Welcome to my January 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!
January 2018 Month in Review
January 2, 2018 was my very first day of self-employment and I had spent three months planning a huge live, online party to celebrate.
#SideHustleGoneSerious was a 2-hour live broadcast on Facebook Live which including dream guests like Nathalie Lussier and Rebecca Tracey of the Uncaged Life (um, pinch me, did that really happen?) Bree Pair of Thrive Creative Events and my business coach, Vicki Fitch, who pushed me to hold the event, helped me plan it and emcee’d the whole thing.
The livestream generated 5,700 views 97 shares and hundreds of likes (are you kidding me right now?), and it was an amazing way to kick off the new year and my new business!!
Then, on January 2, when all my former coworkers were heading back into the office, I treated myself to a massage.
And two days later, I did something that I never would have been able to do the first week of January had I still been an employee – I jumped on an airplane and took a 5-day trip to visit my best friend in Colorado.
I spent the month taking full advantage of my newfound freedom.
Working from bed. Meeting my husband for lunch on a random Monday (we had never gone to lunch together in our 15 years together, you guys, even when we worked together). Staying in pajamas all day… you know, basically pretending to be a teenager again.
Important Things That Happened in January
I opened enrollment for my Web Designer Academy again in January as a live launch with a closed cart. Live launches take a lot of resources and time, and after my experience in January, I’ve decided to test out making it an evergreen program starting in April of 2018.
I also launched my Serious Side Hustlers Membership Program in January, which took all of the content I had previously had inside of the BFF Academy for $199 and made it more accessible to beginners at just $29/month.
I tested launching the program with a 7-day free trial for live viewers on my WordPress Tips, Tricks and Hacks webinar and promoted it again on my Make Plus webinar – and the replays of those webinars were added as modules inside of Serious Side Hustlers.
I did have a few cancellations within the 7 days, but the majority of people who took advantage of the free trial remained members (hi guys!! you rock!!).
I started sending out short tutorials weekly on Saturday mornings to keep people engaged and moving forward without feeling overwhelmed, something I really felt was lacking in the BFF Academy.
I also had several Done For You projects that I was determined to wrap up in January.
Review of My Goals
My number one goal in January was to have $10,000 in revenue because my rough breakdown to replace my paycheck, cover business expenses and pay taxes is:
- $5000 – Income to cover my old monthly paycheck.
- $2500 – Expenses
- $2500 – Taxes
I also set the goal to add 333 email subscribers, launch my new subscription-model for access to my courses, launch the Web Designer Academy and write two guest posts – one for the Thrive and the other for Nathalie Lussier (didn't happen).
What I Focused on in January
As I was trying on my newfound freedom in my first month of self-employment, I also felt the pressure of actually hitting my income goals for the first time since I started my business- because this month, no paycheck was going to magically appear in my bank account on January 15.
You can learn more about my weird money issues in this blog post, The Lies I Tell Myself About Money and on this Facebook Live with Michelle Bobrow of the Holistic Wallet.
And unlike the past 3 years where I could be a little looser with spending in my business because I was reinvesting much of what I made back into it, now I felt a lot of pressure to pay myself first using the Profit First model (great book – check it out here), which I wasn’t used to doing.
Sure, I had put money away to help me weather the ups and downs, but I just feel like I have something to prove, that I can hit these numbers on a monthly basis and our personal bank account won’t see any difference in the amount being deposited into it twice a month (now by me instead of my employer).
So, my focus on January was purely on making money. Obsessively. To the point where if I continued on like that, it would be detrimental to the foundation of my business. To the point where my husband is telling me to chill out.
Historically, any time I have focused on just the numbers and not the why behind the numbers or the people I’m helping, my rate of growth slows down because I’m not doing what I need to do to reach new people and nurture the relationships I currently have.
So here’s what it looked like in January.
Total Income: $10,016.93
- Passive Income Total: $3600.55
- Time for Money Total : $6416.38
- Done For You Projects – $3916.38
- Consulting – $2500
Total Expenses: $2486.96
Net Profit: $7529.97
Biggest Lesson Learned
I’m writing this income report in early April, so I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my first three months in business which I outlined for you here in this blog post, The Truth About My First Three Months of Self Employment.
With my Done For You web design projects, I discovered is that I hadn’t been giving my clients enough time to pull together what they need to on their end.
So reflecting on that, I restructured my Done For You Process to build in more time to help my clients create their content and build in more checkpoints and deadlines to keep projects moving forward.
Now that I feel like I have a better process for these projects, I’ll be marketing them more.
Ultimately, my goal is to have more revenue on the passive income side than the trading my time for money side, but my last few Done For You Projects went so smoothly with this new process that I’m going to continue focus on growing a team to help with those projects.
And this change is resulting in a new module in theWeb Designer Academy where I teach web designers how to get clients and effectively manage projects.
Reflecting just on what I’ve outlined here in January, looking at these numbers, the biggest takeaway I’m seeing is that I’ve got lots of different opportunities to increase my revenue on the passive income side.
I’m moving away from the traditional launch model where I have an open and closed cart to a model where anyone can join any of my programs at any time.
It’s a model that feels better to me in many ways – more authentic to me, and also it’s not a huge time-suck like I’ve found the traditional launch process to be.
I’ve created affordable payment plans which not only helps my community of beginners get access to the content, it also creates steady, recurring revenue for me. It’s a win-win in my opinion.
What I haven’t been doing as well is promoting all of these opportunities because I’ve been so hyper-focused on bringing in that $10,000 that I’m not looking at the long-term growth of my business.
Not anymore, BFFs! Not anymore. You’re going to see lots of cool stuff coming in the next few months to fuel the growth of the passive income side of my business – because that’s what’s scalable!
So, what questions do you have for me about this income report and how I run my business?
Leave them in the comments below!