Freelance Income Report: November, 2015

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November’s freelance income report is hot off the press!

Remember last month when I started off by saying that I veer on the side of working too much?

Yeah…

Nothing’s changed.

On one hand, it’s paying off. On the other, I worry I’m burning the candle at both ends.

There’s just always so much to do! #SuccessfulFreelancerProblems?

One silver lining is that we just booked a month’s stay down south for part of this winter (at a SUPER reasonable price I might add). I’m hoping that I’ll get my work addiction in check by then and learn how to relax. Anyone want to take bets?

Now, onto the freelance income report…

A Little Freelance Income Report Backstory

I keep a profit-and-loss statement for each month, as well as a rolling total for the year. I enter in income as it is received (rather than as it is billed) and do the same for expenses.

2015

HH Nov Income Chart Nov 2015

2014

I started looking into freelancing in April, 2014. I launched this site in May and secured my first client in June, 2014.

My total income was $16,512 – $3,782 expenses = $12,730 total profit for 2014. During this time, I also worked full-time at my day job.

Additional Deductions

Taxes: 25% of net income

I continue to transfer 25% of my net monthly profit into a separate savings account for taxes. Horkey HandBook was established as an S-corp in May and we recently began payroll practices. (Guess we’re legit, huh?)

Tithing: 10% of net income

I split my tithe to our church and this missionary family in Costa Rica. Both are extremely important to me.

The latter makes a direct impact into the community, as they have established a daycare to take care of children, so their parents don’t have to bring them with to pick coffee beans, which surprisingly can be very dangerous!

November’s Results

Gross Income: $18,516

A 36% increase month-over-month.

Business Expenses: $5,207

You have to spend money to make money, right? (Actually no, you can totally bootstrap, which I’ve practiced my entire freelance career. I.e. I’ve reinvested profits from my business back into it to help it grow.)

Net Income: $13,309

(After expenses, but before tithe/tax.) This is a 99% increase month-over-month. Crazy, right?

Income Breakdown

Obviously, this was another pretty good income month for me. I’m happy that my focused efforts continue to pay off.

Nothing changed much on the services side of my business in November. In December, I’ll have one less writing client and will start doing some writing for my other VA client (so I’ll be writing for both of my VA clients). In a way it’s a wash, but it’s actually going to be less work for more money (really a win/win then, huh?).

Clearly, the products side of my business is growing the most. In November, I officially launched 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success and the corresponding MatchMaking Service to the public.

The matchmaking service is my new baby! Continuing to add value to my two courses and growing the service are going to be my main focuses of 2016. I’m excited to double down and see what can be accomplished.

I also hosted a Black Friday – Cyber Monday special. And my affiliates absolutely killed it this month with the VA course launch and Black Friday special (thanks guys!).

And my own affiliate earnings continue to grow. I have some plans to make this a bigger piece of the pie going forward, but most importantly, help people in the process. After all, I only promote things I use and believe in (and don’t foresee that changing anytime soon!).

Here’s what my income breakdown looked like for November, 2015:

  • Writing: 15%
  • Virtual Assistance Work: 22%
  • Course Sales: 53%
  • Coaching: 7%
  • Other: (Affiliate, MM Svc, etc.): 3%
  • Consulting (former office): 0% (This officially ended in May of this year.)

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Expense Breakdown

November was another relatively expensive month.

I kind of feel like this is going to keep holding true if my income continues to grow. And that’s the goal, so…

What’d I spend it all on?

  • Tools (Subscriptions, Books, Training): 5%
  • Advice (Coaching, Marketing): 42%
  • Support (VA, Writing, Website): 22%
  • Affiliate Payouts: 20%
  • Fees (PayPal/Stripe): 9%
  • Miscellaneous (travel, etc.): 2%

Goals from November

  1. Sell 100 coursesDone. I sold 164!
  2. Get a “Start a Blog” page upFail. It’s in the process though!
  3. Take on Rebel Marketerz’ first client. Fail. But we did send off our first official proposal yesterday!
  4. Launch my VA/small business owner matchmaking servicePass. And I’ve enrolled the first two clients!

You may have noticed that I’ve tweaked my income reports a little. I want them to be more streamlined and actionable going forward (i.e. cut the fluff!).

Since this whole income accountability thing has panned out, I thought it made sense to get more specific about the goals that I put out too.

Goals for December/Year-end

  1. $120k+ in total gross revenue ($16,360 to go in December). I have no real basis for this goal, rather than wanting to hit a nice round number and end the year strong. 
  2. 2,500 newsletter subscribers (~150 to go in December). Again, kind of like the above rationale.
  3. $10,000 in personal savings ($2,500 to go in December). We had depleted our savings to finish paying off our second mortgage a couple of months ago, so this is the bare minimum needed for cash reserves.

And Remember…

If you’re currently hustling to build a freelance business, we’re in this together. I’d love to support you, if you’re willing to do the same.

Leave a comment letting me know we’re in the trenches together or a place that I can go to support you. Fan my FB page, connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Google+ to stay in touch! We’ve got this!

Question for you: Do my income reports still encourage you? Or am I less relatable the more my income grows? Chime in in the comments!

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55 thoughts on “Freelance Income Report: November, 2015”

  1. Hi Gina,

    Your income reports are EXTREMELY inspiring to me! I started doing my own private income reports, and I’m working my way up to get to where you are on a monthly basis. Still, it’s inspiring to see another freelancer killing it every month. Love the reports, so keep ’em coming!

  2. I think it is even more inspiring now to see how your hard work has paid off and how your income has grown since you started. It’s also refreshing that you talk about how much you actually work to make these numbers a reality – you’re not just sitting around watching the money roll in. It’s a good reminder for the rest of us just starting out that there will be sacrifices and we may even end up working more than when we had day jobs (but hopefully enjoy it much more and end up making more $$ in the long run :)). Please keep up the income reports!

  3. So helpful Gina! I am a widowed mom and have the goal of making writing my full time job. 2016 is my year, I believe it! I find your reports inspiring as to what is possible. You are honest and transparent about the hard work necessary. Please continue to share… Thanks! XO

  4. I’m impressed and inspired by your reports and maybe a little intimidated, perplexed, spooked by the accounting and book keeping side of what you do. I can learn though. I have a goal to become a full time, prosperous freelancer, so that I can move me and my baby to the coast to be with family. I feel like Gina gives me the tools to make it happen!

    Follow me on Twitter, Gina! @dammitbethann

    • Thanks Liz! Great question – I “try” to keep my hours to 8am-5pm, with an hour for lunch, but I’ve been launching a bunch of projects lately, which creeps into the early morning sometimes. I usually only check email on weekends though and try to cut-off at 5. Sometimes we travel and that eats into my workday on the other side. And I’ve started going to the gym, which makes me end my day earlier sometimes too. So the short answer is roughly 40 hours per week? 🙂

      • That’s great news! 40 hours/week is do-able and reasonable. Now I’m even more inspired. 🙂
        And adding the gym in is so important…yet I struggle with it! It’s hard to prioritize “healthy me” time between family and freelance, but I have to do it. Thanks for sharing your experience, Gina. I appreciate it.

  5. Hi Gina,

    Your reports are 100% encouraging! It’s inspiring to see your progress and to know that there’s a sustainable career to be had as a freelancer. I hope you continue to do them. 🙂

  6. Gina you have always been a great inspiration for me. Your income reports demonstrate to me the great earning potential as a freelance writer. Keep sharing. Please! ! 🙂

  7. Please, please, PLEASE keep sharing your income reports! It is so encouraging to see others on this journey doing so well! It’s fun cheering for you each month… would love to see you break $20,000 soon. This keeps me motivated to keep working hard too (but at a much slower pace than you have). Keep it up!

    • Thanks girl – I REALLY appreciate your support. We’re all running our own “race,” right? $20k in one month has felt rather luminous and impossible until now. It just sounds like so much money!

  8. You are VERY inspiring; please don’t stop them! These let us know that it’s real and can actually be done. I’m still very interested in your course(s); just wasn’t sure if I could balance it with school (getting my MA), but I have been continuing to write while in school. Please let me know your thoughts. You’re a go getter, girl! I’m just hoping some of that will rub off on me (and I know I’m not alone!) 🙂

    • I think it depends on you – how much “extra” time you have and how motivated you are to succeed. If you can take on something else with everything else you’re juggling, I say go for it. Often we perform best under pressure and with tight timelines. It just means you’ll have to be uber focused and only spend time on activities that generates results, you know? Keep up the hustle Kelli!

  9. Please keep posting. It gives me encouragement that someday I can make money at this freelance thing and thank you for being transparent about the work that is required.

  10. You’re an unstoppable machine, Gina. But be careful with those potential burnouts!

    I love how detailed your reports are, because they a) help in holding you accountable and b) you set realistic expectations, teaching everyone how hard work leads to huge rewards.

    Keep it up! (after a little break) 🙂

    Take care
    Elvis

    • Thanks Elvis! I have recently started going to the gym and using a trainer. So I have appointments with him (thus myself) to stay healthy. Good move to make sure I do it. 😉

  11. Keep them coming! You work too hard to not let others know what is possible– and you are your best demonstration of the quality product you are selling! I can’t speak highly enough of the material and your commitment to your “students”!

  12. Keep ’em coming, Gina! I realize it can be scary or feel potentially alienating, but I find the monthly income reports VERY motivating and encouraging. They really help me believe that I too can create a thriving freelance business. THANK YOU!!

  13. Firstly, thank you Gina for your willingness to share your income reports and the progression of your business with us readers.

    Your income reports are totally inspiring! In fact, the more your income grows, the more it proves to other freelancers, entrepreneurs (and definitely the naysayers) that earning a good living as a writer IS possible. That’s huge!

    It helps other freelancers have the confidence and the positive reinforcement to keep on keeping on (me especially!) ☺

  14. Gina, I just recently discovered you in the last month or so, but YES — your reports are HUGELY inspiring to me! I’m sitting here with my jaw on the floor. Please do keep sharing them! I bought both courses and am making plans and getting started, so this is quite motivating!

  15. Gina, please keep sharing these reports! It’s impressive, and encouraging. I’m really struggling, and when I see your reports, it gives me hope because I can tangibly see someone succeeding. I need to see real results like this! I also like feeling connected to another writer who reminds me of myself. I live in Tennessee, but I’m from your part of the country (next door to you in Wisconsin), so I think of you as one of “my people” whenever I see your emails!

  16. Wow, Gina!

    Between the time we first ‘met’ almost a year ago when I signed up for your 30DOL Freelance Writing course, your growth and progress and achievements have sky rocketed! I’m sure back then, you could never have imagined that your 2015 Gross Income YTD graph would look anything like it does now!

    You are an inspiration to so many others, and here too, more than you could ever have imagined a year ago.

    Keep it going. We all appreciate you being in this space and adding so much value!

    Allan

  17. GINA!!!! It’s like we know you and wish for your success. We look forward to knowing your goals and watching you hit and exceed them!!! I feel so overwhelmed with my life and wanting/needing to start blogging and freelancing. Knowing you have so much on your plate too is actually a good thing. It makes me believe normal people, everyday folks with the quirks and full plates can work on it too and reach it. I’m still looking forward to joining your freelancing course in the next 2 months. Things to settle first. I thank you for sharing. And knowing someone doesn’t compromise their beliefs or their family or their faith and can still be successful!!

  18. Please keep sharing the income reports. They inspire me to kick my own self in the butt and to know what is really possible with some hard work and focus. How did you promote the courses to go over your goal? Maybe in a future blog post you could share the details? Would love to know and learn from your experience.

    • Thanks Serena! I would attribute the course sales success to three things:
      1. The VA course launch did better than expected (I didn’t really know how it would go over)
      2. My affiliates provided a lot of sales (almost half of my total sales)
      3. I did a Black Friday deal (which was promoted by affiliates as well)

      I just hit the 1 year mark of 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success, so I plan to do a recap post and share my learnings soon!

  19. This is so inspiring. This is my first full month starting as a freelance writer and I know I have a long way to go before I can make this kind of money and have this type of success but this is definitley motivational.

    • Thanks Nia! It’s a journey, but keep focused on the next right step. If you keep plugging away, you’ll look back and realize you’ve gotten much further than you would’ve thought! You’ve got this 🙂

  20. Hey Gina! I love reading others income reports, they are always inspiring to me. As a member of your 30 Days to VA group, I’m extremely glad that adding more value to the course is a goal of yours for 2016. 😉 This course has been amazing and I cannot wait to see what 2016 brings to the both of us! Keep up the good work!

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