This is the second edition of my income/expense report on my business so far. The first update can be found here. Up until last June, I worked for a small internet marketing agency. I’d been a part of their team since graduating from college six years ago. I did quite well there, learning an incredible amount about life, business and leadership. I was happy as can be for most of that time, but life has a way of giving signs when it’s time to move on and continue to grow and prosper. It was clear that my future opportunities for growth and making the biggest difference I could in the world were outside of that role. So, I did what I had to do. I told my boss the news and set forth to make my mark on the world.
“But, Kraig”, everyone said, “How will you make a living?” That question has been a tough one to answer, but I remain confident that things will work themselves out. I have this sense deep down that says, “as long as I make good decisions and do what’s good for me and for others, I’ll be just fine”. That voice has been right so far and I have no worries of that changing in the future. Ever since I started improving myself with the goals of making myself a better person and making this world a better place by helping and caring about others, things have gotten better and better for me. It’s funny how that works out.
For those of you waiting for an update on what I’m doing and where I’m at, today is your lucky day.
What I’m Doing
I’m working hard. I’m learning all I can about how other entrepreneurs have made it. I’m writing and connecting with others as much as possible. I’m trying all kinds of new things.
I’m surrounding myself with inspiring people. Some of the people I know in real life inspire and lift me up on a daily basis, but many of the positive people in my life are out here on the internet. I take in podcasts and blogs daily where other strong willed entrepreneurs lift me up to feel like I can really make a difference in this world. They say that you are the average of the five people you hang around with the most. I’m choosing to hang around with people who lift me up. At the same time, I want to lift others up so that they want to hang around with me (get in touch with me and I’ll do my best to lift you up!).
I’m trying to enjoy this time. Even though this time is incredibly stressful and I doubt myself constantly, I make it a point to take full advantage of the freedom I have today. I do this by getting outdoors as much as possible (which isn’t possible too often here in the Minnesota winter). I also do this by spending as much time with close friends and family as possible. Doing these things have greatly increased my quality of life and attitude throughout all of this.
I’m keeping in mind that the worst case isn’t that bad. Will things pan out or will I burn through all my savings just to start right back from nothing? My answer to that is this: I may burn through a lot of my savings, but life has forward momentum and I’ll have the lessons I learned and relationships I built no matter what, so I’ll never start back from nothing.
Where I’m At
I’m usually not a fan of sharing income and expenses. Perhaps, I just don’t have the guts to have everything criticized. Today, however, I’ve decided to share it. I know many of you are curious as to what the numbers look like, so here they are:
I’ve spent an average of $1,950 per month (up from $1,800/month at last update) during the past four months since my last update, at the end of September, 2013. On the income side, I’ve earned an average of $547 per month (up from $430/month at last update) over the same period. Here’s the income breakdown:
- Investment Dividends: $67/month
- Affiliate Income: $157/month
- Online Course Sales: $223/month
- Blog/Website Consulting: $100/month
- Total: $547/month
That leaves a net cash flow deficit of $1,403 per month, which translates into $16,836 per year. At this rate, I have approximately three and a half years left before I burn through all of my cash held in savings and checking accounts (Note: I sold 70% of my index fund shares at year end at the height of the stock market to convert more to cash). Burning through all that cash can be done without touching my year and a half or so worth of living expenses that are still tucked away in Vanguard index funds. I hope to not have to touch most of the cash I have on hand and instead raise my income up above the $2,000 per month level within the next year to eighteen months. I plan to do this by creating more of my own products and services (like the online course I created recently) and making them available here on this site and on site’s of affiliate partners.
Deeper Explanation of My Income
Investment Dividends: My income from investments, the $67 per month, is the dividends I receive for doing absolutely nothing but being part owner in every single publicly traded stock in the U.S. stock market. This is great income because it takes no work and it comes in no matter what. It is down significantly from last fall due to the fact that I sold off about 70% of my shares at the end of last year when the market was at an all time high, yielding me a long-term capital gains profit of over $11,000 (which I likely won’t have to pay federal income taxes on due to my modest income in 2013).
Affiliate Income: The affiliate sales are from helping a few of you start your very own blog (thank you very much for supporting me), something I didn’t know you wanted help from me on until last fall, but glad to have been of service. As my community here grows, I’m so thankful that you value what I do enough to want to support me. If you’re interested in starting a blog of your own, check out my free video series on the topic, which also gets you an invitation to join my new blogging course, Create My Independence with Blogging.
Online Course Sales: During the course’s VIP launch, I sold several copies, yielding just under $1,000 in revenue. I plan to continue to drive sales of my course going forward through a series on webinars on the topic of starting and running your own blog and the benefits of doing so (see my free video series for more).
Blog/Website Consulting: Through the various relationships I’ve developed throughout the past two years, I’ve been able to score some consulting projects here and there. More recently, these projects have been more and more focused around the technical skills I’ve developed from growing my blog and building my own online course. I was recently hired to help a fellow entrepreneur build the back-end website for his own online course because he liked mine so much. In the future, I’d like to pick up a few more of these projects so if you’d like help building your blog or website, or custom designing it, let me know. I can also help you create a membership/course website along with set up an email opt-in/auto-responder strategy to grow your email list. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s connect.
Is This Good… Or Bad?
For all of you downers out there, yes, I’m losing money, every single month (although due to cashing out at the market high, I’m only slightly down in total net worth from where I started from last summer). But, for all you uppers out there, I’m bringing in 28% of my expenses just 6 months after going out on my own! That’s up from 24% four months ago, after completely shutting down all advertising on my website AND having higher expenses to boot.
All in all, I’m excited about the possibilities ahead. Am I scared? Hell yes, I’m scared. But, I have years before I’ll need to tap any more investments at the pace I’m going. That’s years where I can build relationships, create value, learn, try things, fail, try things again, fail again, and hopefully try things once more and catch some success.
All I’m looking for is that little bit of success among all kinds of good failure (the kind I learn from) to get to where I want to be. It’s going to be incredibly tough and the emotions will continue to run wild, both positive and negative, but I remain confident that I’m on the right path.
Category: Learning New Things