March 2019 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for March: $155,405
Total Expenses for March: $27,735
Total Net Profit for March: $127,670
Difference b/t March & February: -$40,439
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: Tax Season Lessons Learned
We made it, Fire Nation. Another tax season is nearly in the books!
This has been an interesting tax season for me personally as I went from preparing more than 70 percent of the returns myself to preparing less than 10 percent of the returns myself.
I’ve transitioned into more of a brand building role in the business, and as a result I got to observe from more of a high level overview this year.
As I do my annual “things I learned this tax season” tip hey are coming from a much different perspective than previous years.
So without further ado, here’s the best lessons I learned this tax season!
Bookkeeping is Vital and Not Being Done Enough
This will be on my post-tax season lessons from now until eternity.
If you own a business, you NEED bookkeeping in that business. And unless you are brand new with almost no activity at all, you need to be using some type of accounting software and not a spreadsheet.
Finally, you should be strongly considering hiring an expert to do this bookkeeping for you. I can’t begin to stress the amount of problems we see, both with taxes and just business finances in general, from a lack of proper bookkeeping.
So make this the year you prioritize this vital part of your business and outsource it if necessary. Every part of your business will improve if you do.
Every Entrepreneur Needs to Read Profit First
Every year we see countless business owners get hit with a tax bill they have no ability to pay for. They have to get on a payment plan with the IRS to pay it off monthly.
To compound matters they are typically still on a payment plan from each of the last two or three or four years.
So the monthly IRS tax bill just keeps getting higher and higher.
Guys, there is a better way to do things!
Mike Michalowicz has an amazing book called Profit First that will teach you to set up your business so you are preparing for year end taxes as well as every other expense that comes up, including payment to yourself.
If you own a business you need to read this book and implement the Profit First method.
No One Cares About Your Business More Than You
This one is short and simple. Every year we hear that the client thought so and so was taking care of something for them, but they didn’t, and the client is stuck with the consequences.
Whether it is your CPA, you bookkeeper, your attorney, your financial advisor or any other professional, they do not care about your business as much as you do.
Do not put blind faith in them.
If something needs done, follow up and make sure it was done.
You are the one who pays for mistakes, so make sure it’s being done right as much as possible.
The Tax Law Changes Helped
With this being the first season under the new tax laws passed late in 2017 I was happy to see that the changes overwhelmingly helped small business owners. This isn’t any kind of endorsement on whether the tax plan was good or bad overall, or whether it has long term viability, but short-term most profitable small businesses received a nice tax cut from the change.
And that’s it! That’s a wrap on the 2018 tax season.
Be sure to implement these lessons learned in 2019 to make next year even better!
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 March Legal Tip: Should I Register My Logo as a Trademark?
In theory, anything that identifies your business as the source of your products or services can be a trademark. But in practice, when we talk about trademarks, we’re usually referring to business names, brand names, slogans, and logos.
Logos can function as trademarks just like any other brand identifier can. In the world of trademark law, we refer to logos as “Design Marks” as opposed to “Word Marks”.
Of course, a logo can be a pure design or it can be a design that includes words, letters, and/or numbers.
In either case, if your logo is an important brand identifier – meaning, if the logo is strongly identified with your company, products, or services, then it’s worth protecting by registering it as a trademark. This is particularly true when it comes to visually distinct logos.
Logos that are just a brand name in a particular font and color may not be as visually distinct, and therefore may not be as important to protect, as long as the brand name itself is registered.
In the U.S., trademarks are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Note that the same rules apply to all trademarks, including logos.
The proposed logo trademark must satisfy the USPTO’s requirements and it must be unique in connection with the listed goods and services. Meaning, if someone else is already using the same or a similar logo, it can’t function as your trademark, and you can’t register it with the USPTO.
Logos also differ from Word Marks in that they also implicate copyright law. A logo, just like any other kind of visual image, is protected under copyright law at the moment of creation, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Act. So if someone knocks off your logo, they may be committing both trademark and copyright infringement. This means you have two potential claims against the infringer.
However, it’s important to be sure that your company actually owns the logo both under copyright and trademark law.
If someone else created your logo – meaning, it wasn’t created directly by you or an employee of your company – it’s important that there’s a signed contract with the designer granting your company full rights in the image. This contract should be created or reviewed by an intellectual property lawyer to ensure that it’s in compliance with the law and that it’s effective in transferring the IP rights.
To summarize, if you have a logo that’s important to your business, here are the steps you should follow:
- Make sure that your company actually owns the logo and, if necessary, that there are contracts in place to prove ownership.
- Make sure that your logo is unique – if the image is being used by someone else, then it can’t function as your trademark or be registered with the USPTO.
- Once you’ve cleared steps 1 and 2, register your logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the trademark office in your country or jurisdiction.
Trademark mistakes are easy to make and the consequences can be vast.
If you have questions about how to best protect your trademarks, please feel free to contact me. I can provide more information about your trademark issues or handle a full trademark registration.
What Went Down In March
Podfest in Orlando
The 5th annual Podfest Multimedia expo went down in Orlando, FL in early March, and this was our first time attending the event in person.
Not only did John keynote the event, but we also had:
- a Podcasters’ Paradise booth in the exhibitors area,
- I had a breakout session on creating systems, and
- we closed out the entire event with the Roast of our very own JLD.
We also had a few things going on in Orlando in addition to Podfest, including a family trip to Universal Studios, Island of Adventure, to celebrate John’s niece’s 8th birthday before the event kicked off.
Long story short: it was a packed event!
So what was our experience like at Podfest Multimedia Expo?
It was a great one!
What stood out to me most about this event is a recurring theme I seem to take away from every podcasting event I go to: the people are incredible!
Throughout the event we had the opportunity to:
- sit down and chat with podcasters like Glenn the Geek and his partner Jemmy, along with John Dennis and Chris Krimitsos (co-founders of the event);
- spend time with our partners over at Podcast Websites (also our “booth neighbors”), Mark and Kieran; and
- be reunited with some long-time friends, like Pat Flynn, Michael O’Neal, Travis Chappell, Allison Melody, and many more!
Biggest takeaway from the event this year?
Our biggest takeaway certainly isn’t one we learned for the first time. In fact, in all of our podcasting content, free courses, and throughout our community membership, Paradise, we focus on it often.
It’s the idea that podcasting in a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t come up with a podcast idea one day and the next launch a top-ranked podcast that gets hundreds (or thousands) of downloads the next month.
Also, I lost count of the number of conversations I had with other podcasters who were sharing incredible opportunities and experiences they’ve had as a result of their podcast. This topic even made it into the closing keynote presentation made by Pat Flynn.
Incredible things come as a result of podcasting – it’s not all about download numbers of revenue generated, it’s about so much more.
If you’re considering starting a podcast, or you’re currently a podcasters and looking for growth strategies to help you increase your audience and reach, claim your spot on our Podcast Masterclass at a time that’s convenient for you!
During this 1.5 hour masterclass John dives deep into the 3 stages of your podcast: the creation and launch, growing your podcast, and monetizing your podcast.
Back in 2014 Alex Blumberg made a big move: he left This American Life and Planet Money in pursuit of his own podcasting venture.
Post-departure, he launched a podcast in iTunes called StartUp where he gave listeners a behind-the-scenes first look at creating what would become Gimlet Media, a for-profit podcast network.
Being in the podcasting space, StartUp became a quick favorite. Not only did it boast an incredibly well-known media voice, but it offered a glimpse into podcasting and funding a company from literally ground 0 that you couldn’t find elsewhere in the iTunes store.
During the company’s first round of seed funding they raised $298k from a total of 78 investors, and $10k of that happened to come from yours truly :)
Since, we’ve followed Gimlet Media closely, watching it grow from its 2 founders to dozens of employees and multiple shows – an impressive trajectory.
Now if you’re in the podcasting space, or follow company acquisition news breaks, then you’ve likely already heard about Spotify acquiring Gimlet for $230 million, an agreement that was made public in February of this year.
As if starting the media company from scratch wasn’t impressive enough!…
This was of course exciting news on a couple of fronts:
- We’re not only first-round investors, but as such were also given priority to be second-round investors as well, which we took;
- In the podcasting world, an acquisition of this volume by one of the largest audio streaming platforms in the world is quite big news; it puts podcasting on the map in a whole new light.
Since the acquisition we’ve successfully made our first high-dollar amount investment exit that paid off – to the tune of nearly $200k!
Product/Service Income: $112,412
TOTAL Journal sales: 292 Journals for a total of $11,694
The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
- TheFreedomJournal.com: $480 (10 Hardcovers & 2 Digital Packs)
- Amazon: $3,627 (98 Freedom Journals sold!)
- Total: $4,107
The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
- TheMasteryJournal.com: $307 (5 Hardcovers & 1 Digital Packs)
- Amazon: $3,393 (93 Mastery Journals sold!)
- Total: $3,700
The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days!
- ThePodcastJournal.com: $996 (24 Hardcovers & 0 Digital Pack)
- Amazon: $2,891 (59 Podcast Journals sold!)
- Total: $3,887
Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!
- Recurring: $22,729 (173 monthly)
- New members: $12,080 (40 new members)
- Total: $34,809
Real Revenue: Turn your BIG IDEA into Real Revenue
- New members: $1,620
The Revenue Crew: An Elite Mastermind ON FIRE!
- Currently closed to new members
Podcast Sponsorship Income: $59,000
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: $42,993
*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: $13,424
- Audible: $430
- BlueHost: $330 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: $11,948
- Coaching referrals: $493 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- ConvertKit: $106
- Disclaimer Template: $117 (legal disclaimers for your website)
- Fizzle Mastermind: $0
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
Courses for Entrepreneurs: $24,852
- Create Awesome Online Courses by DSG: $533
- Digital Course Academy by Amy Porterfield: $5,760
- Boost Blog Traffic by Jon Morrow: $693
- Opesta by Ethan Sigmon: $1,757
- Digital U by Eben Pagan: $397
- Facebook Ad training by Dan Henry: $0
- Closers On Fire by Dan Lok: $15,712
Resources for Podcasters: $3,118
- Pat Flynn’s Smart Podcast Player: $265
- Podcasting Press: $846
- Designrr: $24
- Tim Paige’s Make My Intro: $150
- Libsyn: $1,676 (Use promo code FIRE for the rest of this month & next free!)
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $157
Other Resources: $1,599
- Amazon Associates: $322
- Other: $1,277
Total Gross Income in March: $155,405
Business Expenses: $24,981
- Advertising: $1,050
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $863
- Accounting: $961
- Cost of goods sold: $1,522
- Fulfillment (Shipwire): $1,743
- Contributions: $108
- Design & Branding: $0
- Dues & Subscriptions: $72
- Education: $70
- Legal & Professional: $736
- Meals & Entertainment: $1,462
- Merchant / bank fees: $1,041
- Amazon fees: $6,423
- PayPal fees: $396
- Shopify fees: $43
- Office expenses: $923
- Community Refunds: $911
- Promotional: $417
- Travel: $2,706
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,013
- Website Fees: $521
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,754
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
- Boomerang: $50 (team package)
- Bonjoro: $45
- Authorize.net: $70
- Cell Phone: $363
- Google Suite: $50
- Internet: $80
- eVoice: $10
- Infusionsoft CRM: $309
- Insurance: $648
- Libsyn: $244
- Chatroll: $49
- Shopify: $68
- Sumo: $29
- TaxJar: $19
- Taxes & Licenses: $523
- Thrive Cart: $37
- Zapier: $15
- Xero: $30
- Zoom: $15
Total Expenses in March: $27,735
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 2019: $127,670
Biggest Lesson Learned
The power of being aware
I’m no novice to struggles and roadblocks when it comes to entrepreneurship.
In fact, back in 2011 when I quit my corporate job to move across the country, I wasn’t completely sure I knew what entrepreneurship even was (although I did plan to “start my own business” once I made my move).
Since, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be an entrepreneur, and I’ve been through many struggles that range from staying awake at night stressed about whether I made the right decision, all the way to wanting to slam my laptop against the wall because I can’t figure out how to connect software A and software B.
We all carry different personality traits, and the ways in which we deal with some of the more common struggles and roadblocks definitely vary. But what’s a constant is the fact that each of us as individuals is in full control of how the struggles and roadblocks we face are overcome.
We can make it super difficult on ourselves by making excuses and in some cases just straight giving up. Or, we can challenge ourselves and commit to being as resourceful as possible in finding a solution.
But when we come up against these struggles and roadblocks, it’s tough to put that space between you and your immediate feelings of frustration, doubt, or anger, right?
For me, it definitely is.
And that’s why this month I wanted to talk about it, because I’ve realized something quite powerful: the way you successfully put that space between you and your immediate feelings of frustration, doubt, or anger is through awareness.
It’s really quite simple: as long as we’re aware that our immediate feelings of frustration, doubt, or anger can be overcome, our struggles and roadblocks start to become less inhibiting. That awareness allows us to stop, put that space between us and our immediate feelings, and in that space we can redirect our energy to a more positive space.
So next time you’re in a situation where you find yourself making excuses, doubting yourself, or you feel like giving up, pause, give yourself that space, and proceed forward in a productive way. You’ve got this!
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.