Welcome to my April Income Report! Each month I publish an income report to take you behind the scenes of my side hustle and reveal exactly how much money I make, how much I spend and lessons learned along the way!
If you want to build a website and learn how to make money online, check out this blog post on how to get started!
Important Things That Happened in April
- I had 9 active, concurrent client projects occurring in April.
- We had our first camping trip of the year. I drove the camper home for the first time since we bought it 6 years ago and did a pretty good job – I didn’t take out any mailboxes, hit any curbs, and kept up speed on the freeway.
- Annual Income taxes for 2017 are due here in the US, plus quarterly estimated taxes for 2018.
- GDPR started to creep closer, and my community started to ask me how to technically implement GDPR on my website.
- I worked 80-hour workweeks, and I worked every single weekend.
- I began publishing these income reports, starting with January 2018.
- I hosted 3 webinars to promote Serious Side Hustlers, Websites That Make Money, and the Web Designer Academy, resulting in one awesome student joining the Web Designer Academy.
- I tried to go live in each of my Facebook groups once a week.
- I started using my written planner instead of making super long to-do lists in my notebook, but I was still not blocking my time.
- I began napping in the afternoons from sheer exhaustion.
Notes I wrote in my planner:
“EXHAUSTED” written across April 17 & 18.
“Do the things that will bring in $$$ first.”
“Do the things that will grow my list first.”
“Every task is at least one hour.”
Review of My Goals
Again, my goal each month has been to generate $10,000 in revenue because my rough breakdown to replace my paycheck, cover business expenses and pay taxes is:
- $5000 – Income to cover my paycheck
- $2500 – Expenses
- $2500 – Taxes
What I Focused on in April
My entire focus in April was client work. Keeping all the projects moving forward and trying not to drop any balls. That being said, here’s how much money I made in April 2018:
Total Income: $9016.71
- Passive Income Total: $4772.71
- Time for Money Total: $4244.00
Total Expenses: $3905.29
Net Profit: $5111.42
Biggest Lessons Learned
I met my goal, but at a great emotional and physical cost.
Nine projects is way too many to manage at one time.
I did have one awesome person helping me, but it was still too much for both of us.
I began to feel very overwhelmed at the thought of taking on even one more client, and fearful of what would happen if the few proposals out there actually booked…it might send me over the edge. That energy definitely leaked out into my interactions on client consultations that I did in April.
I spent most of the first camping trip of the year working on writing blog posts and producing Pep Talks for Side Hustlers, and creating a content calendar for the quarter, not relaxing or just chilling out like I used to do.
While it felt freeing to be able to nap whenever I wanted, it should have never gotten to the point where I needed to nap.
My written planner in April looks a hot mess. It’s chaos. It reflects someone who is barely hanging on. I was eating like, a quesadilla a day, drinking too much on the weekends, and gaining weight.
I took on GDPR full force. I spent at least 25 hours researching and writing an epic blog post on it for my community and planning my re-engagement campaign.
Feeling the way I felt in April is not why I left my day job. It felt very much like having no freedom, no flexibility and no independence.
What am I creating? Is this what I want? Is this worth it?
I started discussing with my business coach that I was struggling with managing all the client projects.
I shared that while I felt that the new Done For You Method I had created resulted in projects that were on track, my prices aren’t high enough for it to be worth it to me to feel this way, and they weren’t high enough for me to be able to bring someone on to help me.
And people knew I was totally frazzled, but I would brush them off.
I would say things like, “I’m at this weird place in my business where I have too many clients but I can’t afford help, so I can’t complain. It’s a good problem to have.”
No, Shannon. It’s not a good problem to have. It’s a problem that’s grinding you into the ground and you have to do something about it.
My mindset at that point was again to wrap up these client projects and simply not take on any more. I couldn’t fathom in my brain how to make it worth it.
I thought about raising my prices since I do so much more than just web design for my clients, but the bully in my head got to me. “No one’s going to pay you that much for a website…” she said.
I thought about bringing on a project manager, but my expense budget was already totally out of hand. So I tabled that idea.
I wanted to shift my efforts into growing the passive income side of my business so that I wouldn’t need to work 80 hours a week and feel stressed and exhausted.
I had a frank discussion with my business coach about it, and she told me that in order to do that, I needed to prepare for a significant drop in income because right now, these projects are my bread and butter.
I should have moved more swiftly to cut back expenses so that I could start that shift, but I wasn’t mentally ready to face it, as you’ll see in my May income report.
So yes, I had a totally profitable month. I’m grateful that I netted over $5,000… but working 80 hours a week? That’s $15.62 an hour. I don’t want to work 80 hours a week, and my time and expertise is worth way more.
So, you’ll see how I’ll start to dig my way out in the coming months!