January 2019 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for January: $140,332
Total Expenses for January: $34,233
Total Net Profit for January: $106,099
Difference b/t January & December: -$13,300
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 January Tax Tip: How to organize your tax documents
The time has come again Fire Nation: somehow, we have made it back into another tax season!
That means everyone who is using a tax preparer has probably begun the process of frantically putting together everything they think their preparer will need to prepare their taxes.
Wondering if you’re forgetting things?
Or whether your return will be inaccurate?
Are you including too much information, causing your preparer to drown in information overload (and charge you for the inconvenience!)?
It’s a tough balance making sure you give them enough info, but not too much – and give it to them in the most useful way possible.
So with that in mind, here’s a few quick tips on gathering and providing your year end tax info to make your 2018 taxes as smooth as possible.
How to organize your tax documents
Organize Your Business Numbers: I can’t tell you how many clients each year think they can just tell me “my business made $100,000 last year” and think that is good enough to prepare taxes.
The IRS wants and demands far more info than that. They want to know your total gross income, and then they want your expenses – broken out into various categories.
What you will want to provide your tax preparer is a completed profit and loss or income statement, and most likely a balance sheet as well.
If you spent the year ignoring your finances, then this could be a problem. You’ll most definitely need to either spend the time to do it yourself now, or you’ll have to pay a profession company to do it for you.
But here’s the bottom line: successful, professional businesses have professional financial statements.
If you haven’t done it yet, now is the time to make it happen so your taxes can be prepared properly.
Send All Actual Tax Documents: When it comes to actual tax documents – W2’s, 1099’s for business, interest, dividends, stock sale forms, mortgage interest forms… anything else that is an official tax document – your preparer will likely need actual copies of them.
Again, I’ve had clients try to just say “I had a 1099 from Amazon for $10,000” and think it would work.
There are specific numbers we need to report on the return, so if it’s an official tax document, then you have to include it with your tax documents.
Receipts: The overwhelming majority of tax preparers will not need – or want – your actual receipts.
In fact, if you send me a shoe box full of receipts I might throw them right back at you (just kidding… kind of)!
Your receipts should all be summarized in your business financials or within your official tax documents.
If we need proof of anything with a receipt, we will let you know. But for the most part, receipts are only used in the case of an IRS audit.
How to Organize it All: The best thing I can advise here is to start by asking your accountant how they prefer to receive your tax info.
Everyone has their own preference for how they want to receive that info, and they may even have special forms or organizers for you to use.
But me personally? My ideal client shares a Google or Dropbox folder with me that has beautifully organized sub folders in it.
For example, they have a folder for business financials, a folder for prior year tax documents (if this is the first year I filed their return), a folder for actual tax documents like 1099’s, etc.
In an idea world, everything has its place, and I can see very quickly if I have everything I need or whether I need to ask for more.
And even more importantly, when I have questions, my client is able to answer them quickly and concisely. If you’re able to do this, then I can promise you that your preparer will love you!
If you follow those tips, this will be an exceptionally smooth tax season for both you and your tax preparer.
And when it’s smooth for your preparer, that means you’ll have both a more accurate return (so you can make sure you are paying as little as legally possible), and they will also likely charge you less for it!
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 January Legal Tip: Podcasters Beware: Using Unlicensed Music
I’ve been writing and speaking for several years about the likelihood of lawsuits concerning unlicensed music in podcasts.
See, for example, my 2015 blog post Can I Play Music On My Podcast?
Spoiler Alert: The answer is “NO – unless you have the proper licenses.”
And even if you’re not a podcaster, the same rules apply to music on social media channels, YouTube, your website – you name it.
Recently, a podcaster was sued for copyright infringement for doing exactly that – playing popular music on a podcast without the appropriate license. To my knowledge, this is the first time that this has been the subject of a lawsuit, but I doubt it will be the last.
Universal Music Group (“UMG”), one of the world’s biggest music labels, filed suit in federal court against iBus Media, which owns pokernews.com and produces a variety of poker-related podcasts.
In the lawsuit, which can be read here, UMG alleges that iBus Media has produced and distributed hundreds of podcast episodes that include unlicensed music owned by UMG, listing 46 specific songs by artists as diverse as Kanye West, Garth Brooks, and Justin Bieber.
UMG claims that they notified iBus Media about this alleged infringement as early as 2015 and that iBus Media failed to cease its infringing activity.
The lawsuit demands the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringing copyright, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. The statutory damages alone could exceed $6 million dollars.
Podcasters – and anyone who uses music on social media or in videos – beware! Just because a song is popular doesn’t mean you have the right to play it on your podcast.
Obtaining the proper licenses is complicated and can be expensive, but as this lawsuit shows, the cost of not playing by the rules can be even more substantial.
For more info about how to handle music on your podcast, check out my (free) book Podcast Law, or contact me directly.
What Went Down In January
FOCUS for free courses
Our FIRE FOCUS started back in 2018, and it has continued strong into 2019.
What is a FIRE FOCUS?
Well, essentially we set out to identify what 20% of our activities account for 80% of our revenue. The whole work smarter, not harder type of deal.
Back in 2018 we identified 5 BIG things John and I do in the business that account for a vast majority of our revenue AND impact, and those 5 things are:
- Entrepreneurs on Fire
- Our email list (We’ve developed a killer welcome series you should study – opt in on our homepage!)
- Podcasters’ Paradise & our Journals (products)
- Our affiliate relationships
- Content marketing and SEO
This month we’ve focused in on content marketing, and as a result we’ve cut our free course library in half.
We didn’t “delete” the content or store it away in a vault where no one can access it, but we did decide that in order to double down on what’s working best, we have to focus our time and energy wisely.
Therefore, courses like Free Webinar Course, Free Goals Course, and Kickstarter on Fire are no longer free courses we’re going to actively promote.
We decided on this because Free Podcast Course, Your Big Idea, and Funnel on Fire are 3 free courses that work really well for us and that get the most traffic and interest from our audience.
So why spread our focus and energy across 6 free courses when we can double down on just 3?
Opt in + New Welcome Journey sequence
Regarding our email list: it’s something we take very seriously, as we believe your email list is incredibly valuable and important.
First and foremost, your email list is your one direct connection with your audience – and one that you “own” to boot!
And while many marketers might consider email lists dead with the birth of things like messenger bots and social media as a whole, we disagree.
Your email list can be powerful, and it should be treated with the utmost care and respect.
It should not only be leveraged as a tool to provide incredible value to the individuals who have raised their hand and specifically ask for it, but it should also be looked at as a way for you to continue to build a relationship with your audience.
Furthermore, no matter how big or small your list might be, email marketing is still very much alive and well, which means your email list can absolutely be a powerful marketing tool when you have amazing resources to share with your audience.
All of this to say that in January we not only doubled down on our free course focus, but we also doubled down on growing our email list.
How did we do it?
Well, it started with a cohesive message: Are you ready for lifestyle and financial freedom?
THAT is what we promise to our subscribers: the best tips, tools, and tactics to help you get there.
Once we had our messaging nailed down, it was all about implementation: we use SUMO in order to offer multiple opportunities across our site for our readers and visitors to opt in.
Next: we constantly improve. At we closed out January, John and I both were diligent about brainstorming and drafting what is soon going to be our brand new Welcome Journey Series: 8 emails we sent to new subscribers to not only welcome them to Fire Nation, but to give them a good feel for what they can expect as a part of the Fire Nation Family.
Last up: we track! Already in January alone we’ve welcome nearly 1,000 new subscribers to our email list – all by doubling down and doing the work.
Mentioned in this episode: Osmo (handheld video recorder – this is our affiliate link).
Product/Service Income: $103,736
TOTAL Journal sales: 467 Journals for a total of $15,456
The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
- TheFreedomJournal.com: $536 (9 Hardcovers & 5 Digital Packs)
- Amazon: $7,956 (233 Freedom Journals sold!)
- Total: $8,492
The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
- TheMasteryJournal.com: $244 (5 Hardcovers & 3 Digital Packs)
- Amazon: $4,368 (155 Mastery Journals sold!)
- Total: $4,612
The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days!
- ThePodcastJournal.com: $49 (1 Hardcovers & 0 Digital Pack)
- Amazon: $2,303 (56 Podcast Journals sold!)
- Total: $2,352
Puerto Palooza: $7,500 (In-person Mastermind in Puerto Rico, Feb 2019!)
Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!
- Recurring: $23,075 (167 monthly, 3 annual)
- New members: $7,762 (37 new members + 3 Total Launch Packages)
- Total: $30,837
Real Revenue: Turn your BIG IDEA into Real Revenue
- New members: $2,115
The Revenue Crew: An Elite Mastermind ON FIRE!
- Currently closed to new members
Podcast Sponsorship Income: $42,500
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: $36,596
*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: $31,784
- Audible: $284
- BlueHost: $2,805 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: $25,585
- Coaching referrals: $2,595 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- ConvertKit: $336
- Disclaimer Template: $73 (legal disclaimers for your website)
- Fizzle Mastermind: $106
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
Courses for Entrepreneurs: $2,842
- Create Awesome Online Courses by DSG: $0
- Webinars that Convert by Amy Porterfield: $873
- ASK by Ryan Levesque: $0
- Bio Hacking Secrets by Anthony Diclementi: $180
- Boost Blog Traffic by Jon Morrow: $940
- Opesta by Ethan Sigmon: $452
- Digital U by Eben Pagan: $397
- Facebook Ad training by Dan Henry: $0
Resources for Podcasters: $1,588
- Pat Flynn’s Smart Podcast Player: $0
- Podcasting Press: $8
- Tim Paige’s Make My Intro: $0
- Libsyn: $1,420 (Use promo code FIRE for the rest of this month & next free!)
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $160
Other Resources: $382
- Amazon Associates: $171
- Other: $211
Total Gross Income in January: $140,332
Business Expenses: $31,586
- Advertising: $1,090
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,282
- Accounting: $350
- Cost of goods sold: $2,608
- Design & Branding: $824
- Education: $266
- Legal & Professional: $489
- Meals & Entertainment: $834
- Merchant / bank fees: $1,866
- Amazon fees: $8,132
- PayPal fees: $400
- Shopify fees: $40
- Office expenses: $650
- Community Refunds: $2,187
- Promotional: $2,950 (Puerto Palooza Mastermind)
- The Freedom, Mastery & Podcast Journal: $0
- Travel: $3,975
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,088
- Website Fees: $555
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,647
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
- Boomerang: $60 (team package)
- Bonjoro: $45
- Authorize.net: $70
- Cell Phone: $150
- Google Suite: $50
- Internet: $80
- eVoice: $10
- Infusionsoft CRM: $309
- Insurance: $648
- Libsyn: $231
- Chatroll: $49
- Shopify: $214
- Sumo: $29
- TaxJar: $19
- Taxes & Licenses: $523
- Zapier: $15
- Xero: $30
- Zoom: $15
Total Expenses in January: $34,233
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 January 2019: $106,099
Biggest Lesson Learned
Putting on a live event is A LOT of work!
I have so much respect and gratitude for people who put on incredible events.
Investing in a ticket to attend a 1-day or multi-day event is a big commitment, especially when you consider having to travel, be away from your business, mess with your routine, and potentially find child care or make other personal arrangements.
So when you do make that investment, and you show up and are wow’d by the little details and end up walking away having experienced something valuable, and powerful, and impactful – that’s special.
But being the person putting that all together – it’s not easy!
As we plan and prepare for our in-person mastermind here in Puerto Rico, Puerto Palooza, I’m realizing how much preparation and planning goes into live events! And this is an incredibly small event… we have 7 entrepreneurs attending.
We have the mastermind set up as an all-inclusive event, so that definitely adds to the complexity of getting everything set up.
But even setting that fact aside, it’s the small details – like the itinerary, and making sure everyone has the information necessary to help plan their trip, and figuring out how everyone is going to get from point A to point B – those small details really add up.
I know that smaller, intimate masterminds and live events in general are becoming more and more popular, so just a heads up: before you commit to putting on a live event, be sure you have the proper team in place to help!
We can’t wait for Puerto Palooza to kick off, and we look forward to sharing a recap of the event with you in our February income report!
And if you’re looking for the top conferences for entrepreneurs in 2019, check out our roundup right here!
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.