December 2017 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for December: $210,291
Total Expenses for December: $66,798
Total Net Profit for December: $143,493
Difference b/t December & November: -$11,103
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Entrepreneurs On Fire: December 2017 Income Report
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 entrepreneurs 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 that you’re able to pass on what you learn to others through teaching, which is what we aim to do here.
**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.
Josh Bauerle’s Monthly Tax 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 JLD & Kate at Entrepreneurs On Fire for years now, and they’ve included me in these 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 to you, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level; I also provide a new tax and accounting tip every month!
Josh’s December Tax Tip: The New US Tax Law
You may not – but should – know that the US just passed a pretty massive tax overhaul.
Depending on who you listen to, the tax changes will either make us all rich and send the economy soaring to never before seen heights, or hurt the middle class to pad the wallets of the rich and will surely put us into the next great depression.
So what’s the truth?
Is the plan good or bad overall, and for you specifically?
That’s exactly what we are going to look at here, with 3 caveats…
- This is a completely non partisan look at the tax bill with no regard to political parties, including which side initiated the plan;
- This will only look at how the plan will impact the average person’s – and specifically small business owner’s – taxes with no regard to larger economic impacts;
- This is a short, general summary on how it impacts the average small business owner. How it impacts each of us specifically can’t possible be covered here. Definitely talk to a professional to find out your specifics.
How Entrepreneurs Are Impacted
The new tax law provides plenty of changes for the average person, from doubling the child tax credit and standard deduction, to eliminating personal exemptions and capping state and local tax deductions.
But the biggest changes come for a group near and dear to Fire Nation’s heart: entrepreneurs.
Essentially, the new tax plan is going to reduce the amount of income you pay taxes on for your business by 20%.
If you remember any of our talks re: business entities, then you know almost all small businesses are what they call “pass through entities”. And pass through entities get their name because the profits pass through to the owners, who then pay any taxes as a part of their personal return.
Under this new plan, small business owners with pass through entities (again, almost every business owner listening to this) will only pay taxes on 80% of their profits instead of the normal 100% they always have.
So let’s say your business, after all deductible expenses, profits $200,000 in 2018.
Under previous rules, you would pay taxes on all $200k.
Under this new law, you will only pay taxes on $160,000, even if you pulled out all $200k in distributions. This could easily save you $10,000+ in taxes with that move alone. And as your profits go up, obviously, those savings become greater.
If your profits are over $315,000 and you are married – or profits are over $157,000 and you are single – there may be a few other restrictions on the 20% rule that involve your salary or guaranteed payments.
So if you are at or approaching those levels, please speak with a CPA as soon as possible to make sure you’re in line to maximize those savings.
Overall, and again, looking at this only from a tax perspective – and mostly taxes for entrepreneurs – I’m very happy with this new plan. Most small business owners, between the new breaks on the individual side, and especially the 20% reduction in taxable profits, will see significant savings on their 2018 taxes.
But with these changes it is more important than ever to talk to an expert and make sure you are in the proper entity and falling within the regulations to take these savings!
As always, 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
Memoir: Audio Biographies
In 2018, I’m taking on a passion project.
This project has been banging around my head for a couple years now, and it’s finally time to unleash it to the world.
In short: I’ve always been a fan of history, and most of my favorite books are biographies of the men and women who changed the world.
These books are often GIANT works, and can take MONTHS (even years) to finish.
My idea is to create a fun audio experience that can be consumed in an hour or two and that will be both fun and educational.
Enter Memoir: Audio biographies of the men and women who changed the world.
Episode #1 will be Alexander the Great, and I have some other CLASSICS in the pipeline.
If this seems up your alley, sign up here to listen to the 1st episode: What is Memoir?, plus receive sneak peeks and special announcements!
I would LOVE your feedback on this project, so please email me with any thoughts about Memoir.
I can’t wait!
The Podcast Journal
Another exciting project we’ve been working on for a long time is The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days.
The Podcast Journal is unlike any other journal we’ve created here at Entrepreneurs On Fire in that it’s essentially a step-by-step workbook that guides you through creating and launching your own podcast.
With detailed instructions for each of the 50 days, plus video tutorials, an online resource center, and check points along the way, The Podcast Journal will help you finally launch your podcast in 50 days or less.
We first came up with this idea in early 2015, and ever since we’ve been focused on other projects. But 2018 IS the year for The Podcast Journal, and our goal is to launch by the end of Q1 2018.
If you’re interested in learning more about The Podcast Journal and being the first to hear once it’s available, be sure to join our interest list!
The Fire Nation Freedom Quiz and 4 Days to Mastery
Our newest free course, 4 Days to Mastery: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus, launched in December – yay! (note Feb 2019: this course is no longer available)
But the way we went about it was a little different than usual…
It started a few months ago actually, when Chanti reached out to us with a proposal: she was convinced we could be crushing it with a quiz optin on our site.
We accepted Chanti’s proposal, and within a few weeks she sent us an outline for The Fire Nation Freedom Quiz: How to Eliminate Fear and Finally Achieve Entrepreneurial Freedom.
We signed up for Interact quiz software and got to work.
Because we know if we can get more leads into these free courses, that means more potential for:
- making a major impact in others’ journeys;
- higher conversions for our ‘next level’ offers in these funnels: The Freedom Journal, ClickFunnels, Podcasters’ Paradise, and Amy Porterfield’s Webinars that Convert, respectively.
But in reviewing Chanti’s outline for the quiz, I realized she had an “outcome” that led to a funnel we hadn’t create yet: it was for The Mastery Journal.
So John and I sat down and brainstormed, and within an hour came up with the outline and name for 4 Days to Mastery: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus!
In December we not only got to launch 4 Days to Mastery, but we also got to launch The Fire Nation Freedom Quiz in several areas on our site.
The first phase is to test conversions and outcomes with the quiz to see if it’s working and of value to Fire Nation, and we’re currently doing this in 3 areas on our site:
- Our welcome gate
- Our hello bar area
- Our sidebar
Click here for 4 Days to Mastery (note: Feb 2019 – this course is no longer available)
Click here to take The Fire Nation Freedom Quiz (note: Feb 2019 – this quiz is no longer available)
Our Business Lessons for 2017
We could’t wrap up December properly without sharing our biggest business lessons for 2017, which included:
- No one cares about your business as much as you do
- You’ll never know until you take action
- Compare and despair
- Constant improvement is key
- Failures are a healthy part of business
- And several more!
To check out a deep dive on each of these lessons, and to check out the rest of our business lessons learned in 2017, head over to the post!
Product/Service Income: $154,111
TOTAL Journal sales: 1,161 Journals for a total of $49,593
The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
- TheFreedomJournal.com: $4,572 (96 Hardcovers & 24 Digital Packs sold!)
- Amazon: $21,255 (541 Freedom Journals sold!)
- Total: $25,827
The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
- TheMasteryJournal.com: $2,620 (64 Hardcovers & 10 Digital Packs sold!)
- Amazon: $17,975 (460 Mastery Journals sold!)
- 100 Days to Mastery: $3,171
- Total: $23,766
Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!
- Recurring: $24,620 (249 monthly)
- New members: $10,257 (34 new members)
- Total: $34,877
Podcast Sponsorship Income: $64,250
Podcast Websites: $5,000
Skills On Fire: $59
Free Courses that result in the above revenue:
Your Big Idea: Discover your big idea in under an hour!
Free Podcast Course: Create and launch your own podcast!
Funnel On Fire: Create a funnel that converts!
Affiliate Income: $56,180
*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.
Resources for Entrepreneurs: $39,330
- Audible: $251
- BlueHost: $150 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
- Click Funnels: $26,999
- Coaching referrals: $3,315 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- Easy Webinar: $365
- Mentorship: $7,500
- ConvertKit: $171
- Disclaimer Template: $40 (legal disclaimers for your website)
- Fizzle: $116
- LeadPages: $374
- Infusionsoft: $0
- SamCart: $50
Courses for Entrepreneurs: $14,006
- Create Awesome Online Courses by DSG: $8,245
- Webinars that convert by Amy Porterfield: $582
- 10k Readers by Josh Turner: $94
- The Amazing Seller by Scott Voelker: $347
- ASK by Ryan Levesque: $3,141
- Ramit Sethi: $1,597
Resources for Podcasters: $2,262
- Pat Flynn’s Fusebox Podcast Player: $72
- Podcasting Press: $1,125
- Libsyn: $1,010 (Use promo code FIRE for the rest of this month & next free!)
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $55
Other Resources: $582
- Amazon Associates: $507
- Other: $75
Total Gross Income in December: $210,291
Business Expenses: $60,477
- Advertising: $117
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $3,070
- Accounting: $2,529
- Cost of goods sold: $4,640
- Consulting: $802
- Design & Branding: $1,980
- Education: $74
- Legal & Professional: $297
- Meals & Entertainment: $1,023
- Merchant / bank fees: $1,358
- Amazon fees: $8,764
- Shopify fees: $120
- PayPal fees: $359
- Office expenses: $2,063
- Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,258
- Paradise Refunds: $2,220
- Promotional: $1,191
- Total Launch Package fees: $0
- Sponsorships: $11,500
- Show notes: $728
- The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $5,000
- Travel: $700
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $9,207
- Website Fees: $1,477
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $6,321
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
- Boomerang: $70 (team package)
- Brandisty: $24
- Authorize.net: $91
- Cell Phone: $576
- Dropbox: $99 (annual fee)
- Google: $45
- Internet: $631
- eVoice: $10
- FastSpring: $39
- Infusionsoft CRM: $396
- Insurance: $551
- Libsyn: $400
- Manychat: $65
- Chatroll: $49
- PureChat: $20
- ScheduleOnce: $9
- Shopify: $176
- TaxJar: $19
- MeetEdgar: $39
- Taxes & Licenses: $300
- Interact Quiz Software: $89
- WP Engine: $2,490 (annual fee)
- Zapier: $15
- Zoom: $15
Total Expenses in December: $66,798
Payroll to John & Kate: $15,900
Wondering what we do with all of our net revenue? We share all in our April 2017 Income Report :)
Total Net Profit for December 2017: $143,493
Biggest Lesson Learned
Importance of Doing a Business Review
Unless we’re looking back at the strategies and tactics we’ve implemented or tested, and then taking the time to understand which ones worked and which ones didn’t – and why – we’re never going to know what to continue doing, or stop doing, moving forward.
The end of the year really brought this to the forefront for me, because it’s such a HUGE step in how I come up with goals for the year ahead.
But regardless of whether it’s the start of a new year, the middle of the year, or nearing the end of a year, a business review is always a good idea. Great news is, you can do it in only 5 steps.
Step 1: Take note of your bigger projects
First step is to take a look back at the bigger projects you’ve worked on in your business over the past year.
This will include things like:
- Creating and/or launching new products or services;
- Trying out / moving into a new piece of software;
- Hiring and/or firing team members;
- Engaging in new business relationships / partnerships; and
- Anything else that took a significant amount of your time to prepare / implement.
Step 2: What worked, and why?
Once you have your list, it’s time to review each item and make note: which were successful?
If you have a hard time determining whether one of the projects on your list worked, then that’s a business lesson in and of itself.
It should be very simple to answer whether something worked based on the SMART goal you set when you committed to doing it.
Once you’ve picked out the ones that worked, actually write out an explanation of WHY it worked.
Step 3: What didn’t work, and why?
The same way you reviewed each item and made note of which were successful, make note of those that were unsuccessful.
Once you’ve picked out the ones that didn’t worked, actually write out an explanation of WHY it didn’t work.
Step 4: Lessons learned
Based on the list you’ve just created, including the notes you’ve taken by each project re: whether it worked or not (and why), what are you biggest lessons learned?
- What will you do again in the future because it worked so well?
- What will you avoid doing again in the future because it didn’t work at all?
- Make a list of all of your biggest takeaways
Step 5: Looking ahead
Remember: knowledge is power.
Now that you have a complete list of the projects you’ve worked on, which ones worked and which didn’t (along with why), and you have pulled out your biggest lessons learned as a result, it’s time to look ahead.
How can you leverage this knowledge to help you WIN in your business moving forward?
How will you double down on what’s working, and avoid the things that didn’t work so well for you?
Now you have a complete system for how to complete your own business review!
Next step: SCHEDULE IT!
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 a combo of Infusionsoft & Xero to track our product and total income / expenses, they suggest the possibility of a 3 – 5% margin of error.
This post was written by Kate Erickson, Content Creator and Implementer at EOFire. Follow Kate on Social: