April 2014 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for April: $232,390.70
Total Expenses for April: $43,116.91
Total Net Profit for April: $189,273.79
Difference b/t April & March: +33,885.01
Why We Publish An Income Report
This monthly income report is about a lot of things, but the actual reason why we publish it is to be transparent so that you can easily understand and learn from the struggles and successes we encounter each month as business owners.
We work hard to learn and grow every day and we’re passionate about helping you build the life you want to live, just like we have.
We really want you to feel what we experience day-to-day, week-by-week, month-after-month, with our overall goal being to make your journey as unobstructed as possible.
That’s not to say you won’t encounter roadblocks. Believe us – we know that no one can escape those no matter how much reading or studying you do. Just keep in mind that every roadblock is a building block towards your future success.
In summation, our monthly income report is all about helping you navigate your entrepreneurial journey in a more efficient and effective way. So let’s do it!
CPA On Fire
Our CPA, Josh Baurle, Shares his April Income Report Tip!
What’s up Fire Nation? My name is Josh Bauerle, and I am 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 have been working with EntrepreneurOnFire to make sure their accounting systems are running smoothly and that their taxes are as low as possible. John and Kate have included me into the 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, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level. I will also be providing tax and accounting tips to you along the way!
This month, I want to talk about the benefits of paying quarterly taxes for your business
One of the most frequent questions I get from new entrepreneurs is, “How do I know if – and how much – I need to pay in estimated tax payments?” This is a somewhat complicated question, so let’s break it down:
1. The IRS says that anyone who ends up with at least $1,000 in taxes owed needs to make estimated payments. This means that, if after entering all your income, deductions and taxes withheld from you or your spouse’s employee wages you still end up owing $1,000 or more, then the IRS expects you to pay in quarterly estimated tax payments. Failure to do so will result in a penalty, the amount of which will depend on how much you owe.
So, yes, you should be making quarterly estimated tax payments if this is you.
2. The next question becomes how much. The main purpose of making estimated payments is to avoid penalties and interest from the IRS. This can be accomplished in one of two ways:
- You pay 90% of your current year’s tax liability, or
- You pay 100% of last year’s tax liability (110% if you earned $150,000 or more)
Since it is very difficult for most entrepreneurs to accurately project their profits a year in advance, most choose the second method of paying 100% of last year’s tax liability to avoid the penalty.
Let’s look at real life example:
Last year (2013), with the success of EntrepreneurOnFire, John’s total tax liability came out to $72,081. Because his income was over the $150,000 benchmark, he would need to pay at least $79,290 (110% of $72,081) in quarterly estimated taxes to avoid underpayment penalties in 2014.
John has already actually paid $50,000 for his first quarter (2014) estimated payment, which will put his total estimated payments for 2014 at $200,000. We settled on this number for two reasons:
- First, it meets the $79,290 mark to avoid penalties;
- Second, it will put a major dent in what he will owe in 2014 taxes. (His current income run rate is projected at over $1.5 Million).
This way, John won’t be stuck with a giant tax bill come April 15th (depending on your definition of giant). =)
If you think you may need to make estimated tax payments this year, it’s important to discuss this with a CPA right away. And if you don’t already have a CPA, let’s talk!
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 April
Arizona mastermind with LifeOnFire
Right on the heels of Social Media Marketing World, John jetted out to the Arizona desert to join 30 other entrepreneurs at Nick Unsworth’s LifeOnFire mastermind event.
Have you heard of Nick and what he’s got going on? If not, check out the “John Lee Dumas Cribs” video that Nick and his team put together… quite a project (plus, you’ll get to see behind the EntrepreneurOnFire curtains – literally!)
My biggest takeaway from my weekend in Arizona? The power of investing in yourself. It was really incredible to see this group of entrepreneurs come together in the middle of the desert, who had not only invested their time to be there all weekend, but who had also invested money in themselves to help move their business forward.
To rear my story about the first time I invested in myself and what that did for my business, click here!
Just six weeks went by from the time that John had his WebinarOnFire AH-HA moment to the time we opened the doors to WebinarOnFire on April 18th.
How on earth do you go from having an idea to creating an entire online product course in just six weeks? We’re glad you asked! Here’s how:
1. Ah-ha! – an idea is born
We’ve seen huge success with our live Webinars over the past several months – to the tune of over $500,000 in sales during our live Webinars. As a result, our audience has been asking over and over again, “How do you do it?” We listened to our audience, and an idea was born.
2. Turn your idea into an easily consumable product
Because video tutorials are a quick and easy way for people to learn how to do something, we decided the best format for this course would be to provide members access to a membership site with tutorials on every step of creating and presenting a Webinar that converts.
3. Ask for input – do others in the industry also see value in your idea?
John reached out and described the idea to several industry experts (online entrepreneurs who also use Webinars in their business). He got the thumbs up from all of them, confirming that the idea was worth pursuing.
4. Give yourself an outline of how you’ll actually create your product, and then decide how you’ll get proof of concept from your audience (will people actually pay money for this?)
John created a “wireframe” of what the course would include so we had something to keep us on track, along with a presentation so we could host a live Webinar to get proof of concept.
5. Create the platform that you’ll use for the proof of concept
I created a marketing campaign and opt in form for the live Webinar.
6. Proof of concept!
We presented our live Webinar to just over 100 people, and we closed the Webinar with 22 sales! (And by the way, because of the technical difficulties John was having in Arizona, I, Kate Erickson, presented this webinar – and converted! YAY!)
7. Create the platform that you’ll use for the product
We knew we would use CustomerHub for the membership site since that’s what we currently use for Podcasters’ Paradise and Fire Nation Elite, so I reached out to Infusionsoft, secured our membership site, and then created the outline for the course within the site.
8. Create the product!
We went back to the wireframe John had created to make sure we hadn’t missed any steps in the process (what videos we would be creating for the course). We then divided the courses up by which one of us would be creating each of the videos (me or John), and we spent an entire Friday afternoon and a Sunday creating, editing, and uploading the videos.
9. Refine your marketing and buyers campaign
Since we got proof of concept pre-launch, everyone who had purchased on our first Webinar was waiting for our launch. I created a buyers campaign that I would funnel those pre-launch purchasers into so they would receive notification that we had launched, along with their login details.
Then, I also re-designed the original marketing campaign so that it was all automated, from the time someone signed up to learn more, to the time they became a member.
WebinarOnFire is a perfect example of a product we created as a result of listening to our audience. What did we do once we had the idea? This is important… We stayed focused the entire time from idea to launch.
It’s pretty amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it!
If you’re interested in learning how to create and present a Webinar that converts, we’d love to have you join us on our next free, live Webinar!
At the beginning of April we launched PodcastOnFire, a 14-module course that walks you through how to create and launch your podcast in – you guessed it – 14 days! The course material is evergreen and always available, so if you purchase a membership to the course, you’ll have unlimited access on an ongoing basis.
What’s unique about PodcastOnFire is that if you join and decide to upgrade to Podcasters’ Paradise at a later time, then EVERY penny from PodcastOnFire will go towards your Podcasters’ Paradise lifetime membership.
Curious as to what the difference is between PodcastOnFire and Podcasters’ Paradise? Click here to find out!
Preparing for a really big trip
On May 7th John and I will be flying from San Diego to Paris for a 2 week trek around Europe. We have several great stops planned out, including Paris, Barcelona, Cinque Terre, Lugano and Prague.
Why is this a really big trip? Well, for starters, every stop we’re going to make will be a first for both of us. So exciting!!
Second, we’ve made a promise to ourselves that this will be an “unplugged” vacation. WHAT!? You heard right…
Since the launch of EntrepreneurOnFire in September of 2012, not a day has gone by that one of us hasn’t been “tuned in” in one way or another. Lucky for us, we have two incredible virtual assistants, JM and Jess, who know EntrepreneurOnFire very well and who will be holding down the fort for us.
Plus, the opportunity that we have to even choose to be unplugged is one of the many benefits of running a successful online business: once you have systems in place, you can prepare for time away by creating and scheduling out content so your audience doesn’t miss out on the same incredible value they’re used to.
We have some really exciting plans to document our trip, and then share it with Fire Nation when we return. Look for it it May’s Monthly Income Report! :)
Preparing to be unplugged for two whole weeks really put the pressure on us this month. With opportunity comes responsibility, and John and I proved that we’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep the business running – even if we aren’t going to be online.
Big thanks to our RescueTime app for helping us keep track of our hours!
Kate’s April: 265.5 hours (vs. 218.5 in March)
66.5 hours/week and 8.8 hours/day (based off 7-day work weeks & 30 day work month)
Kate’s top 3 sites for the month (in order):
2.EntrepreneurOnFire.com (includes backend time)
John’s April: 267.5 hours (vs. 159 in March)
66.75 hours/week and 8.9 hours/day (based off 7-day work week & 30 day work month)
John’s top 3 sites for the month (in order):
2. Adobe Audition
We also can’t forget about all the hard work and time that our two team members in the Philippines contribute! We literally could not be doing what we’re doing with JM and Jess.
Product/Service Income: $226,664.44
Podcasters’ Paradise: $126,427 (invoice total)
PodcastOnFire: $10,554 (invoice total)
WebinarOnFire: $30,615 (invoice total)
Sponsorship Income: $36,037.28
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $10,030
Total Launch Package: $6,270
1-on-1 Mentoring: $6,500
Podcast Launch (Audiobook on Audible): $116
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $115.16
Affiliate Income: $5,726.26
- Amazon: $244.26
- Authority Engine: $600 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Tim Paige Voice Over: $280 (ask for the Fire Special)
- Amber Ludwig-Vilhauer No Guts No Glory: $295 (ask for the Fire Special)
- BlueHost: $1,800 (23 WP tutorials included with use of affiliate link)
- LeadPages: $657
- Virtual Staff Finder: $75
- Podcast Movement: $92
- Earn 1k on the side by Ramit Sethi: $483
- Social Media Marketing World: $1,200
**Affiliate links above
Total Gross Income in April: $232,390.70
Business Expenses: $41,757.69
- Advertising: $8,607.73
- Design & Branding: $509
- Education: $344.84
- Meals & Entertainment: $1,038
- Legal & Professional: $59.95
- LibSyn: $118
- Other Business Expenses: $2,760
- Paradise Affiliate Commissions: $5,628.33
- Paradise Refunds: $5,788
- PodcastOnFire Refunds: $891
- WebinarOnFire Refunds: $1,091
- Promotional: $512
- Software: $870.15
- TheMidRoll (Sponsorships): $4,000
- Total Launch Package Fees: $1,250
- Travel: $5,433.45
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $2,164.40
- Website Fees: $691.84
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,359.22
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $49.99
- Authorize.net*: $91.10
- Cell Phone*: $372
- Internet*: $171
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $351
- Insurance*: $172
- Quickbooks Online*: $25
- ScheduleOnce*: $42.19
- Skype*: $2.99
- Taxes & Licenses (for our LLC): $72
Total Expenses in April: $43,116.91
Total Net Profit for April 2014: $189,273.79
Things We Learned In April
Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be
Gumroad, Zapier – they’re both amazing software products. But sometimes, it’s just not meant to be.
Two days after we published March’s monthly income report, I FINALLY cracked the code: I had fully integrated the Gumroad – Zapier – Infusionsoft connection. SUCCESS!
Or was it?…
John and I are a little crazy – and we’re the first to admit it. The deeper we dug into Gumroad, the quicker we realized how tough and time consuming a migration of our entire payment system would be.
We have weekly Webinars for Podcasters’ Paradise, and sales for that membership community are coming in every day. We also launched WebinarOnFire, and we’ve had a handful of Webinars for that already. Then we launched PodcastOnFire, which is generating sales from an auto-responder sequence we have set up in Infushionsoft…
Big, fat hairy question: “At what point do we technically make the switch and start linking people to Gumroad vs. Infusionsoft?“, and “When during the process do we manually migrate our 1,000+ orders in Infusionsoft over to Gumroad?”
What do you think was the first thing that came to my mind when I was sitting in my chair, finally fully integrated after about three months of trying, and simultaneously, literally in the process of having my realization that we weren’t going to end up migrating to Gumroad?
If I would have just sat down a truly put 100% of my FOCUS into this integration and migration, I would have found out on day 4 that Gumroad wasn’t the system for us given where we’re at right now. Instead, I spent three months working on it, leaving it; working on it, leaving it; working on it, leaving it.
Did I learn a TON in the process? Woah – you have no idea. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to get VERY familiar with Gumarod and Zapier, which again, are both very powerful tools for so many different things.
So I don’t look at it as a complete waste. I learned so much during the process.
My biggest takeaway that I want to share with you, in case you’re currently looking into different payment systems to use, or how to get started: Definitely check out Gumroad. It’s an incredible system for someone just starting out who doesn’t already have an entire payment and order form system in place, and who may not be using an all-in-one platform like Infusionsoft.
Time management: The reality
I pride myself on being good at managing my time. It’s always been something that my previous employers have praised me for.
The difference between being in the corporate world and being an entrepreneur? You make your own schedule!
A huge blessing? OF COURSE IT IS, but I’m not going to lie: it takes A LOT of getting used to. I feel like April is really the first month where I’ve been able to look up from my computer and feel like I’ve gotten A LOT done in A LITTLE amount of time.
Time management takes – time. It’s not something that translates into the entrepreneurial world from the corporate world as seamlessly as one might hope, so be prepared to adjust. If you feel as though time management is something that comes easy to you, then I can assure you once you take that leap into the entrepreneurial world you’ll be surprised.
Spending entire days digging into rabbit holes, only to wrap my day feeling unaccomplished and disappointed, really lit a fire under me. The answer for anyone who feels as though they’re struggling with the same types of distractions?… You know, the kind that take up hours of your time and seem to net nothing?
START BUILDING SYSTEMS.
If you’ve done something more than 5 times, create a system for it.
I know what you’re thinking: creating systems takes a really long time. Yes, creating a new system can take a long time, but I can promise you that if it’s a system for something you do multiple times a day – a week – even a month, then it’s well worth it. With systems that I’ve created just during the month of April, I get the same exact task done in 15 minutes that used to take me an hour. True story.
What do you do multiple times a day, a week, or a month that you could start creating a system for to help save you time? Something that helped me recognize the tasks that could be accomplished with a system in place is writing down every task I do in a day for an entire week. When you start to see repitition, you’ll know which tasks to start looking at.
Thinking on your feet
Being able to think on your feet is a very strong ability to have. I’ve never been the best at it because I typically like to “think things over” – make sure they’re the right thing to do in the big scheme of things. Being able to think on your feet can also save you a TON of time (notice a theme here about saving time?)
Let me tell you about something I realized in April as a quick example:
I’ve been asked to be on a lot of podcasts lately. Before April, anyone who reached out to me and asked if I would be on their podcast would get a response from me that always included a line about the interview flow – what questions I would be asked so that I could prepare.
They would always reply with a list of some sort, and then my next step was to read through them, answer them (by typing in line with each question), and then “proofing” it. (I know – this is CRAZY, right?)
But I wanted to be able to answer the questions well, and I knew I was going to be somewhat nervous when on the mic, so I wanted to be as prepared as possible. I felt like if I could write out my answers beforehand, then I’d be able to give a well thought out answer that would provide the most value to the listeners.
Guess what? It was almost the opposite. Either the interview would end up going in another direction, and half the questions I thought I’d be asked never came up, or I’d start to read my answer and then lose sight of the actual question in the process. I realized this is what was happening before, because in April I promised myself I wouldn’t prepare for any interviews – and every one of them went as smooth as possible.
Seriously, I didn’t do 1 minute of prep in April. (This doesn’t mean I wasn’t still pretty nervous about the interviews, of course.)
The first time I did an interview without writing out the answers to all the questions, I felt SO much more authentic and confident. I trusted myself – I knew that whatever they threw my way, I was going to be able to give them a valuable and honest answer.
So next time you’re feeling nervous about something, just remember to trust yourself. Confidence and thinking on your feet goes a long ways!
Until next month,
~ Kate & John