March 2018 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for March: $195,009
Total Expenses for March: $61,982
Total Net Profit for March: $133,027
Difference b/t March & February: -$6,352
Entrepreneurs On Fire: March 2018 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 March Tax Tip: Ensuring your team is working together
You’ve heard a million times how important it is to have the right team around you – from employees, to contractors, to mentors to service professionals.
The better the team around you, the better your business.
And a good chunk of the entrepreneurs we’ve seen subscribe to this theory and are actively working to build a great team.
But one thing I’ve noticed, especially during this current tax season, is that while people are hiring service professionals like attorneys, CPA’s, and financial planners, they aren’t building a true team that works together to make sure all parts are running smoothly and working together.
Here are just a few examples I’ve seen over the last couple months of critical errors caused by an entrepreneur not having their professionals working together:
- A client’s financial advisor told them to contribute the max level contribution to their SEP, and that would be great under some circumstances, but in this circumstance the client wasn’t eligible for a max contribution due to their income level and they had to refund the contribution, creating a headache and tax liability.
- A client’s attorney advised them to form a C Corp to offer maximum legal protection. When they came to us we had to give the bad news that a C Corp was a terrible tax entity for their situation and that they could have gotten basically the same legal protection and much better tax protection in a different entity.
- Another client’s financial advisor told her to contribute the max to a Roth IRA. After we prepared her taxes she found out she made too much money to contribute to a Roth and had to have the money refunded, creating more tax work in the future.
And believe me, none of this is to paint the picture that attorneys and financial advisors don’t know whats going on like CPA’s do. A similar mistake could easily be made by me or another CPA advising a client to form a certain entity or make an investment decision based solely on taxes, only to find out later it was a bad move legally or financially.
So this month, as I’m in the heart of closing up another tax season, I want to keep this short and simple: strive to not only build a great team of professionals like CPA’s, attorneys, and financial advisors, but make sure they are all truly working as a TEAM.
Before making major decisions like setting up an entity or making an investment choice, run it by ALL of them to make sure it makes the most sense from all angles.
By doing this you will ensure you are making the absolute best decision possible and you aren’t frustrating one or two members of your team by keeping them out of the loop!
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!
David Lizerbram’s Legal Tip
How to Maintain Your Corporation or LLC on an annual basis
From what I can see, more and more entrepreneurs are forming Corporations and LLC’s.
They’re doing so in order to take advantage of liability limitations, to get access to tax benefits, and to set their companies up for future investments and an eventual exit.
So what do you need to do on an annual basis to keep your Corporation or LLC in compliance?
The answers can vary from state to state, and based what type of company you have, but we can talk about some general principles and best practices here.
Let’s look at Corporations first, and then at LLC’s.
For the purpose of this discussion, I’m talking about small, closely-held corporations.
These are often called “S-Corporations” because they’ve elected to be taxed according to Subchapter S of the tax code – the details of that decision are beyond the scope of this discussion.
Larger publicly-traded corporations have other compliance requirements.
So these guidelines apply to most companies owned by one or a few entrepreneurs or investors. A “small” corporation can still make a lot of money – it just has a small number of owners.
All corporations, no matter how large or small, should hold annual meetings of directors and shareholders.
The minutes of these meetings should be typed up and signed.
Typically, the minutes of a small corporation aren’t filed with any government agency, they’re just kept by the company. This way, if your business is ever subject to a legal challenge, you will be able to show that you really are operating as a corporation and are having regular meetings as required by the state in which you operate.
If your corporation only has one shareholder, you’re not really having a “meeting”, but you still need to create annual minutes.
That’s not to say there’s nothing the government requires of your company.
Many states require a document to be filed, either annually, or, in some cases, biannually (every other year.)
These are typically called the “Annual Report” or “Statement of Information”.
These are usually short forms that simply inform the government that you’re still doing business, what your business address is, and who your agent for service of process is. The latter is the person or company that is authorized to receive legal documents, such as a notice of a lawsuit.
Note that if your business was formed in one state (such as a Delaware corporation) and operating in another, or if you have locations across state lines, you may need to file Annual Reports or similar documents in multiple states.
Finally, your business may be subject to annual Service Fees or Franchise Fees.
These are taxes that states charge to allow your company to do business in that state.
Again, you may owe fees in multiple states depending on where your company was set up, and where you’re doing business. Definitely check with a tax advisor about these requirements.
The answer is a bit simpler with LLC’s.
In most states, LLC’s aren’t required to hold or document annual meetings of their owners (who are called “Members.”)
An LLC may not even have a Board of Directors. However, it’s still a best practice for your LLC to hold and document annual meetings. It’s a good way to show that you’re operating as a real business and it’s an opportunity for the various owners of the company to get together and discuss what’s happened in the last year and the company’s long-term goals.
Just like corporations, most LLC’s are required to file annual or biannual reports and to pay the service or franchise fees to the states in which they were filed and where they do business.
To wrap it up, it’s great to form a company, but if you don’t take the proper steps to maintain it, you may lose the benefits that come from owning a limited liability entity.
For example, you may be subject to a personal lawsuit and accrue substantial tax liability.
If you’re not familiar with all of the paperwork required to maintain your company, I recommend you engage a business lawyer to handle the compliance for you. And, again, definitely establish a relationship with a business tax advisor to make sure you’re covered on the tax side.
If you have a legal question that you’d like me to cover on a future Income Report shoot me an email with your request! I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out when I join John & Kate to talk about your legal questions!
*Bonus* Download David’s FREE Checklist on Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs!
What Went Down In March
Social Media Marketing World
Last month we left off in San Diego at Traffic and Conversion Summit, and we didn’t waste any time before diving right into the next event!
February 28 hit and that day we closed out Traffic and Conversion Summit and started Social Media Marketing World.
With an incredible opening night party aboard the USS Midway, the event was off to a perfect start.
The following morning we were up bright and early to catch Michael Stelzner’s keynote on the current state of social media. Let’s just say this: there are some interesting things going on in the world of social media right now!
If you want to get my notes from the sessions I attended at Social Media Marketing World, plus the rundown that Michael shared on the current state of social media, be sure to check out our recap post!
Sessions, amazing meet ups, and so many special hallway run-ins made SMMW18 a great event. A huge shoutout to Michael Stelzner and his entire team for the organization and TLC they bring to this event.
The final night of the conference we headed out to Mission Valley to throw one heck of an afterparty with Mike Koenigs. With a packed house of amazing entrepreneurs, a recording studio with new chats going live every 10 minutes or so, and a drink mixologist to boot, we had an amazing time at Social Smash!
But even after SMMW wrapped, we still weren’t finished yet…
We closed down our San Diego trip with a day of R&R before John hopped a plane to Nashville, TN to participate in Ryan Levesque’s 1-day mastermind with big-time entrepreneurs like Jeff Walker and Ryan himself!
By noon I started receiving several emails about how we’re running and managing Infusionsoft, Amazon and other platforms, so I knew early on it would be a great day!
Our return to Puerto Rico + some big changes
Whew! The first week of March was no joke, and so by the time we flew back to our home base in Puerto Rico, we were READY.
The rest of March brought with it a lot of laser focus, because in mid-March we made a pretty huge announcement about some BIG changes for Entrepreneurs On Fire.
Aside from our FIRE FOCUS in 2018 (the 5 BIG projects we’re putting all of our time and energy into), we shared our plans for Entrepreneurs On Fire the podcast post episode 2,000.
If you missed that announcement, and want a behind-the-scenes look at the conversations and logic that went into deciding on our FIRE FOCUS, be sure to check out our post and episode here!
Fire Nation Survey
In tandem with our big announcement about the changes coming up for Entrepreneurs On Fire, we created a survey for Fire Nation to find out what YOU think of the changes. Curious to hear the results? Tune in to Entrepreneurs On Fire episode 2,000 (that’s right, episode 2,000!!) to hear John break it down.
Not only that, but as is true with everything we do, we created a post & episode that breaks down the why and how behind that survey. If you’re thinking about creating a survey for your audience, you should definitely tune in (or visit the post here), and if you’re not thinking about creating a survey for your audience, then you should!
Product/Service Income: $125,357
TOTAL Journal sales: 499 Journals for a total of $18,513
The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
- TheFreedomJournal.com: $2,376 (57 Hardcovers & 7 Digital Packs sold!)
- Amazon: $8,750 (245 Freedom Journals sold!)
- Total: $11,126
The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days! +2
- TheMasteryJournal.com: $913 (13 Hardcovers & 9 Digital Packs sold!)
- Amazon: $6,474 (184 Mastery Journals sold!)
- Total: $7,387
Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!
- Recurring: $24,187 (212 monthly)
- New members: $10,450 (29 new members)
- Total: $34,637
Podcast Sponsorship Income: $67,000
Podcast Websites: $5,000
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: $69,652
*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: $35,158
- Audible: $381
- BlueHost: $600 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: $24,417
- Coaching referrals: $1,872 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- Mentorship: $7,500
- ConvertKit: $128
- Disclaimer Template: $50 (legal disclaimers for your website)
- Fizzle: $210
- Infusionsoft: $0
Courses for Entrepreneurs: $27,168
- Create Awesome Online Courses by DSG: $13,103
- Webinars that Convert by Amy Porterfield: $2,223
- Copywriting Academy by Ray Edwards: $0
- 10k Readers by Josh Turner: $70
- The Amazing Seller by Scott Voelker: $495
- Self-Publishing School by Chandler Bolt: $11,277
- ASK by Ryan Levesque: $0
Resources for Podcasters: $1,946
- Pat Flynn’s Smart Podcast Player: $110
- Podcasting Press: $131
- Tim Paige’s Make My Intro: $750
- Libsyn: $915 (Use promo code FIRE for the rest of this month & next free!)
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $40
Other Resources: $5,380
- Amazon Associates: $534
- Other: $4,846
Total Gross Income in March: $195,009
Business Expenses: $60,139
- Advertising: $5,000
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,463
- Accounting: $1,781
- Cost of goods sold: $2,505
- Consulting: $3,200
- Design & Branding: $1,980
- Education: $28
- Legal & Professional: $70
- Meals & Entertainment: $872
- Merchant / bank fees: $1,495
- Amazon fees: $5,110
- Shopify fees: $75
- PayPal fees: $178
- Office expenses: $3,012
- Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,704
- Paradise Refunds: $1,460
- Promotional: $128
- Total Launch Package fees: $0
- Sponsorships: $14,500
- The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $5,000
- Travel: $4,844
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $4,153
- Website Fees: $1,581
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,843
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
- Boomerang: $70 (team package)
- Brandisty: $24
- Authorize.net: $70
- Cell Phone: $235
- Internet: $80
- eVoice: $10
- Infusionsoft CRM: $396
- Insurance: $551
- Libsyn: $270
- Chatroll: $49
- Thrive Themes: $67 (1-time fee)
- Shopify: $176
- TaxJar: $19
- Taxes & Licenses: $523
- Zoom: $15
Total Expenses in March: $61,982
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 March 2018: $133,027
Biggest Lesson Learned
FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success
We all know the acronym FOCUS from hearing our very own JLD talk about it on repeat, but sometimes it’s easy to think “Oh, I already know that” and chalk it up as another given in our daily routine.
However, we proved ourselves wrong in March by trying to focus on too many different projects at once.
The result: none of them made it to completion.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and to-do’s when you’re working on new projects, but it’s so important to realize that when you’re trying to focus on too many different things at once, you’re doing yourself, your business, and your audience a great disservice.
Not only were we working towards a new homepage redesign, but we were also working on getting a our new quiz up and running and trying to manage our Facebook Bots.
That’s 3 huge things that each deserve their own FOCUS. Again, we didn’t accomplish any of them because we were trying to focus on all of them at the same time.
FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success.
Once we realized what was happening, it was easy to correct course and get ourselves back on track with focusing on just ONE project.
A side note: this doesn’t mean we’re not working on other areas of our business; it just means that we chose ONE big project to be our main focus.
When you have multiple projects you’re trying to move forward at the same time, it’s going to be an uphill battle. Stop making this more difficult on yourself than it needs to be!
Prioritize, and FOCUS.
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.