Juicy Details: Income, Expenses and Am I Going to Sink or Swim? Pt5

| July 1, 2014 | 29 Comments

This is the fifth edition of my income/expense report on my business so far. The first update can be found here, the second, here, the third, here, and the fourth 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 before. 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.

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“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. 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 (June’s Income & Expenses)

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 spent $2,071 of regular spending during the month of June (up from $1,937 during the month prior). On top of the $2,071, I purchased a Canon 60D DSLR camera for $680 in June for my business. On the income side, I had a killer month. I earned $4,655 during June from my business (up from $1,495.71 at last update). Here’s a breakdown of my income from June:

  • Affiliate Income: $455
  • Advertising (Google Adsense): $87
  • Online Course Sales: $0
  • One-time Online Marketing Services: $125
  • Recurring Online Marketing Services: $991
  • CAOC Course Backend Website Packages: $2,997
  • Total: $4,655

Including the camera purchase, I had a net cash flow surplus of $1,914 in June. Excluding the camera purchase (since it was a one-time expense that doesn’t affect my monthly spending), I had a net cash flow surplus of $2,594 for the month. Heck yes!

Deeper Explanation of My Income

Affiliate Income: I had a great month for affiliate income. Several of my blog readers, podcast listeners and clients purchased Bluehost accounts through my affiliate link, which yielded me a very nice commission each time. If you are looking to start a website of any sort (a blog, podcast, e-commerce site, etc.), then you’ll need a web hosting account. I recommend Bluehost as it’s very reasonably priced ($4.95/month) and super easy to use.

If you’re interested in signing up for Bluehost, please consider using my affiliate link at http://www.createmyindependence.com/bluehost. Also, if you’re interested in building an email list, I use and recommend AWeber and have an affiliate link for that as well at http://www.createmyindependence.com/aweber.

Advertising (Google Adsense): Pretty self-explanatory here, but this income is from Google Adsense, Google’s advertising program for publishers. During June, I turned ads on once again on this site and placed them in real aggressive places. I’ve seen decent returns so far, earning $87 in just under 2 weeks. I’m going to leave the test live throughout July to test what it can really do. I expect a July Adsense income of $150-$200, so we’ll see if that happens.

Online Course Sales: During June, I didn’t have any sales of my online course, Create My Independence with Blogging. If you’re interested in taking action and starting your online platform by creating a blog, check out the replay of my recent webinar.

One-time Online Marketing Services: This income was earned for helping a client implement some new email opt-in forms on her site. I specialize in creating new and redesigned WordPress websites using StudioPress themes (my favorites), in building course backend websites using WordPress and Wishlist Member, and in setting up opt-in forms/pages, video series landing pages and sales pages. If you’d like help with any of those, please get in touch with me.

Recurring Online Marketing Services: This is the meat and potatoes of the income from my business, my friends. I worked with a set of great clients during June to provide a specific result in their internet marketing strategy.

As I’ve mentioned before both here and on my podcast, these ongoing online marketing service partnerships are my big priority for me. My goal for the remainder of 2014 is to build a client portfolio of 10 small businesses that are paying me an average of $1,000 per quarter ($333/month) to help them with their internet marketing/strategy/execution, including website design and development, membership site construction/management and video creation, etc.

I say 10 clients, because it’s a goal I can achieve this year and it’s enough to build the cash inflow to support myself and more, while still allowing me the flexibility and freedom I want.

Contact me if you’re interested. I only have a few spots remaining and once the 10 fill up, I won’t be taking any more clients.

CAOC Course Backend Website Packages

You may be thinking, “Kraig, how the heck did you increase your income from $1,500 to almost $5,000 from May to June”? Well, I saved the best for last. Here’s the story:

Last year, I purchased an online course called Create Awesome Online Courses. I went through the program and spent two months building my first online course (which I mentioned above). Throughout the process, I learned an incredible amount about the technical aspects of it. After my course launched, I quickly realized that people were intrigued by what I had done technically.

Soon, I had people paying me money to create course websites for them. As a Create Awesome Online Courses (CAOC) student, I had access to a thriving facebook group of entrepreneurs who were building their own courses. It didn’t take long to see incredible potential to help that group of people with the technical aspects of building their courses.

After some conversations with CAOC creator, David Siteman Garland, we formed a partnership offering for CAOC students. We worked behind the scenes over the past few months to create the offering and work out all the details. It finally launched last week, when David sent out a series of emails to his CAOC customer list, offering two packages of services where I would build their course backend website for them, in exchange for a set fee.

This generated $2,997 of income for me in June. I’m still in discussions with several other prospects and I will likely make more from this in July. If this is successful (which it is proving to be), David and I plan to re-offer these packages to CAOC students again (we closed it this time) in the future at a much higher price point.

All in all, so far this has been HUGELY SUCCESSFUL for both of us. I’m SUPER EXCITED to be able to share it with you all!

A Look at the First Half of 2014 in Total

Today is July 1, 2014 and we’re officially halfway through the year, which makes this a great time to do a quick evaluation of where I’m at for the year to date.

Total Income So Far This Year: $9,514

Income: On the income side of things, I’ve earned a total of $9,514 so far in 2014 (which puts me on pace for a total income of $19,028 in 2014).  This translates into an average of $1,586 per month. Here’s the breakdown of my income so far this year:

  • Google Adsense – $162.50
  • Affiliate Income – $915
  • CAOC Course Backend Website Packages – $2,997
  • Dividend Income – $85.25
  • Online Course Sales: $1,176
  • Recurring Services: $2,440
  • One-time services: $1,238
  • Quickbase consulting: $500

Total Personal Spending So Far This Year: $13,239.32

From the looks of this, it’s clear to see that I’ve loosened up quite a bit in regards to my personal spending. It seems that since I’m now much happier in my day to day life, I am less concerned about saving every penny possible. Why is this, you may ask? I think it’s because I’m starting to see my business bring in income, which assures me that I’m going to be just fine. If I’m going to be just fine, then I can loosen up a bit.

My personal expenses for the first six months of 2014 were: $13,239.32 (on pace for a total of $26,478.64 this year).

Total Business Spending So Far This Year: $1,939.44

So far this year, I’ve purchased several domains, several premium WordPress themes, a Vimeo account, a Leadpages account, a DSLR camera, a ticket to the 2014 Financial Blogger Conference (which will be in New Orleans in September), several premium stock photos for various projects, a DBA registration for Mathias Media and many other products and services. In total, I’ve spent just under $2,000 on my business so far this year.

My business expenses for the first six months of 2014 were: $1,939.44 (on pace for a total of $3,878.88 this year).

Overall Status After One Year of Self Employment

It’s officially been one year since I quit my job. Looking at the first six months of 2014, I can reasonably expect that I’ll have an income of at least $19,028 this year (perhaps much more if my income continues this upward swing). On the spending side, there’s a good chance that I’ll break the $30,000 mark, which could translate into a net cash flow deficit for the year of $10,000 or so.

At this pace, I’ve got approximately 7.5 years left before I burn through all of my cash on hand. Given that I’ve created an independent income of almost $20,000 out of thin air throughout this past year, I believe I’m on track to break-even and become profitable within the next year.

Things are looking up, my friends. Things are looking very up.

Is This Good… Or Bad?

WOW, WHAT A MONTH! I made close to 5 grand! That’s the equivalent of what I made at my 9-5, except for the job part.

For all of you downers out there, yes, I’m still down for the year. But, for all you uppers out there, I CRUSHED my expenses this month and see TONS of potential in the coming months/years to build this into a really profitable business.

In June, I brought in 169% of my expenses, just 11 months after going out on my own! That’s up from 75% one month ago. Do you see the trend here? Income is going up, expenses are leveling out at the $1,900-$2,000 mark (including business expenses) and the years of runway is expanding. How awesome will that day be when I consistently bring in far above what I spend each month in INDEPENDENT INCOME?!!

All in all, I’m excited about the possibilities ahead. Am I scared? Hell yes, I’m scared. But, I have years of runway 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.

Make sure you don’t miss any future updates on how my business is coming and jump on my email list now (you’ll also get my Free Cheat Sheet instantly just for signing up).

Category: Learning New Things

Comments (29)

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  1. A slam dunk month Kraig! That course income is just what you needed to vault into the black. Well played sir.

    Keep the momentum going. Your Adsense revenue is impressive. You are baby stepping to catch Jason at DM.

    Thanks for the update!

    • Hi Wade,

      Thanks, my friend. My first month in the black since last July. I’m loving it! I really appreciate the support.

      I definitely plan to keep this momentum going. The Adsense revenue is interesting. This particular placement has outperformed anything I had done in the past, so it will be fun to see how it does in a full month.

      I think I’ll have a hard time catching Jason as from the sounds of it, he gets about ten times the traffic that I do. He kills it with his blog.

      Talk to you soon,

  2. Kraig,

    Awesome, man! If I was there in person I’d give you a high five. :)

    That’s just great work right there. I hope the website packages income continues and grows from here. And I see you put some ads back up and you’re now generating fairly passive income from that. Good news on all fronts, bud.

    Keep up the great work!

    Best regards.

    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks, man. How about a virtual high five? :)

      I certainly hope this kind of income keeps going as well. This particular offer was incredibly successful, which gives me a lot of encouragement for the future.

      Yes, I did put some ads back up in a fairly aggressive way. It has been a success so far, but we’ll see if it keeps up. I do like the fact that it’s a diversified source of income and that it’s mostly passive. Obviously, the downside is that all of my readers have to put up with them. I guess I haven’t had any complaints yet.

      Can’t wait to hear about your month as it sounds like you knocked it out of the park as well.

      Talk to you soon!

  3. Michelle says:

    Good job on the income increase! And good job on sharing your income and expenses. I share my income on my blog, and it’s still scary each time I do it. Congrats on one year since your quit date as well.

  4. Chris says:

    Congrats Kraig! So good to hear you are turning the corner on the risks and efforts you have been making! The transparently makes it especially fun to watch! I look forward to learning more!

    Chris

    • Hi Chris,

      Great to hear from you, my friend. Yes, it does feel a bit like the turn of a corner, going from severe cash loss each month to moderate loss, to just a bit of loss to now a surplus for the first month in a year. It’s quite exciting, as I’ve said in almost every other comment.

      Glad that I’m able to share the journey with you and definitely happy that you find it inspiring and fun to watch.

      Have a great 4th weekend!

  5. Congrats Kraig on such an amazing month! I’ve been quietly following your progress for a while and just wanted to say way to go and keep up the good work. It seems like things are starting to snowball. Keep writing interesting and educational stuff and I’m sure you’ll do well.

    • Thomas,

      Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I’m thankful to have you as a reader, even if you don’t speak up very often.

      Yes, “snowballing” is exactly what is seeming to happen here. I’m definitely excited about it and it continues to give me the motivation to keep pushing along.

      Thanks again and have a great holiday weekend!

  6. Jay says:

    Sounds great. As long as you are continuing to learn and grow, you’ll do fine. Plus the business seems to be moving along in a positive direction!

    • Jay,

      I appreciate the support and thanks for stopping by. I too believe that continuing to learn and grow is the winning path to be on in life. The business does seem to be moving forward, surprisingly, every single month. It’s incredibly exciting.

      Glad you stopped by!

  7. Bex says:

    Congrats, Kraig! Nice home run on the partnership – I hope that it continues to be a successful partnership venture for you.

    • Bex,

      Thanks. It is a pretty big deal and I’m not taking it lightly. Now to just follow through and make happy customers out of all of them is key. If I can do that, I believe it will lead to more opportunities down the road.

      Talk to you soon!

  8. Big bucks Kraig! Sticking with it is half the battle. Random things and opportunities always come up!

  9. Ashley says:

    HECK YES!!!! Best update ever :)

  10. Well done, Kraig. I really hope the income sustains and improves with time. I wouldn’t bet against you.

    • DBF,

      Thanks man. It seems as though it may retract a bit but remain solid. I’m already on track for a SOLID July and will definitely keep you posted.

      I hope all is well with you as well and that you’re having a great summer.

      Talk soon,

  11. Cadie says:

    Well I’d say you have a lot to be proud of, Kraig! Your tenacity, spirit of service to others, and positive attitude are paying off big time! I’m so glad to be a part of your journey and witness the success you’re achieving by following your dreams. Way to go, buddy!

    • Cadie,

      Long time no talk (it feels like anyway). Thanks for the kind words. They are much appreciated. It’s been a great time getting to know you over the past year. I hope that I’ve been of some help to you and your budding future.

      Looking forward to catching up tomorrow!

  12. Wow! That course partnership certainly paid off, and hopefully it will continue to be a reoccurring income source!

    Well done Kraig for spotting that opportunity and taking full advantage of it, great entrepreneurship!

    • ERG,

      Yes, this partnership has been a big hit so far. It all stems back to deciding to start doing things. Things like creating my blog,my podcast and my online course. In the process, I’ve learned some really marketable skills, which allowed all these opportunities to come my way. None of them would have happened if I hadn’t gotten out there and started to take action.

      Thanks for your support and I’ll talk to you soon!

  13. LaTisha says:

    That’s awesome! I’m so glad to see that you are continuing to build that income. Congrats on the partnership as well and filling a need.

    I look forward to seeing you at Fincon!

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