Ep. 288: April 2020 Income Report

Get instant access to our free WordPress training for online businesses

Welcome to my April 2020 Income Report!

Every month I publish an income report to take you behind the scenes of my online business and reveal exactly how much money I make, how I make it, how much I spend and lessons learned along the way.

To give you a really quick background if you’re new to the show:

  • I started by business doing freelance web design back in 2015 as a side hustle, burnt myself out on that, created a free training that teaches entrepreneurs how to DIY their websites and I make money from that through affiliate commissions. It’s called the Free 5 Day Website Challenge and you can get your hands on it at http://www.free5daywebsitechallenge.com.
  • In 2018 my side hustle replaced my 6-figure day job income and I quit my day job, and by then I’d also started teaching entrepreneurs how to market themselves online without ads and zero social media presence. If you want to learn more about how to do that, I have a free training for you called How to Market Yourself Online which you can get at http://howtomarketyourselfonline.com
  • I also started teaching web designers how to market themselves, get clients that don’t drive you crazy, and how to price + run projects in a way that actually makes them money. And I have a free training for you on that if you’re a web designer which you can find at http://startafreelancewebdesignbiz.com

April 2020 Numbers

My minimum baseline revenue goal is $10,000 month. I pay myself two paychecks of $3000 each (which was about what I was making when I quit my day job 2 years ago), budget around $2,000 a month for business expenses and set the remaining $2,000 aside for taxes.

I stopped doing 1:1 web design work back in September, which at the time was about 50% of my monthly revenue to focus exclusively on growing my affiliate revenue and courses. It was a scary decision at the time, but it gave me more time to do the marketing I needed to do to enroll more students in my courses.

My big goal is to consistently generate $15,000 a month exclusively from assets that I’ve already created – affiliate revenue from my Free 5 Day Website Challenge + collaborations with people I’ve created relationships with, enrolling new students in my Website Marketing Lab + Web Designer Academy courses, plus revenue from payment plans from current students in those courses.

$15,000 would get me close to covering my husband's paycheck + benefits so that if something happens to his job with the pandemic (he manages office space… and no one's working in offices for the forseeable future so…) we'd

I’ve so far hit that $15,000 goal once, in January of 2020, so I know it’s totally possible and I know what I need to do to repeat that… which I’ll talk about a little later.

So with that frame of reference, here are my numbers for April 2020:

Total Revenue: $10,236.15

  • Affiliate Income: $3386.48
  • Courses: $6849.67
  • Done For You & Consulting: $0

Total Investments: $2955.71

  • Includes an unbudgeted $1000 for a high-end coaching program, and $100 donation for a local mastermind I was invited to join in April

Get the full breakdown of income, expenses and net profit month by month here.

Net Profit: $7280.44

On the surface, April was business as usual for me.

I made more money in April than in February or March, but I didn’t do any dedicated marketing for my courses, like a launch or flash sale.

The strategies I’ve learned in my new coaching program started working immediately as soon as I implemented them, so I’ve got revenue coming in without having to spend time doing promotions – which frees me up to build new relationships and get in front of new people who want to learn to DIY and figure out how to get traffic and market themselves and actually get clients and make money.

I met so many new entrepreneurs in April, kicked off new collaborations, interviewed some amazing people on my podcast and got to be a guest on several other podcasts.

I was also invited to join a local mastermind group here in Columbus, Ohio which had been on my list of goals for 2020 to meet some local entrepreneurs.

April was business as usual, because business as usual was a decision I’d made when the pandemic started.

I decided I wasn’t going to change anything, cancel anything, pull back on my plans or expenses. I was going to keep moving forward and let whatever’s gonna happen happen.

I truly believe that what we think about creates our results, and I felt like if I sat around thinking losing everything and let fear and uncertainty dictate my decisions, that I would create what I was most afraid of… losing my business. It's self-fulfilling prophecy – and I wanted to created a different outcome.

So I decided in April to operate from a place of confidence and certainty in MYSELF.

Which is why behind the scenes, I was working on a HUGE project: my business mindset.

So like I mentioned in my March Income Report, I joined a new coaching program and completely restructured how I made offers for both of my programs, the Website Marketing Lab and the Web Designer Academy.

So that was a lot of time on the backend building new sales pages and order forms, writing email sequences, setting things up and testing them – which of course I totally nerd out on… and then the pandemic hit, and my Enneagram 3 kicked into high gear and I went into full-on workaholic mode – which is what I do when I’m stressed or scared or don’t want to think about anything.

All that overworking takes a physical toll… and it’s only when my eyes get physically sore and strained and dry that I’m like “Oh, maybe I’m working too much.

But what I used to do is chastise myself, like “I shouldn’t be working this much, it’s not good for me, I need to put some boundaries in place and start saying no to things…

And honestly, that just made me feel worse and more stressed out.

Now, I’ve figured out that the overworking isn’t the problem I need to solve.

Overworking is a SYMPTOM of the problem I need to solve.

And that’s why I’ve never had much success with just telling myself to stop working so much.

This time, I noticed my eyes getting sore and thought… “I’m overworking again, I should probably figure out what that’s all about.

So at the beginning of April every morning for a few hours, by myself, I took time to dive in and oncover what was really going on and what was really driving me to overwork.

All that time, research + reflection led to a huge transformation in my money mindset.

Now, I could sit here and say that the pandemic caused me to freak out about money, but that would be a big fat lie because if you’ve read any of my income reports in the past 2.5 years, you would know that I’ve always freaked out about money.

The pandemic just blew the lid off of what was always boiling under the surface.

  • In January I had my biggest month ever and felt guilty about making all that money.
  • In February I started reading a bunch of books to help me uplevel my mindset around my self-worth, which definitely helped.
  • In March, I joined a high-end coaching program that felt like a big, scary investment just before the pandemic hit – but it was exactly what I needed at the time because I got to hear how multiple-six figure and millionaire business owners THINK (especially during times of crisis), and I could see how different it was than how I was thinking.

And in April, I got tired of worrying about money.

Like, tired of hearing myself worry about it and obsess over it.

And I know it's because of how I grew up: divorced parents, my mom working to support 3 girls, my mom always “robbing Peter to pay Paul” as she'd say, and telling us “No, we can't afford it.

And then I got a job the day I turned 16, started making my own money that I used to buy a car and clothes and go to college and all the things I wanted whenever I wanted.

And something got hard-wired into my brain that MONEY = INDEPENDENCE and NO MONEY = DEPENDENCE – and my whole life from the day I turned 16 has been driven by the desire for independence ( and the fear of losing my independence).

And I’ve heard people talk about scarcity mindset and abundance mindset, but I never really understood it in a way that made sense to my analytical brain.

It always seemed a little woo-woo to me. (And no offense to those of you listening that are into the woo – in fact, I’m always in awe of your ability to simply KNOW and have FAITH).

Money mantras like “Money loves coming to me,” and “I’m open to receiving abundantly,” and stuff like that always just seemed really cheesy to me.

But in April, I FINALLY figured out how what I thought about money was keeping me stuck in fear and in turn, overworking to compensate for the fear.

And I cleared 4 mental hurdles that were keeping me really stuck, stressed and overworking.

The transformation all started with Denise Duffield Thomas’s book, Chillpreneur.

If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

It helped me uncover a sneaky little thought about money that seemed true – but was keeping me totally stuck:

  • I work so I can make money.

Now, you might be thinking… “Um, Shannon, how is that not true? That’s how the world works, right?

Well, that’s how it worked when I was an employee, trading my time for dollars.

But that’s not how it works when you’re an entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur, people give me money in exchange for my ideas + knowledge – because they want to use those ideas + knowledge to transform their life.

And I don’t “make” the money, I receive it in exchange for something I already created.

Two very different things.

Making requires action and effort, receiving just requires having the ability to accept.

So if I believe that I only make money when I work, and I’m worried about not having enough money (and losing my independence), then obviously I’m going to overwork myself.

But if I believe that I receive money for my intellectual property, something that I took some time to package up in a way that many people can buy from me any time they want without me having to be there, well, then I don’t have to work so much, do I? I already did the work.

I cleared my first mental hurdle:

  • I receive money for my intellectual property (not for work)

But there was still some dissonance happening under the surface…

I was doing a workshop in my No BS Weight Loss coaching program with Corrine Crabtree all about how to create certainty in the next 30 days, and one of the exercises was to write down all of the things that you’re scared of and why – and what came up for was “I’ll stop making money.

And why I answered WHY? What came up was “I knew this was too good to be true, my stuff’s not that good, people don’t actually get results, I’m a fraud, I can’t really help people, I’m not as good as this person in my coaching program, blah blah blah.

So I had an opportunity to get on a coaching call with Corinne, and I told her all of this and she goes, “So, you think you’re responsible for your student’s results?”

And I was like… “Umm….?”

And she went on to explain to me that I cannot control someone else’s results. All I can do is create the opportunity for them to create their own results. The rest is up to them.

That I acutally don't have that much power, so I don't need to put that much pressure on myself.

It was such a relief to have that realization I about started crying right there in the middle of the coaching call.

And then she told me that it is up to me to create a “luscious” opportunity for them to create their own results, and she asked me if I believe that what I’ve created is to that standard.

And I started thinking about all the wins that the Website Marketing Lab + Web Designer Academy students post in our Facebook Groups, and all the emails I get from people telling me what they've been able to accomplish from what they've learned from my trainings.

And the truth is: when people choose to take action on what I’ve taught them, they blow their own minds. I’ve seen it over and over again.

So I told Corrine YES, I have created a “luscious” circumstance for the people that take me up on it, and I decided in that moment that I would never believe my courses weren’t good enough ever again.

So I've cleared two mental hurdles now:

  • I receive money for my intellectual property (not for work)
  • I believe that intellectual property valuable (and that it is impossible to control what others do or do not do with the information + tools I give them).

But how much? How much is it worth?

Well, my ideas changed my life.

They took me from zero dollars on the day I decided to start my business 5 years ago, to bringing in over $430,000 in the past 5 years.

And here’s where I really saw a huge difference between how I used to think about pricing and how the multiple-six and seven figure business owners inside my coaching program think about pricing:

  • I priced based on the belief that there’s only so much that people will pay and if I make my prices too high they won’t buy.
  • They price based on the belief that transformation is only possible when a strong commitment is made, and their prices are high enough to create that commitment.

Wait, what?!

My thought has always been about the sale itself, their thought was about transformation that happens because of the sale.

Fascinating.

It totally transformed how I think about how I price my offers.

My third mental hurdle has been cleared:

  • I receive money for my intellectual property (not for work)
  • I believe that intellectual property valuable (and that it is impossible to control what others do or do not do with the information + tools I give them).
  • I know what I need to charge for people to commit to their own transformation.

There was just one more little thing I needed to clean up:

  • Why do I think I don’t have enough money anyway?
  • Why do I always want to make more money?
  • Why am I obsessed with holding on to the money I have?
  • Why am I so scared that all of my money will disappear?

And that takes us full circle back to this whole scarcity/abundance conversation.

In my quest to find new ways to think about money to get some relief from my thoughts so that I would stop working so much to escape them, I found this book called the Soul of Money by Lynne Twist.

It talks about how there’s another step on the path from scarcity to abundance: SUFFICIENCY.

Sufficiency is letting go of trying to have more that you need and trusting that you have the inner resources to survive and thrive – no matter what happens.

Which I’ve already proven to myself in creating this business out of nothing five years ago that I have the inner resources.

Sufficiency is believing that what I have now will flow out to serve my highest purpose, I don’t need to accumulate money, and that more is on the way, and in knowing that I can free up my mental energy to collaborate + contribute.

The concept of sufficiency is money flowing in and out, and knowing that I can create more as needed, and being willing to let go of what I have to help me have a greater impact.

Which was the 4th mental hurdle that I needed to clear:

  • I receive money for my intellectual property (not for work)
  • I believe that intellectual property valuable (and that it is impossible to control what others do or do not do with the information + tools I give them).
  • I know what I need to charge for people to commit to their own transformation.
  • I'm willing to invest in the tools and education I need for myself to have a bigger impact because there's always more on the way.

So that, in a nutshell, is the work I did on myself in April.

To stop thinking that work creates money and start thinking that I receive money from my ideas, that my ideas are valuable, and that their value is not in what I think other people can afford, but what I think the transformation they can get when they take action on them is worth to them, and to believe that I have enough, more is on the way, and that I have the power within me to create what I need whenever I need it.

And I say “in a nutshell” because what I just shared with you in this podcast only scratched the surface of my money mindset transformation.

I have pages and pages of my journal filled with old thoughts about money, new thoughts about money, how innocent thoughts about money actually prevent me from getting to the next level, quotes from tons of books, notes from podcasts I listened to about money mindset, and on and on.

It's funny, I used to think that being an employee was financial security and that being an entrepreneur was financial uncertainty.

And now I know the opposite is true – and I’m determined to stop holding myself back from getting in front of as many people as possible out of fear and step up and have a greater impact – because I know what is possible for anyone who wants the transformation and I want to help anyone who wants it make it happen.

So if you want some help with your business and money mindset…

Then I want to invite you to go to www.businessmindsetmakeover.com and enter your email address, and I’m gonna send you information about something I've got in the works to help you uplevel your business mindset so that you can have the freedom, flexibility and financial independence that comes with being an entrepreneur.