November 2020 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for November: $186,046
Total Expenses for November: $23,459
Total Net Profit for November: $162,587
Difference b/t Nov & Oct: +$51,517
% of net profit to overall gross revenue: 87%
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 November Tax Tip: Can I Deduct Charitable Donations?
One of the most common questions we get this time of year is “how much will charitable donations save me on my taxes?”
For many people – especially after the tax law changes in 2018 – the unfortunate answer is: nothing.
In the past, in order to deduct donations on your tax return, you would have to itemize.
This is a fancy tax term, but basically the IRS gives you two options:
- Take their standard deduction, or
- Add up your itemized deductions, which include things like mortgage interest, state and property taxes and charitable donations, and take this if that number is higher.
And when the standard deduction doubled in 2018, far more people took the standard deduction.
But as part of the CARES Act during the Coronavirus pandemic, congress changed the law to allow a bit more freedom in deducting those donations.
So as many of you look at who, what, and how much to contribute for those donation dollars, here’s a summary of how the deduction works, what donations qualify, and who can take it.
1. Charitable donations are a tax deduction, not a tax credit
The first thing to keep in mind is that charitable donations are a tax deduction, not a tax credit.
This means it lowers your taxable income – it is not a dollar for dollar tax savings.
So if you had $100,000 in taxable income and you donated $10,000 to a qualified charity, and assuming you itemize deductions, those donations will reduce your taxable income to $90,000.
They will not reduce your taxes owed by $10,000. That is a very important distinction as it will save you roughly $2,500 in taxes in this scenario, not $10,000.
2. What exactly qualifies as a deductible donation?
The next important to keep in mind is what exactly qualifies as a deductible donation.
The IRS requires the donation to go to a 501(c)(3) in order to qualify.
This means money donated to an individual or a company, even those in dire need, do not qualify for a tax deduction.
If an organization is asking you for a tax deductible donation, they should be able to clarify they are a 501(c)(3).
They should also issue you a donation slip at the time of donation or at year end showing your total donation. If you are donating items instead of cash (such as clothes to Goodwill), then your donation amount will be based on the fair market value of what you are donating.
3. What has changed with the CARES Act?
Finally, what has changed with the CARES Act?
Well, it’s not huge, but they are offering a little help for those who want a donation deduction but don’t itemize.
For 2020, the IRS will allow up to $300 in what they call “above the line” deductions for qualified donations.
This simply means you can both take the standard deduction PLUS the $300 donation. And again, this simply allows you to deduct that $300 from taxable income – it’s not a $300 reduction of taxes.
But hey, in this mess of a year, it’s a little bonus for those who don’t itemize!
Obviously there are far more important reasons to donate your hard earned money than the possible tax deductions that go with them. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also maximize your good deeds to reduce your tax bill where 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!
David Lizerbram’s November Legal Tip
A Year-End Review: Legal Matters to Keep in Mind
As another year comes to an end, there are always business law matters that demand your attention. The to-do list will vary based on the needs of your specific business, but here are some items that tend to apply to most businesses as the calendar turns over to a new year.
And of course, I’m here to help with any of these matters.
1. Annual Compliance
If you’ve registered to do business as a legal business entity, such as an LLC, a corporation, a Limited Partnership, or a nonprofit organization, be sure to review your annual compliance obligations.
Many business types require minutes of annual meetings. Make sure to have the meetings, create the minutes, and keep them on file.
It’s also a good idea to annually check to confirm that your business is in good standing in the state in which it was formed.
Most states require the filing of a Statement of Information or Annual Report on an annual or biannual basis. Letting these slip in the year-end rush may cause your business to fall out of good standing, which can be costly and time-consuming to remedy.
You also may need to renew an agreement with a Registered Agent and update any local or state permits.
2. State-by-State Compliance
If you’re doing business in a state (or states) other than the state in which your company was legally organized, you may need to file as a Foreign Entity in the other states.
When that’s required is outside the scope of this post, but year-end review is a good time to ensure that you’re in compliance not just locally, but wherever you’re doing business.
3. Intellectual Property Audit
This is also a good time to review your company’s IP portfolio to ensure that you’re fully protected. For example, if you’ve created any new products, services, or brand names over the last year, trademark filings may be recommended.
Newly created content (written, audio, or video) may be eligible for copyright protection. Any new inventions or discoveries could give rise to a patent filing.
And finally, don’t forget to ensure that your company’s valuable trade secrets are protected by contracts and other means.
4. Contract Review
Many of your company’s important contracts will have expiration dates or renewal deadlines. Did that contract you signed a few years ago require that you give notice of the intent to renew?
Now is the time to double-check each of your most important business agreements to ensure that they will continue to be in place, or to renew or renegotiate them as necessary.
5. Lease Review
Likewise, leases often include deadlines, option periods, and renewal notice requirements. Whether it’s an office lease or a lease of a vehicle or business equipment, make sure those deadlines are attended to.
6. Financial Forecasts – Include Legal Costs
Finally, as you do your financial planning for next year be sure to include a reasonable estimation of legal costs. If any of the items listed above will require particular attention in the new year, it’s important to budget accordingly.
I hope you have a fantastic and prosperous new year, Fire Nation! If you have questions about any of the items above, or any other end-of-year legal planning issues, please feel free to contact me.
What Went Down In November
We Hired a Book Launch Manager!
If you’re not already signed up for exclusive, behind-the-scenes updates for my upcoming book launch, what are you waiting for!?
Sign up now! > EOFire.com/success
Every week I’m sharing the struggles, decisions, and big moves we’re making towards the launch of my first traditionally published book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success, on March 23, 2021.
The latest big announcement: we hired a launch team!
Led by Amber Vilhauer and her team over at NGNG Enterprises, this launch is shaping up to definitely be ON FIRE!
Now you might be wondering why we’re already working on a launch that doesn’t happen for more than 3 more months!
Well, to give you an idea of the timing for a proper book launch, here’s what we’re currently working on:
- Pre-order logistics
- Bulk buy packages
- Pre-order sales page
- Pre-order bonuses
- Influencer outreach
- Guest & fan outreach
- Follow up campaign
Whew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks to wrap up November, and I know that heading in December things will get even more exciting!
We can’t wait to share this entire journey with you, so be sure you’re on the list by signing up at EOFire.com/success!
The Common Path to Uncommon Success Gets a Makeover
A couple of months ago we thought we had found our final book cover for The Common Path to Uncommon Success.
We were wrong!
Turns out the design team wanted to give it another go, and so we took a step back and evaluated what we wanted the look and feel of this book to be.
Here’s the initial “final” book cover:
And after sending out an email and asking for YOUR input, here’s our current “final” book cover:
Thank you so much to those of you who submitted your feedback – whether it be via email or on Facebook or Instagram. We received HUNDREDS of votes, and we’re excited about the new look and feel of The Common Path to Uncommon Success!
Our Podcasters’ Paradise course is under review!
About once a year we take a look at the things that working REALLY well for us, and we brainstorm how to make them even better.
Something we’ve been improving constantly over time is our exclusive online podcasting course and community, Podcasters’ Paradise.
Since we launched Podcasters’ Paradise in October 2013 we’ve been making sure the latest podcasting news, resources, and the top strategies are delivered to straight to our members.
So in November, we ran a poll in our Private Facebook Group and have asked for feedback via our weekly Digest.
The votes are in, and after checking out our current content, what needs to be updated, and what we’re going to create, we have our work cut out to get these updates LIVE!
Our goal is to complete this round of updates by the New Year.
Product/Service Income: $173,599
TOTAL Journal sales: 392 Journals for a total of $11,352
The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
- Total: $3,156 (120 Freedom Journals sold)
The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
- Total: $4,664 (166 Mastery Journals sold)
The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days!
- Total: $3,532 (106 Podcast Journals sold)
Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!
- Recurring: $15,595 (151 recurring)
- New members: $3,643 (19 new members)
- Total: $19,238
Real Revenue: Turn your BIG IDEA into Real Revenue
- Total: $375
Podcast Sponsorships: $142,547
Free Courses that contribute to 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: $12,447
*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: $8,323
- Audible: $60
- Bluehost: $165
- Click Funnels: $7,768
- Coaching referrals: $150 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- ConvertKit: $50
- AWeber: $130
- Fizzle: $0
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
Courses for Entrepreneurs: $2,032
- Knowledge Broker Blueprint by Tony Robbins: $600
- Create Awesome Online Courses by DSG: $0
- Digital Course Academy by Amy Porterfield: $0
- Crush it w/ Challenges by Pedro Adao: $1,432
Resources for Podcasters: $1,156
- Pat Flynn’s Fusebox Podcast Player: $99
- Podcasting Press: $108
- Designrr: $0
- Music Radio Creative: $40
- Splasheo: $99
- Tim Paige’s Make My Intro: $0
- Interview Valet: $0
- Libsyn: $0 (Use promo code FIRE for the rest of this month & next free!)
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $20
- RepurposeHouse: $40
- Podcast Magazine: $750
Other Resources: $936
- Amazon Associates: $85
- Other: $851
Total Gross Income in November: $186,046
Business Expenses: $21,597
- Advertising: $0
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,341
- Accounting: $1,000
- Cost of goods sold: $1,832
- Consulting: $114
- Fulfillment: $759
- Design & Branding: $206
- Dues & Subscriptions: $67
- Education: $17
- Legal & Professional: $56
- Meals & Entertainment: $514
- Merchant / bank fees: $923
- Amazon fees: $5,246
- PayPal fees: $499
- Shopify: $20
- Office expenses: $1,888
- Community Refunds: $0
- Promotional: $4,050 (book launch fees)
- Travel: +$675
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,704
- Website Fees: $36
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,862
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
- Boomerang: $50 (team package)
- Authorize.net: $70
- Bonjoro: $45
- Cell Phone: $124
- Google Suite: $40
- Internet: $40
- eVoice: $10
- Infusionsoft CRM: $241
- Insurance: $89
- Libsyn: $170
- Linktree: $6
- TaxJar: $19
- Taxes & Licenses: $523
- Gospiffy: $250 (annual fee)
- Zoom: $55
- Xero: $30
Total Expenses in November: $23,459
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 November 2020: $162,587
Biggest Lesson Learned
Choosing a Word for the New Year
For several years I’ve followed the advice of Chris Brogan and chose a word (or 3) to represent what I want to focus on in the New Year. It’s a way to help keep yourself on track throughout the year. If you’re ever questioning whether to say yes to something, or wondering which direction you should go, your words can help guide you.
I love this idea so much, but I still can’t quite put my finger on it – for some reason I didn’t choose any words for 2020. Perhaps it was meant to be that way with everything we’ve experienced this year.
In any case, I’ve been thinking about my word(s) for 2021, and in doing so I’ve reminded myself of how much fun it can be. It’s future-leaning, it’s exciting, and it feels like a great way to refocus and reset.
Plus, knowing that I’ll have these words to help guide my actions and decisions in the New Year feels strong.
I’m still massaging my words for 2021; in the meantime, I invite you to start thinking about what words you want to jump into 2021 with! Check out Chris’ 3 words for 2020 for inspiration!
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.