December 2018 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for December: $171,068
Total Expenses for December: $51,669
Total Net Profit for December: $119,399
Difference b/t December & November: +$711
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: Three tips for making payroll stress-free
I remember growing up my Dad owned a small business and would always tell me whatever you do, if you ever own a business like me, avoid having employees.
It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate his employees or see the immense value the good ones offered his business, it’s that the requirements that come with employees can be a major headache!
And since EOFire recently went through their own payroll headaches for year-end stuff, we thought it was a good topic to tackle as we head into 2019.
So here are three tips for making payroll as stress free as possible.
1. Determine Whether or Not They’re Actual Employees
There are two types of workers you can have in your business: employees and contractors.
There are major differences between them, starting with the fact that contractors come with significantly less paperwork and payroll requirements than employees.
For instance, contractors don’t require payroll tax forms, workers comp insurance, unemployment taxes, and many other things that make employees more difficult to account for.
But simply making everyone a contractor instead of an employee isn’t an option.
The government expects you to treat employees as employees and contractors as contractors.
So what’s the determining factor? Mostly control.
If you are telling your people where, when, and how to work, you almost certainly have an employee.
So if you tell someone you need them to be working from 9-5, Monday through Friday, with specific tasks and ways of doing things, then you likely have an employee on your hands.
On the other hand, if you simply give them a job that needs done, and they can work where, when, and how they want, then you could very easily have a contractor on your hands – not an employee.
So if you tell them you need a new ad campaign done in two weeks, but they work from home on their own schedule and you don’t control whether they work for other people or not, you’re in good shape for contractors.
There are other standards here as well, so be sure to consult your tax professional and/or attorney, but control is the biggie here.
You can also check out this previous income report where we focused on more specific differences between the two.
2. Know Exactly What Needs to be Filed and When
For contractors it’s very simple: at year-end, if they meet certain requirements (we have covered that many times in prior income reports) you simply file a 1099 at year end.
If they don’t meet those requirements, then you file nothing.
Employees, unfortunately, aren’t quite so simple.
You have tons of different state, federal, and insurance-related forms that need to be filed, along with making the corresponding payments.
Some of those are due monthly, some quarterly, and some annually.
It’s all on you to know who, what, where, why, and when for all of these forms, and they all need to be done.
Not filing or paying payroll taxes is the fastest way to have the government shut down your business.
Fortunately, there are companies who will take care of all of this for you, which leads us to…
3. Hire the Absolute Best Payroll Company Possible
Let me make this part very clear: if you have employees – even if you are the only employee as a part of an S Corp – then you NEED a payroll company.
Do NOT try to do this yourself.
But even more importantly, hire a great payroll company.
A bad one will cause you way more problems than they solve, and a good one will make your payroll life nearly stress-free.
And remember, even if you outsource this, the government will hold only YOU responsible for mistakes, so you still need to stay on top of things!
Gusto is still my highest recommend payroll provider at this time.
A great employee can be an amazing addition to your business – someone who makes the “hassle” of setting it all up well worth it.
And if you follow these three steps, then you can make the process of having employees as stress-free as possible.
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
Life On Fire’s Leadership Summit in SD
John kicked off December in San Diego to keynote Nick Unsworth’s in-person Leadership Summit – you may have heard about it on Nick’s episode right here on Entrepreneurs On Fire!
The event went off without a hitch, and John had a great time not only speaking at the event, but soaking up all it had to offer over the 3 days.
I’ll pass it over to John so he can share his biggest takeaways from the event!
Heyo! JLD here :-)
My biggest takeaway from Nick Unsworth’s in-person Leadership Summit is the power of connection and the power of accountability.
No matter the advances we make in this world, always remember nothing will diminish the importance and value of face-to-face connection and human-to-human accountability.
Use this takeaway as you structure YOUR 2019!
A Holiday Push for Journals
Historically, December has been one of our strongest months for Journal sales, especially on Amazon, and this month was no exception.
But it didn’t happen without some ad spend…
Ok, fine – A LOT of ad spend!
Nearly half of our overall expenses this month can be directly attributed to our Journals, proving that it not only takes money to make money, but also that physical products are no walk in the park.
While the income might look attractive, we can’t forget that over half of what we generate revenue-wise is put directly back in. With the Cost of Goods Sold, plus the fees we pay to Amazon and our other fulfillment center, PLUS the ad spend, our net revenue this month for Journal sales was just over $8k.
Of course, $8k is a great number, but it’s by far the lowest profit margin in our business.
Food for thought if you’re thinking about getting into the physical product space!
Christmas Trips and New Years Kicks
For the holidays John and I went our separate ways to spend Christmas with our respective families – John in Maine, and me in San Diego.
We both had such a great time and enjoyed soaking up QT with our families.
But we were both headed back to Puerto Rico pretty much immediately after the Christmas holiday to host a party of 15 for New Years here in Palmas Del Mar!
We threw a great NYE party – one for the books for sure – and got to share this beautiful island with some of our closest friends and family, including a trip to El Yunque and a day on a catamaran for snorkeling and soaking up the sun on the Caribbean.
We closed out the year strong and look forward to a big 2019 ahead! …more on that in our biggest lesson learned section for the month!
Product/Service Income: $124,982
TOTAL Journal sales: 852 Journals for a total of $32,566
The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
- TheFreedomJournal.com: $1,078 (20 Hardcovers & 10 Digital Packs)
- Amazon: $13,923 (386 Freedom Journals sold!)
- Total: $15,001
The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
- TheMasteryJournal.com: $569 (10 Hardcovers & 6 Digital Packs)
- Amazon: $9,165 (255 Mastery Journals sold!)
- Total: $9,734
The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days!
- ThePodcastJournal.com: $138 (3 Hardcovers & 0 Digital Pack)
- Amazon: $7,693 (162 Podcast Journals sold!)
- Total: $7,831
Puerto Palooza: $7,500 (In-person Mastermind in Puerto Rico, Feb 2019!)
Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!
- Recurring: $22,065 (165 monthly)
- New members: $4,962 (33 new members)
- Life on Fire Paradise Members: $6,289
- Total: $33,316
Real Revenue: Turn your BIG IDEA into Real Revenue
- New members: $815
The Revenue Crew: An Elite Mastermind ON FIRE!
- Currently closed to new members
Podcast Sponsorship Income: $45,379
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: $46,086
*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: $27,900
- Audible: $214
- BlueHost: $2,640 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: $24,403
- Coaching referrals: $445 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- ConvertKit: $125
- Disclaimer Template: $73 (legal disclaimers for your website)
- Fizzle Mastermind: $0
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
Courses for Entrepreneurs: $12,128
- Create Awesome Online Courses by DSG: $6,402
- Webinars that Convert by Amy Porterfield: $776
- ASK by Ryan Levesque: $2,543
- Bio Hacking Secrets by Anthony Diclementi: $120
- Boost Blog Traffic by Jon Morrow: $940
- Opesta by Ethan Sigmon: $0
- Digital U by Eben Pagan: $750
- Facebook Ad training by Dan Henry: $597
Resources for Podcasters: $1,829
- Pat Flynn’s Smart Podcast Player: $0
- Podcasting Press: $836
- Tim Paige’s Make My Intro: $0
- Libsyn: $906 (Use promo code FIRE for the rest of this month & next free!)
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $87
Other Resources: $4,229
- Amazon Associates: $167
- Other: $4,062
Total Gross Income in December: $171,068
Business Expenses: $45,839
- Advertising: $0
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $3,730
- Accounting: $1,618
- Cost of goods sold: $9,453
- Design & Branding: $357
- Education: $41
- Legal & Professional: $1,352
- Meals & Entertainment: $1,598
- Merchant / bank fees: $1,622
- Amazon fees: $14,688
- PayPal fees: $312
- Shopify fees: $22
- Office expenses: $2,530
- Community Refunds: $1,157
- Promotional: $294
- The Freedom, Mastery & Podcast Journal: $0
- Travel: $3,751
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $2,801
- Website Fees: $513
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $5,830
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
- Boomerang: $60 (team package)
- Bonjoro: $45
- Authorize.net: $70
- Cell Phone: $450
- Google Suite: $50
- Internet: $80
- eVoice: $10
- Infusionsoft CRM: $309
- Insurance: $648
- Libsyn: $214
- Chatroll: $49
- Shopify: $214
- Sumo: $29
- TaxJar: $19
- Taxes & Licenses: $523
- Zapier: $15
- Xero: $30
- Zoom: $15
- WP Engine: $2,900 (annual fee)
Total Expenses in December: $51,669
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 2018: $119,399
Biggest Lesson Learned
Time flies – don’t let it pass you by
I read a quote in December that hit me pretty hard.
I posted it on Facebook and on Instagram with some context around why I felt it was so critical to share – especially as we approach year-end and look ahead to what the New Year holds.
That quote is from Brian Tracy: “Your Life Only Gets Better When You Get Better.”
As we close out another year and look ahead to what 2019 holds, remember to stop, take a deep breathe, and reflect.
Reflect on all you’ve accomplished this year; everything you said you would do that you actually did; all the struggles you’ve faced, and how despite at times maybe wanting to give up, you didn’t give up; the roadblocks you’ve overcome due to being resourceful, or because you weren’t afraid to lean on someone else for support… reflect on the times when you’ve challenged yourself to be better, and as a result, you’ve become better.
Fire Nation, here’s cheers to a powerful and courageous 2019!
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.