March 2021 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for March: $313,386
Total Expenses for March: $120,539
Total Net Profit for March: $192,847
Difference b/t Mar & Feb: +$49,031
% of net profit to overall gross revenue: 62%
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: Your Tax Questions Answered!
As we near the end of another tax season and the beginning of some major tax reform proposals, we’re going to take the next few income reports to answer your questions!
First up we have a familiar question from Mario:
Should your business be structured as an LLC or an S Corp?
This is a topic we have hit on before, but choice of entity is crucial to your business so it’s always a good one to look at again.
The first thing to note is that an LLC is strictly for potential legal liability protection. It has absolutely no impact on taxes. So the question then becomes should you be taxed as an S Corp, and as with most tax questions, there’s a lot of “it depends”.
The tax savings in an S Corp comes by way of reducing the amount of your profit subject to self employment tax. So it only makes sense to go this route if you would save a significant amount in those SE taxes.
Whether you would or not depends on several factors, but the two biggest I would look at are:
- If you have day job earnings (i.e. you’re issued a W2 by a company) and
- How high your profits are.
But as a very general rule, if you don’t have significant wages from a day job you should start seriously considering an S Corp when your business has taxable profits of at least $50,000.
Next up, Mariana wanted to know:
What are the tax benefits of living in Puerto Rico?
Whew, this is a big topic! And at some point we can dedicate an entire tax tip to it.
But as a general overview, Puerto Rico has one huge tax advantage: the IRS allows them to implement their own taxes and doesn’t require the residents to pay US taxes.
And to take advantage of that, Puerto Rico came out with some enticements to get businesses to move there.
For businesses who qualify and move their operations permanently to Puerto Rico they can get their tax payments down to between 0 and 4 percent.
I will warn there is a lot of research and expense that goes into setting this up, as John and Kate can testify to!
But for businesses making profits of half a million or more – and that the ability to make the move – it is an absolutely incredible opportunity to save hundreds of thousands (or even millions) in taxes.
Finally, Mark wants to know:
How will the impending tax changes potentially hurt us?
First, no tax policy changes have actually been passed, so I can’t give a complete answer here yet.
President Biden’s current proposal would increase taxes on individuals making over $400,000 and on C Corporations.
So the vast majority of Americans don’t fall into either of those categories.
But until a new plan is passed and put in place I can’t give any other specifics.
The one thing I will say that I’ve noticed among most successful business owners we work with is they aren’t overly concerned with taxes.
They hire professionals to help get their taxes as low as they possibly can, and then they pay what’s due. This has certainly been true of John, who has always encouraged me to find every legal way possible to lower his taxes, and once we have them as low as possible, he pays what’s due.
I don’t think anyone has anything to truly fear with future taxes.
And if you have questions, be sure to send them to us so you can be featured on a future income report!
And 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: NFTs and Copyright Law
The term NFT stands for “non-fungible token”.
A Bitcoin is a fungible token, just like dollars are fungible. One Bitcoin is the same as another, exactly as one U.S. dollar is equal to any other U.S. dollar. Unlike Bitcoins or dollars, each NFT is unique.
An NFT is a digital certificate of ownership. It’s simply a way of stating, and verifying, who is the owner of any digital asset, such as a piece of art.
The reason anyone cares about NFTs is that they make it easy for someone to verify ownership, and therefore they make it easy to buy and sell digital art. You won’t buy something if the seller can’t prove that she owns it or if you can’t prove that you own it when you want to sell it.
The market for digital art NFTs is exploding. See, e.g., this snarky New York Times headline: “JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as ‘NFT Mania’ Gathers Pace”.
The NBA is also using NFTs to create officially licensed digital collectibles under the “Top Shots” brand. So the analysis here applies outside of the realm of digital artworks.
So what does copyright have to do with NFTs?
Here, I’m going to discuss some basic principles of copyright law and how they apply (or should apply) to NFTs. Feel free to check out What Is a Copyright? for a slightly more in-depth intro to copyright law.
Under U.S. law, as soon as a work of art in any medium is created, the creator owns the copyright in that work. There are a few exceptions (such as work for hire), but we’re sticking to the basics here.
This principle—that copyright attaches at the moment of creation—applies regardless of the medium. It doesn’t matter if it’s an oil painting, a sound recording, or a piece of digital visual art.
When we talk about “copyright”, we’re really talking about multiple rights (sometimes called a “basket of rights”). These include the right to control who makes copies of the original work; who can sell, license, or otherwise transfer the copyright in work; and who can make derivative works from the original. Derivative works are new works based on a pre-existing work (a sequel, a remix, that sort of thing).
Typically, when someone buys a work of physical art, they are only purchasing the physical object. They are not purchasing the copyright in the work. The rights enumerated above remain with the artist.
So if you own an original oil painting, you can display it in your home or wherever you want, and you can sell or loan the painting to someone, but you can’t make copies of it, sell prints, or make new works based on the original.
Copyright can only be transferred based upon a written agreement. So if the artist agrees to sell you the copyright in the oil painting, then you do have those rights.
Note that this means that copyright is separate from, or abstracted away from, the actual “work” itself.
Wait, wasn’t this supposed to be about NFTs?
The same rules that apply to physical works of art apply to digital art. The fact that the work has an ownership certificate in the form of an NFT doesn’t change the analysis.
In most cases, if you buy a digital art NFT, you will do so through a marketplace. These marketplaces serve the same function as art galleries, auction houses, and eBay do for works of physical art. They connect buyers and sellers. They also create the terms of sale. If it’s a first-time sale, those terms are (presumably) created in conjunction with the original artist.
So, if you buy an NFT, my presumption is that you are only buying ownership in the NFT itself. You are not buying the copyright, unless there is a written contract (such as language in the marketplace’s terms of sale) stating that the seller is assigning the copyright in the work to the buyer.
If you are creating (“minting”), buying, or selling an NFT, read the terms of sale of the marketplace that you’re using. You want to make sure that you know what you are actually buying. If you’re still not clear about the terms, and if there’s a significant financial investment or upside involved with the transaction, you should consider engaging an intellectual property attorney.
What rights do NFT owners have?
They have the right to own, sell, lend, or otherwise transfer the NFT itself. They don’t (unless they own the copyright) have the right to make or sell copies of the digital art, to transfer the copyright in the work, or to create derivative works based on the original.
The “right to make copies” bit is messy in the digital world. For example, if I buy an NFT, and then I post it to Instagram with the message “Check out this cool NFT that I just bought!”, that’s creating many more digital copies.
But this is true for all kinds of visual art these days, and the artist is free to go to Instagram and file a copyright takedown notice, requesting that the post be removed. My ownership of the NFT wouldn’t make that request invalid unless I also owned the copyright.
The bottom line is: if you’re an artist or an NFT collector/investor, make sure that you know your rights.
If you have questions about legal issues around NFTs or crypto, feel free to contact me!
What Went Down In March
The Common Path to Uncommon Success launches
Fire Nation, WE DID IT!
The Common Path to Uncommon Success officially launched to the world March 23, 2021 – and you better believe we were ready for it!
Before we dive into the details, we want to take this moment to THANK YOU!
Thank you for coming on this journey with us. For supporting us, for sharing The Common Path to Uncommon Success with your friends and followers, and for allowing us to pop into your inbox and your social media feeds with updates and exciting milestones.
Our final 3 week push
As you know, we’ve been working on pre-launch content, marketing, and overall awareness for The Common Path to Uncommon Success since early December. And there’s a TON to report when it comes to everything that went into it. Here’s our recap post that shares ALL the details.
But just focusing on our final 3 week push, here’s the scoop:
- Week of March 1: John completed a crazy 48 interviews just in this one week! That includes news station interviews, magazine interviews, interviews on other podcasts, and Clubhouse chats.
- Week of March 8: John completed 34 MORE interviews this week for the book. This is also the week we dove into creating the companion course that comes with the book.
- Week of March 15: John completed 41 MORE interviews this week for the book (these are not typos!) John also completed recording the companion course, and I completed the companion workbook (the workbook also comes with the book to help with exercises and action steps along the way).
From March 16 – March 23 – the week leading up to launch – here’s what our sales numbers looked like from retail platforms:
- Mar 16: 133 books sold
- Mar 17: 122 books sold
- Mar 18: 84 books sold
- Mar 19: 133 books sold
- Mar 20: 82 books sold
- Mar 21: 90 books sold
- Mar 22: 206 books sold
- Mar 23: 121 books sold
Many of the high sales days we encountered leading up to launch were directly related to podcast episodes going live. Others, like our huge spike on March 22, were a result of emails we sent to our email list with a “last chance for pre-order bonuses” call to action.
Anyone who says email is dead isn’t doing it right. :)
We more than doubled our daily sales numbers on March 10 when we sent an email out reminding you that March 12 would be the last day to grab the Journal Trio hardcover bonus.
And our March 16 spike? That was another email :)
For a behind-the-scenes look at our overall sales numbers pre-launch, plus what happened the week of launch, be sure to check out our massive recap post!
Top Strategies That Produced the Best ROI
The relationships that we’ve been nurturing and growing for 9 years now is hands down the most powerful way we’ve gained momentum throughout this launch.
And those relationships have led to:
- Podcast interviews
- Clubhouse chats
- Bulk buy purchases
- Live social media pushes
- Other influencers sharing the book
And the list goes on.
It’s because of these relationships we were able to put together a top 300 influencers list, which we used to reach out to all 300 individually – with a personalized video from John – and ask for support.
In our recap post we talk about detailed numbers, like the % of those 300 who supported, and in what ways.
We also reached out to each of our past guests from the show – via an individual email – asking for their support.
We wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without these existing relationships. Especially when it comes to being featured on so many different individuals’ platforms.
Since January, John has done a total of 345 interviews on other podcast. 345!!
That’s a lot of reach.
And of course, as I’ve already mentioned, Fire Nation – YOU – have been so incredible. YOUR support, your pre-orders, and you sharing the love with your friends and followers has helped us take everything to the next level.
The emails we’ve sent – you’ve taken action.
The social media we’ve posted – you’ve commented and shared.
And we’re so grateful.
Launch Day Livestream Party
To celebrate the incredible journey we’ve been on to get to this point, we hosted a 2 hour live stream and invited everyone to come celebrate with us!
We had a blast chatting about the book, the lessons learned, and the mistakes we’ve made along the way.
We also invited some rockstars on to join us, like Pat Flynn, Stu McLaren, Jeff Walker, Selena Soo, and many others. It was so awesome having some Fire Nation faithfuls who were tuning in join us live to chat about their own journey, too, and what uncommon success means to them.
So, now that the book is OFFICIALLY live, we can’t wait for you to grab your own copy!
And if you already have your copy, once you’ve had a chance to dive in we’d LOVE to hear from you! If you loved the book, your review on Amazon would mean the world!
Product/Service Income: $289,220
TOTAL Journal sales: 822 Journal Trios (Bonus) + 373 Journals Sold for a total of 2,839 Journals: $11,704
The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
- Total: $4,050 (149 Freedom Journals sold)
The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
- Total: $2,108 (57 Mastery Journals sold)
The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days!
- Total: $5,546 (167 Podcast Journals sold)
Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!
- Recurring: $14,400 (136 recurring)
- New members: $4,737 (21 new members)
- Total: $19,134
Real Revenue: Turn your BIG IDEA into Real Revenue
- Total: $825
Podcast Sponsorships & Special Projects: $178,480
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: $24,166
*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: $23,252
- Audible: $95
- Bluehost: $0
- Click Funnels: $22,714
- Coaching referrals: $150 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- ConvertKit: $47
- AWeber: $130
- Fizzle: $116
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
Courses for Entrepreneurs: $0
- Knowledge Broker Blueprint by Tony Robbins: $0
Resources for Podcasters: $731
- Pat Flynn’s Fusebox Podcast Player: $99
- Podcasting Press: $105
- Designrr: $0
- Splasheo: $99
- Tim Paige’s Make My Intro: $0
- Interview Valet: $0
- Libsyn: $397 (Use promo code FIRE for the rest of this month & next free!)
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $31
- Streamlined Podcasts: $0 (Use promo code FIRE for a special discount!)
Other Resources: $183
- Amazon Associates: $173
- Other: $10
Total Gross Income in March: $313,386
Business Expenses: $118,465
- Advertising: $1,389
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $660
- Accounting: $0
- Cost of goods sold (Journals): $2,129
- Cost of goods sold (bulk buy fulfillment): $94,771
- Consulting: $275
- Fulfillment: $2,170
- Design & Branding: $150
- Dues & Subscriptions: $227
- Education: $240
- Legal & Professional: $0
- Meals & Entertainment: $41
- Merchant / bank fees: $3,130
- Amazon fees: $4,689
- PayPal fees: $375
- Shopify: $20
- Office expenses: $372
- Community Refunds: $1,385
- Promotional: $0
- Travel: $2,436
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $4,006
- Website Fees: $0
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,074
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
- Boomerang: $50 (team package)
- Authorize.net: $70
- Bonjoro: $45
- Cell Phone: $187
- Google Suite: $34
- Internet: $59
- eVoice: $10
- Infusionsoft CRM: $241
- Insurance: $89
- Libsyn: $175
- Linktree: $6
- Oncehub: $162 (annual subscription)
- TaxJar: $19
- Sellozo: $149
- Streamyard: $49
- Taxes & Licenses: $523
- Zoom: $55
- Xero: $51
Total Expenses in March: $120,539
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 2021: $192,847
Biggest Lesson Learned
Is it hard work, luck, or both?
One of my favorite podcasts besides Entrepreneurs On Fire is How I Built This.
The host, Guy Raz, interviews founders of huge corporations and businesses who started from nothing and found success.
One of the final questions Guy asks his guests is something to the effect of: how much of your success do you think was luck, and how much was due to hard work?
I’m always so curious to hear how his interviewees answer this question because it’s one that I’ve thought about a lot when it comes to our own business.
And without fail, I can’t think of an episode I’ve listened to where the answer isn’t something like “50/50”.
From Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Ken Grossman, to Birchbox’s Katia Beauchamp, to Brooklinen’s Vicki and Rich Fulop… They all have a similar answer.
Creating and building a business is hard work – no one will argue that. But it’s not just hard work – there are certainly moments when you’re connected with someone, when you have a conversation with a stranger that changes your trajectory, or when you stumble across an idea out of thin air.
But arguably, all of these things require work. You have to put yourself in the types of situations for those connections, moments, and conversations to happen.
I’ve always felt this quote from Seneca summed it up quite well: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
So what are you doing today to prepare yourself for the opportunity (or opportunities) that could be what changes your trajectory?
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.