Ep. 279: February 2020 Income Report

raise prices

Welcome to my February 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, hi, I’m Shannon 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.

In 2018 my side hustle replaced my 6-figure day job income and I quit my day job, and by then I’d also starting teaching entrepreneurs how to market themselves online without ads and zero social media presence. I also started teaching 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.

Important things that happened in February:

  • I did zero live promotions in February.
  • I fulfilled my end of some collaborations I landed using the 111 Method I teach inside my Website Marketing Lab.
  • I started rewriting the curriculum for my Web Designer Academy for the 2020 update.
  • I interviewed Elle Drouin, Chris Guillebeau + Nat Sisson on the podcast.
  • I made lots of time for catching up with friends + family.
  • I’ve continued with my weight loss journey, losing 5 more pounds in February.

February 2020 Numbers

My minimum baseline revenue that I need to live on and run the business is $10,000 month. I pay myself two paychecks of $3000 each, pay around $2,000 a month in expenses and set the remaining $2,000 aside for taxes.

And my big goal is to consistently bring in $15,000 a month exclusively from affiliate revenue and courses – which I hit for the very first time in January of 2020. You can learn all about that in episode 275.

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

Total Revenue: $7355.97

  • Affiliate Income: $1463.30
  • Courses: $5892.67
  • Done For You & Consulting: $0

Total Expenses: $2116.76

Out of the ordinary expenses:

  • $385 for tax preparation
  • Extra annual renewals for plugins, etc. (it’s time for a review/cancellation spree!)

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

Net Profit: $5239.21

I’d planned no live promotions to my list or with anyone else for in February, so I knew my revenue would be lower this month because it’s coming exclusively from payment plans from prior sales of my trainings, affiliate income, and any new sales that would come through my evergreen funnels for my Website Marketing Lab + Web Designer Academy.

One of the reasons that I chose not to promote anything in February is because unless you live under a rock, you know that February is when powerhouse online business expert Marie Forleo opens up enrollment for her B-School program and every online entrepreneur under the sun spends the entire month promoting it nonstop.

Plus I’d just finished my 5 Day Freebie Challenge in January, and I was coming off of that live promotion, and dealing with the weird mindset issues I had about making more money in my business than ever before.

I also went on a book binge. I read/listened to 6 books on money mindset + success in February, listed in order of how transformational they were for me:

  • The Middle Finger Project by Ash Ambirge
  • Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
  • Business Boutique by Christy Wright
  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  • Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

I also talked to my mastermind group about the weird guilt I felt for making money, and they reminded me that I give massive amounts of value away for free, and that I’m allowed to make as much money as I want, and that people aren’t paying me by accident or by force. They are grown adults who are capable of making their own decisions.

And it was just so cool to hear from so many of you after publishing my January income report in episode 275 with all of your kind words and support.

I’m fully committed to sharing the full picture of my business behind the scenes and instead of worrying about what you’ll think of me… I’ll just let you decide, okay?

So what did I do in February if I wasn’t doing a launch?

The same thing I do every single month! Here’s a breakdown of what my typical month looks like:

Week 1

The first week of every month is when I do everything I need to do for my podcast. So in February, we’re producing and schedule March’s episodes, which were recorded back in November.

I start off by pulling together my financials to write my income report, then I write my income report. By the first week of the month my amazing VA Laura has already created a rough draft of show notes for me for the 3 interviews we publish each month, so I go through those, write my personalized intro, edit the bullet points and quotes, come up with a title, format everything + link up all the links and get it nice and pretty to hand back to her to schedule for publishing on my website.

Then I use those show notes to record my intros and outros, I record my income report and I edit and produce my each episode and save the finished files to a folder for Laura to publish.

Then I create an email template for my guests to send out to their list promoting our episode, and create Instagram graphics for them to share.

I then write IG captions for 2 posts per episode, a headshot and a quote, and schedule those in Planoly. And then I write the weekly emails that I send out to my email list with the latest podcast episode, pulling out a theme and touching on what I think my subscribers would find most valuable about the episode and get those scheduled in ConvertKit.

Laura sends out all the info to each guest to promote their show and does all the other social media scheduling and promo for the show.

I personally spend about 3 full days on the podcast every month.

Every week I also do 2 Live Q&A sessions per week for paid students inside my Website Marketing Lab and Web Designer Academy on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and every day, sometime between 3PM and 5PM I go into each of my Facebook Groups starting with my paid groups and ending with my Free 5 Day Website Challenge group and reply to posts.

And every Monday, I spend about an hour doing what I call the “111 Method” that I teach to students in my Website Marketing Lab which is how we market ourselves and get traffic. I make sure to that first thing every Monday so that it’s done and I don’t get distracted and find myself on Friday having not done any marketing for the week.

And every Friday, I try to get to Inbox Zero so I have a clean slate for the weekend and a fresh start on Monday. Sometimes that’s every two weeks, but I’m pretty consistent about keeping a neat inbox.

Week 2

The second week of every month is usually when I do projects.

So in addition to the 2 Live Q&As and daily Facebook interaction, my 111 Method on Monday and Inbox Zero on Friday, if I’m doing a webinar for someone else’s community or creating a training for them, I’ll schedule the work behind that for week 2.

For example, Kendrick Shope from Authentic Selling University, formerly Sales School, invited me to do a bonus training for her ASU students, so in February I spent week 2 writing and recording that training for her.

I also started working on revamping my own curriculum for my Web Designer Academy.

Week 3

Week 3 is pretty much a repeat of Week 2, except this is the week where I tend to schedule live trainings for other people’s audiences, being on other people’s podcasts, and just my own personal appointments, whether it’s lunch with friends or doctor’s appointments, or getting my hair done, whatever.

This month I did just that – lunches and happy hours with friends, my first mammogram which came back clear, an annual physical with a new doctor, a massage with my sister.

And of course that’s in addition to the 2 Live Q&As and daily Facebook interaction, my 111 Method on Monday and Inbox Zero on Friday.

Week 4

And surprise, Week 4 2 Live Q&As and daily Facebook interaction, my 111 Method on Monday and Inbox Zero on Friday – but it’s also the week that I record interviews for this podcast. So I only do interviews once a month, the last week of the month, Tuesday Wednesday Thursday. It makes for pretty busy days because every afternoon is jam-packed with back to back calls.

This week I got to talk to Lauren McManus from Create and Go, Natalie Sisson, formerly known as the Suitcase Entrepreneur and creator of Launch Your Damn Course, New York Times Bestselling Author Chris Guillebeau and Elle Drouin from Styled Stock Society – you’ll hear all of those episodes over the next few months, they were so, so good!

I don’t schedule any meetings on Mondays or Fridays, those are MY days, and I also don’t schedule meetings or appointments in the business. I start work between 7 and 8AM, I take a break to walk my dog and have lunch and shower mid-day, and then I end my day between 5 and 6pm.

It probably sounds pretty boring, but to me, it’s total freedom. I love what I do, I get to decide what I do and when I do it, I’m not driving to an office putting out fires all day and exhausted at the end of the day, and I get to virtually meet and talk to amazing people every week.

And because my schedule is so dialed in, it’s really easy for me to plan to take time off and make sure everything’s covered and not have to worry about anything while I’m off the grid. That was NOT the case in the early days of business!!

So that’s what a typical week and “month in the life” looks like for me.

Hours Worked:

Well, I’m a slacker. I didn’t track. I’m gonna guess between 40 and 45 hours a week again. I’m cool with that, it fits my lifestyle, and as long as my mind is in the right place about it and I like my reasons for how much I’m working, I’m good. It’s when I start overworking from a bad place or from avoiding things in my personal life that it becomes a problem. So even though I don’t have exact numbers for you again this month, I’m keeping it on this income report as something to keep looking at and tracking, however loosely I’m tracking it!

Biggest Lessons Learned:

Finally, I wanted to update you guys on my weight loss journey. One of the reasons I wanted to become my own boss is that I blamed the stress and time commitment of my day job for why I couldn’t lose weight. I figured if I just worked for myself, I’d have time to eat healthy and work out.

I now know that’s ridiculous, because if that’s the case when I was 10 I would have blamed the huge time commitment of 5th grade, and when I was 15 it would have been my heavy marching band schedule, and by 17 it was school, band and that pesky part time job, and by 20, college and a full time job, and by 22, just a full time job, and then when I did finally quit my day job I gained 15 more pounds!!!

So anyway, it was in my power the whole time, I just had to learn how to think different, which thanks to Corrine Crabtree’s podcast, Losing 100 Pounds and her membership program, I’ve consistently been losing weight, over 30 pounds now, without crazy diets and weird crap like I always tried and failed to do in the past.

I’d noticed in January that I’d gained and lost the same couple of pounds, so I made a list of all the things I could change from what I was currently doing to start consistently losing again, and layered in just a couple of those things and lost about 5 pounds in February.

And just like my business, some weeks I don’t meet my goal, I analyze my data, look at my actions, see what I need to tweak to get the results I want, work on my mindset, make changes and keep moving forward consistently. I have 18 more pounds to go to get to my goal weight. I don’t care how long it takes, I’m in it for the long haul.

I’ve never seen this number on the scale before, just like I never saw that much money in my bank account last month. You just have to keep testing and changing and being patient, and not quitting on yourself.

If you struggle with losing weight, I cannot recommend this podcast to you enough. It’s calling Losing 100 Pounds by Corinne Crabtree.

So that’s it for my February Income Report.

So if you have any questions for me at all, head over to www.shannonmattern.com/279 and leave me a comment on this income report and I’ll answer you there!

And if you need a website but have no idea how to get started, go to http://www.free5daywebsitechallenge.com and sign up for the 5 Day Website Challenge and learn how to create a website for your side hustle.

And if already have a website and you want to learn how to get traffic to it, go to www.jumpstartyourwebsitetraffic.com and sign up for a free training all about marketing yourself and getting traffic.