May 2021 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for May: $222,618
Total Expenses for May: $101,092
Total Net Profit for May: $121,526
Difference b/t May & Apr: +$3,486
% of net profit to overall gross revenue: 55%
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 May Tax Tip: Fire Nation Q&A’s!
Another month, another batch of Fire Nation tax and accounting questions to answer; let’s get to it!
First, Ben asked: “What three questions you should ask yourself if you think you are ready to fire yourself as an accountant and bookkeeper?”
Well Ben, let me make it even more simple for you, there’s really only one question you need to ask: do I own a business?
If the answer is yes, it’s time to fire yourself and hire a tax professional.
The bookkeeping can be a little more tricky, but definitely the sooner you move those tasks to a professional the better. Not only does it take time away from doing things that actually make you money, but you are also very likely doing things wrong.
The longer you wait to hire a professional, the more it will cost to clean up what’s already been done.
So the quick answer on when to hire these tasks out is: ASAP!
Next, Vanessa said: “I was denied an SBA loan because my tax return showed a loss and I’m wondering if I should be taking less deductions in order to get approved?”
This is actually a question we see come up a lot with business owners.
Here’s the thing: the expenses you take on your tax return should be true expenses in your business. So the profit shown on your tax return should closely reflect your true profit.
If your tax return is showing a loss in your business, then you are either taking a significant amount of expenses you probably shouldn’t be, or your business isn’t profitable.
If it’s the prior, obviously you need to clean up your return and take only expenses you are entitled to.
But if it’s the latter, you may need to take a hard look at your business. Why is it losing money, or making very little money? The problem isn’t the tax return in that case, it is the business.
Either way, under no circumstances would I recommend taking less deductions than you are entitled to in order to qualify for a loan.
Finally, Maurisa asked: “How can I get around the embarrassment of talking to an accountant if I’m behind on my taxes – and how can I find an accountant willing to help instead of shame me?”
Fortunately, Maurisa, this is a simple answer. Reach out to any tax professional you are interested in working with, and if they even attempt to shame you for falling behind, give them a few choice words and find an actual professional!
There’s no room for shaming people.
Taxes are a difficult and tricky subject.
Many people fall behind, or have things done wrong, but a true professional will be willing to work with you where you are at and educate you instead of shaming you.
If they do the opposite that’s their problem, not yours!
And as always, the true answer to nearly every tax and accounting question is “speak to a professional”! If you have a question for a future income report let us know, we are always looking for good ones to answer.
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 May Legal Tip: Content Based on Pre-Existing Content
People often have questions about creating work based on pre-existing content. Is it “legal” to do so? What are the rules and boundaries? What happens if I make a mistake?
A recent post in Podcasters’ Paradise asked if it was “legal” for the podcaster to start a podcast that is 100% based on someone else’s podcast.
For example, what if someone started a podcast about Entrepreneurs On Fire — “reviewing” guests and commenting on the conversations and topics?
Or what if you want to create a podcast based on a pre-existing TV series (like Game of Thrones), or a movie?
This is a complex area of law and we can’t address all of the ins and outs in this Income Report. But I can try to provide some guidance and highlight potential points of concern.
Most of these questions fall under copyright law, but there are trademark issues as well.
What falls under Copyright law
On the copyright side, it’s typically OK to use or reference pre-existing content for the purpose of reviews, commentary, or criticism. But you should only use as much as is necessary to accomplish those goals.
For example, think of book, movie, or music review that you would read in a newspaper or magazine. Those reviews reference the original works, sometimes including quotes or descriptions of scenes. That’s been going on for hundreds of years, and within reasonable boundaries, it’s perfectly legal and acceptable.
So if you want to create a podcast that reviews or comments on Entrepreneurs on Fire, that’s fine. However, you should be careful about using actual clips from the original podcast. Likewise with clips (video or audio) from movies or music. That’s where you might get into trouble.
The last thing you want is a nasty letter from John and Kate’s lawyer (me). :)
As an aside, you’ve probably heard somewhere that it’s OK to use a certain number of seconds of a song or a certain number of words from a book. I’m here to tell you that is not true. Anyone who tells you that is misinformed about copyright law. There is no specific rule in copyright law that allows you to use a certain amount or percentage of anything. Each of these issues has to be considered on a case by case basis.
There is a concept called “fair use” that comes into play here. In certain circumstances, the law allows you to use part or even all of a pre-existing work without permission.
However, you need to know that fair use is extremely complex and nuanced, and the law is constantly evolving, so don’t just assume that your use is “fair use” and therefore you’re not going to run into problems.
What falls under Trademark law
Now that we’ve looked at the copyright issues, it’s time to consider trademarks.
A trademark is anything that identifies you as the source of your products or services, such as a business name, brand name, logo, or tagline.
So the question is, if I make a podcast about the TV series Game of Thrones, can I use that title?
As with copyright fair use, the law does permit you to refer to an existing TV series, movie, show, book series, and so on by using the title, but only to the extent necessary. And you should not imply, or allow listeners to assume, that your podcast is related to, sponsored, or endorsed by the original.
So it’s usually best to avoid using the name of the original work in the title of your show. Come up with a clever title that alludes to the original without actually using the name. So instead of The Game of Thrones Review Podcast, how about The Iron Throne Zone? (I just came up with that, feel free to use it though!)
That said, in your podcast it’s fine to refer to the name of the show, character names, and such. Otherwise it would be nearly impossible to comment about, review, or criticize a TV show.
In summary — be careful when you’re relying on pre-existing works when creating your content. It’s doable, but there are rules and you want to learn them before you run into problems.
If you have more questions about copyright, trademark, and fair use, feel free to contact me.
What Went Down In May
The HubSpot Podcast Network Launches
We’re very excited to announce that Entrepreneurs On Fire is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network!
The HubSpot Podcast Network officially launched May 11, 2021 with a slate of six podcasts all geared towards business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business!
Essentially, they’re bringing together the best audio content for their followers and audience, making it easy for them to learn and grow.
The six podcasts include:
- Entrepreneurs On Fire
- My First Million
- Being Boss
- Salesman Podcast
- Business Infrastructure
- MarTech Podcast
Each of these podcasts brings expertise on marketing, sales, service, or operational guidance to those who need it most: business owners who are driven and motivated to grow and scale!
HubSpot reached out to us earlier this year with an offer we couldn’t pass up: join the HubSpot Podcast Network, give HubSpot 50% of our sponsorship inventory, and help spread the word about HubSpot’s CRM.
Listen, learn, and grow with the HubSpot Podcast Network!
Don’t worry! We’ll definitely keep you in the loop on what joining the HubSpot Podcast Network does for our business. We’re confident there will be many win/win/win scenarios as a result!
Several months ago John was reading a book he simply couldn’t put down.
This wasn’t super out of the ordinary; John is a constant learner.
He talked about the book so much and so often that I figured, “I better read this book, too!”
John will talk about the book in just a second – so you can check it out if you want to, too – but what resulted from him reading this book wasn’t just a ton of learning… It also resulted in a trip cross-country for John to visit a health center called True North.
I’ll let John take it from here…
When I turned 40 last year I knew I was entering a stage in my life where my health was either going to begin a slow downward trend – or I was going to double down and become the healthiest I have ever been.
I chose the latter.
A theme that kept coming up in the interviews I was listening to about the benefits of fasting, and more specifically a water-only fast for more than 5 days.
I was particularly drawn to a guest on multiple shows, Dr. Alan Goldhamer.
You can check out his interview on Impact Theory right here.
Dr. Goldhamer has been running a water-only fasting clinic in Santa Rosa, California since 1984, and to-date he has helped over 20,000 patients improve their health and wellness.
I read his book, The Pleasure Trap, and immediately became sold on fasting, plant-based eating, and an SOS free diet (no salt, oils, sugar).
I have been a healthy – but slightly overweight – 175 lbs for a couple decades, and no matter what diet I’ve tried, I haven’t been able to ‘reset’ my weight to the 160’s (where I think it should be).
After all of my learning and studying, I decided a long water fast was worth the insane amount of benefits, and I committed to giving it a go.
Here are just a few of the benefits of water fasting:
- Weight loss,
- Fat loss,
- Telemere lengthening,
- Human growth hormone and testosterone production,
- Decrease in whole body inflammation,
- Release of water retention, and
- SO much more.
I booked a 17-day stay from May 8th to the 25th at Dr. Goldhamer’s clinic, and I committed to a 10-day water only fast with a 7 day structured re-feeding, plant based, SOS free period.
It was a fantastic experience.
Was it challenging?
But the clinic is staffed by the most wonderful people, there are 70 other ‘attendees’, which provided awesome accountability. Once you’re there, you just DO IT!
They have 3 classes a day so you can further educate yourself on a variety of health topics, and I particularly enjoyed these.
I did a daily video and will have a full recap video documenting my journey ready at some point, but the short stats are as follows.
- Starting weight: 173.4
- Ending weight: 152.2
- Starting body fat %: 19.6
- Ending body fat %: 15
There were days I was there where I felt great, and days I did not.
Lightheadedness was common, and while I detoxed I had a very sore and inflamed throat area, which was quite unpleasant. This started on day 6 and lasted throughout my re-feeding.
Interestingly enough, on day 4 I lost my hunger, and from then on I never experience hunger for the remainder of my fast despite the fact that I was surrounded by food the entire time (there are attendees re-feeding and a full buffet of SOS free plant-based food available for breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Honestly, I look 10-years younger, and I feel great.
I will absolutely be doing a 7-day+ water fast every six months for the rest of my life.
Product/Service Income: $206,630
TOTAL Journal sales: 16 Journal Trios (Bonus) + 256 Total Journals Sold = 304 Journals: $7,701
The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
- Total: $2,764 (97 Freedom Journals sold)
The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
- Total: $1,577 (43 Mastery Journals sold)
The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days!
- Total: $3,360 (116 Podcast Journals sold)
The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom & Fulfillment
- Total: $3,450 (translation advance)
Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!
- Recurring: $12,052 (120 recurring)
- New members: $7,526 (24 new members)
- Total: $19,578
Real Revenue: Turn your BIG IDEA into Real Revenue
- Total: $300
Podcast Sponsorships: $175,476
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: $15,988
*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: $9,947
- Audible: $0
- Bluehost: $165
- Click Funnels: $9,032
- Coaching referrals: $750 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
Courses for Entrepreneurs: $2,986
Resources for Podcasters: $882
- Podcasting Press: $114
- Splasheo: $74
- Libsyn: $595 (Use promo code FIRE for the rest of this month & next free!)
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $99
Other Resources: $2,173
- Amazon Associates: $162
- Other: $2,011
Total Gross Income in May: $222,618
Business Expenses: $99,072
- Advertising: $264
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $553
- Accounting: $749
- Cost of goods sold (Journals): $1,476
- Cost of goods sold (final bulk buy fulfillment payment): $71,065
- Consulting: $0
- Fulfillment: $7,682
- Design & Branding: $206
- Dues & Subscriptions: $0
- Education: $197
- Legal & Professional: $225
- Meals & Entertainment: $523
- Merchant / bank fees: $777
- Amazon fees: $2,706
- PayPal fees: $134
- Shopify: $54
- Office expenses: $2,863
- Community Refunds: $2,427
- Promotional: $0
- Travel: $1,288
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $5,800
- Website Fees: $83
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,020
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
- Boomerang: $50 (team package)
- Authorize.net: $70
- Bonjoro: $45
- Cell Phone: $197
- Google Suite: $34
- Internet: $40
- eVoice: $10
- Infusionsoft CRM: $241
- Insurance: $89
- Libsyn: $103
- Linktree: $6
- TaxJar: $49
- Sellozo: $149
- Streamyard: $49
- Taxes & Licenses: $523
- Zoom: $205
- Xero: $60
Total Expenses in May: $101,092
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 May 2021: $121,526
Biggest Lesson Learned
Creating Good Habits Isn’t Always Easy
Creating good habits isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try – or that it can’t work.
And it doesn’t always have to be perfect every single day to still make an impact.
Creating good habits is understanding what’s most important to you – the non negotiables in your life – and then finding ways to work those things into your daily lifestyle.
I’ve found that once you’re able to build your non negotiables into your lifestyle, you don’t even have to think about it; you just do it.
Of course, building things into your lifestyle takes time, and it’s not going to be flawless from the very start. You weren’t born walking, and you didn’t get a hole-in-one the first time you picked up a golf club.
When thinking about the good habits you want to create, try doing it in tandem with your goals.
For example, if one of your goals to eat better, or become more active, or quit your day job, then think about a good habit that – once incorporated into your daily lifestyle – would help you accomplish that goal.
Eating better. Start by making it habit to eat a salad – or some type of raw food meal – at least one time per day.
Becoming more active. Make it a habit to do some type of workout or walk every single morning, first thing when you wake up.
Quit your day job. Make it a habit to spend 30 minutes per day researching how you will replace your income.
And back to it not having to be perfect every single day… if you don’t get a raw food meal in one day, or you didn’t get your workout in, or you find yourself at 10pm ready to go to bed but haven’t invested your 30 minutes of research yet… don’t give up.
Just because you missed a day doesn’t mean you can’t pick it back up tomorrow.
But when you do miss a day, commit to understanding why you missed it, and let that help inform how you move forward. 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.