Ep. 222: February 2019 Income Report

Welcome to my February 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 much I spend and lessons learned along the way!

Important Things That Happened in February

  • I wrapped up Growth Tools’ Partnership Accelerator Program.
  • I finished the migration from Infusionsoft to ConvertKit.
  • I accepted a couple of small projects…
  • I joined the AccessAlly Advocate Program
  • I changed the 5 Day Website Challenge back from free for 30 days only to always free, bundled in the Website Copy Guide with the upgrade & raised the price.
  • I started going live on my Facebook page every week.
  • I booked a ton of guests on Pep Talks for Side Hustlers
  • I booked a speaking gig at the Thrive Conference for Bloggers
  • I took a girls trip to Colorado
  • I announced the Web Designer Academy Expert Directory
  • I started listening to a podcast called Losing 100 Pounds, recommended by Amy Porterfield, and it’s been a total game changer.

Notes I found to myself in my planner:

  • You are booked out this week, do not accept any more work.
  • You are killing it this week!!!!
  • You are booked out this week and next week. Do not accept any more work.
  • My plan for vacation: let clients know ahead of time, put up an out-of-office, forward support requests to Laura.
  • You are booked out this week.

Review of my goals

Last month, I shared with you my revised income goals, which I’ll recap for you here… But before I do, I want to share with you something that I learned from listening to the Losing 100 Pounds podcast.

The host of that podcast, Corrine Crabtree, talks about how the most important skill to develop when it comes to weight loss is doing what you say you’re going to do.

And that requires two things: creating a plan, and then following that plan.

And what I noticed about myself when I first started listening to her is that I resisted creating a plan for what I would eat and how I would exercise every day.

It’s the same thing I did back in the day when my business coach wanted me to plan out my months, weeks and days.

I wanted freedom, and felt like planning was stifling my freedom. Same thing with food. I didn’t want to “lose my freedom”

But then when I committed to taking my biz coach’s advice and start planning, another interesting thing happened:

The plan I created for myself could only happen in a perfect world, with all the stars aligned.

I could never, ever accomplish my goals every single day.

There’s nothing like never ever being able to reach your goals every single day to make you feel super frustrated all the time and compel you to make decisions that bring you instant relief, whether in business or with food.

So as I look back on what I declared to be my January income goals, I see that I created my perfect, stars must be aligned and I must be all powerful to control the universe around me, unattainable plan.

Which is:

  • Pay myself first – $5,000
  • Increase my revenue from Courses & Done for You projects by $2500/month to cover potential end of contract.
  • Build a cushion in my business savings of $10K ($833/month)
  • $2500 Expenses
  • $1500 Taxes

Because when I look back at the past year of expenses, I’ve rarely capped them at $2500.

Every single month is a little bit different.

Increasing my revenue by $2500 a month ain’t gonna happen overnight.

And that savings cushion I’d like to build, setting aside $833 a month? It’s already the end of March as I write this income report and it hasn’t happened for the past two months.

So from this income report on, instead of creating one, big perfect goal and practicing being frustrated when I don’t hit the target every month, instead, every month I’m going to create a plan for revenue and expenses based on past history and reality.

Yes, it’s important for me to pay myself first. And it’s really important for me to pay my quarterly taxes, and pay all of my expenses and never go into debt.

But it’s also important for me to practice creating a REALISTIC plan and follow that plan instead of creating a PERFECT plan knowing it’s never gonna happen the moment I close my laptop.

So I do have a general revenue goal in the short term of $10,000 a month, and in 12 months I’d like to have that bumped up to $15,000 a month. And I’ll share with you exactly how I plan to accomplish that in future income reports.

What I Focused on in February

I designated February as a List Building Month, and I also focused on completing the Infusionsoft to ConvertKit Migration, and I did LOTS of client work, lots of podcast interviews and lots of pitching.

Total Revenue: $9197.15

Affiliate Income: $1401.70

Courses: $2269.00

Done For You & Consulting: $5,526.45

Total Expenses: $3289.57

Net Profit: $5907.58

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

Biggest Lessons Learned

So when I added up all the numbers for February and saw that I made around $9000, it actually surprised me because February just felt really, really tight cash flow wise. Because if you look at the numbers, revenue minus expenses, paying myself first my standard paycheck amount of $2500 twice a month and then setting aside money for taxes, I’m actually just robbing Peter to pay Paul, as my mom would always say when we were growing up and she would sit at the dining room table to do the bills.

I totally recognize that I’m paying my paychecks to myself for the prior month when the cash comes in the current month. That, my friends, is not sustainable, and trust me, I see what the future holds if I continue on this path.

While I’ve cut some big expenses that weren’t giving me returns, I also totally recognize that I’ve made some investments in my business that take cash out of my pocket in the short term that I expect to get a return on in the future, including two copywriting courses that have been total game-changers for my marketing copy for my paid programs and sales pages and have already given me a return, and the AccessAlly Advocate Program – which is a certification program for Nathalie Lussier’s AccessAlly Membership Site & Online Course plugin, which in my experience is like, hands down the best membership PLATFORM, not just plugin, out there if you’re serious about generating revenue through courses and membership sites. The certification is $1500, and once I complete the certification I’ll be listed in their expert directory as someone certified to build sites with AccessAlly for all her awesome clients that want it done for them – plus I’ve totally got other plans to leverage that certification.

So I had to make a decision in February when I booked another 1:1 Done For You project that I was going to do the job myself and not outsource any of the work so that I could keep the fees and stabilize my cash flow. And for a couple of other small projects that I’d taken on, that I mentioned in last month’s income reports, I decided that I needed to just put in the extra hours to finish up the work myself so I could keep the fees and make ends meet.

So I’m back up to around 60 hours a week at the moment… and if you recall back in episode 199 with millionaire business owner Bernadette Doyle who challenged me to start tracking my time and to figure out how to work 25 hours a week if I really wanted to work less… I’ll just say this – I’m doing what I need to do at the moment to get where I want to be, and I don’t expect this to be a long-term overwork burnout situation like I found myself in last year…. It’ll be interesting to review this income report in a few months to see how this pans out!!

And I expect my cash flow to improve starting in April.

Something that was also weighing on my mind in February was getting my taxes done! I had this really unsettling feeling all year that I wasn’t paying enough in quarterly taxes, being that it was my very first year of self-employment combined with all of the tax code changes that were coming into play.

So I was really eager to get everything together and do my taxes. We’ve always done our own taxes which when I tell people that they find it alarming or crazy, but fun fact – back in my early 20’s, I sold Mary Kay cosmetics. I was terrible at it, but that’s beside the point. We had the opportunity to get extensive training on bookkeeping and taxes, recordkeeping, keeping business and personal finances separate and filling out our schedule C at tax time and what’s deductible and what’s not… I feel like that education on the administrative side of having your own business was super valuable, and even though network marketing and MLMs are not for me, I’m really grateful for having learned that stuff and its really benefitted me now.

So anyway, we did our taxes and I was super relieved to discover that I pretty much hit my quarterly estimates on the nose and I didn’t owe anything more for 2018, and now I’ve got a full year on my own to look at as a benchmark for what I need to set aside in 2019.

We’re also building a house. We bought 4 acres in the country last May, and having our taxes done was crucial to figuring out timing of when we can get a construction loan to start building.

Another thing about being self-employed is that lenders look at the past two years of business income (not revenue, but what I paid myself after taxes and expenses). For my husband, it’s like, oh, just bring us your last two pay stubs. So I’m not sure that my business income from 2017, when my biz was still a side hustle and I had a TON of expenses paying subcontractors to do things I didn’t have time to do because I was working full time – combined with 2018 is enough to get a construction loan/mortgage. So stay tuned to find out if we’re breaking ground in 2019 or if we’re waiting til 2020.

The really exciting thing about February was all the guests that I had the opportunity to interview on this podcast, and those interviews are being released every week on the podcast. I’m talking to so many inspiring entrepreneurs that energize me and keep me excited and engaged and moving forward and have such good advice not just for you guys, but for me too! So that’s been a blast.

And finally, I took some time off to spend a long weekend in a cabin with two of my best friends that I’ve known since I was 8 years old – and if you’re keeping track, that means we’ve been friends for 31 years. And each of us brought some of our friends and the six of us just had an awesome time talking, cooking, laughing, and relaxing.

Work hard play hard, right?

So as I look back a year to how I felt this time in February 2018 vs. now, I think I feel just as determined as ever to continue to grow my business. But it’s different now, one year in. My determination isn’t clouded by fear anymore. It’s backed by confidence. I have a lot of experiences and data from the past year to look at to help me make decisions this year.

But most importantly, I believe in myself just as much as I did back when I started my side hustle. I knew from the moment I started that I would make it my full time job. And I did. Maybe not as fast as I wanted to and maybe not the way I thought it would, but I made it happen.

And I also know that I’m going to get my cash flow under control, get ahead and meet that next goal. And I’m okay with not knowing exactly how or when.

Certainty is a wonderful feeling.

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Hi, I'm Shannon!

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