- Ramit Sethi: $0
- AudioBooks: $1,500
- Audible: $238
- Coaching referrals: $2,080 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $180 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Smart Podcast Player: $109
- Podcast Websites: $1,975
- Infusionsoft: $546
- Fizzle: $2,502
- Aweber: $172
- Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer: $0
- Fire Pole Marketing: $127
- Music Radio Creative: $52
- LifeOnFire: $756.50
- Rick Mulready’s FB ADvantage: $388
- Libsyn: $1,275 (promo code Fire)
- WP Curve: $120
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $256
- DotCom Secrets (free book): $0
- Podcasting Press: $200
- ClickBank: $132
- Amazon Associates: $965
- Other: $5,164
Total Gross Income in September: $271,612.50
Business Expenses: $74,522.50
- Advertising: $2,641 (includes Facebook ads)
- Marketing & Events: $944
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $9,578
- Accounting: $250
- Design & Branding: $1,270
- Education / consulting: $1,080
- Meals & Entertainment: $764
- Merchant / bank fees: $3,318
- PayPal fees: $701
- Office expenses: $240
- Software expenses: $0 (included in recurring)
- Libsyn: $568
- Other Business Expenses: $1,233 (PodMastery expenses included)
- Paradise Refunds: $12,568 (invoice total)
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $4,654 (invoice total)
- Fire Nation Elite expenses: $3,928.50
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $22,080 (20%)
- Total Launch Package Fees: $1,035
- Travel: $2,579
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $4,699
- Website Fees: $392
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,000
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $100
- Boomerang*: $14.99
- Brandisty: $24
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $216
- Google Storage: $9.99
- Go2MyPC: $12
- HelloSign: $13
- Internet*: $110
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $389
- Insurance*: $551
- Chatroll: $150
- ScheduleOnce*: $16
- Skype*: $2.99
- Spotify: $9.99
- Payroll fee: $77
- Workflowy*: $4.99
- MeetEdgar*: $49
- Wistia: $25
- Sweet Process: $29
- WPCurve*: $29
- Taxes & Licenses (recurring): $77
Total Expenses in September: $76,522.50
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 September 2015: $195,090
Growing a team takes time (and a lot of hard work!)
In September we hired 2 new virtual team members, bringing Team Fire to a total of 7 including myself and John.
Recently, I’ve been getting a ton of questions from Fire Nation about what it takes to hire virtual staff – what’s the process around it, how to you decide what you’re going to delegate, and what does the on boarding process look like?
I’ve also received a lot of questions about what we delegate to our virtual team, which is perfect timing seeing as how Team Fire just underwent some pretty major growth (we grew by 25% in 1 month)!
And through researching and answering your questions over on the blog and in Kate’s Take episodes, I’ve learned a huge lesson in the month of September: growing a team takes time and a lot of hard work!
As an example, check out the progression of Team Fire’s growth over the past 3 years:
And as for the hard work, (which is worth every single second, by the way): we were very lucky to have JM to help with the entire on boarding process for Claire; and for Goldy, I’ve been the one on boarding her and getting her up to speed.
Just to give you an idea of what that looked like in the month of September (the on boarding process):
Goldy’s first day was Sept. 7, and she started full-time right out of the gates.
In the past 3 weeks, during her on boarding, I’ve spent a collective 8 hours in Google Spreadsheets, 11.5 hours on Skype, 4.5 hours using Screenflow, and 16.5 hours in Infusionsoft – all of these hours and activities directly related to bringing Goldy on board.
I’ll reiterate: every single second is worth it to have a new team member with us, but the on boarding process is an intense time, and it can mean the difference between having someone on your team who is enthusiastic and loves their work, and someone who isn’t going to perform the way you had hoped.
Be prepared when it comes to hiring a virtual team member and growing your team. It may seem tough right now, but in a few months, it’ll change your entire world!
Further reading on hiring & growing your team
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.