It’s nice to know that March’s income report wasn’t a one hit wonder!
I saw similar income results this past month, but with one very significant difference. I worked my tail off in April (not that I don’t normally) with the migration and adding the finishing touches to version 2.0 of 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success (so good you guys!).
Even though my income was high (so close to $25k!), I don’t feel like I was compensated accordingly when it comes to the effort I expended. That might sound weird (or like I have a big head), but some months are easier than others and April was HARD!
There were a couple of times that I wanted to throw in the towel (it still happens to me too you guys!) and wondered what in the heck I’m doing. Is it all really worth it?
It still is. But I’m not naive enough to think the challenges will end with a mostly successful site migration. There will always be something going on that makes me want to rip my hair out. Plan for the worst, right?…
You’ll also note that my expenses were a bit higher than I’d like (isn’t that always the story with me?), but I now have a home office to call my own! (Full tour/post/cost breakdown details coming later this month.)
So what happened? Read on for the full lowdown.
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.
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.
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, 2015 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 of which are extremely important to me. The latter makes a direct impact into the community – they recently established a daycare to take care of migrant farm worker’s children, so their parents don’t have to bring them with to pick coffee beans, which surprisingly can be very dangerous!
Side note: I 100% believe that my success is God’s doing and that He is blessing my obedience. I’m just listening and taking action.
Gross Income: $24,490
A 2% decrease month-over-month, but SO close to having my first $25,000 month!
Business Expenses: $11,338
Yep, still continuing to make big reinvestments into my biz. (See the expense section for the full breakdown.)
Net Income: $13,152
(After expenses, but before tithe/tax.) This is a 13% decrease month-over-month.
I’m pretty happy with the current level of my income (and should be considering it’s more than 4X what I made at my former day job!), but plan on making some shifts to the percentage breakdown.
Here’s what it looked like for April:
- Writing: 9%
- Virtual Assistance Work: 25%
- Course Sales: 58%
- Coaching: 5%
- Other: (Affiliate, MM Svc, etc.): 3%
Writing: My writing income came in at $2,225, which is inline with where it should be based on my current client base. I have trimmed down the writing side of my business quite a bit and enjoy the predictability and regularity of my current clients and projects. I have been getting more inbound leads and requests for quotes (which is great!), but will only consider taking on that perfect project since I’m doing so much writing for my own business these days.
VA: I don’t anticipate any changes in this area for some time. I continue to work with all three of my VA clients and enjoy it for the most part. Getting paid to learn from some of the best of the best webpreneurs is pretty awesome!
Course sales remain strong and a large part of my income. A few things are contributing to its success:
- I relaunched 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success on the 18th and asked people to purchase or upgrade at the cheaper price prior to the new version becoming available (current students got free access to the updated material).
- My free course enrollment remains strong and is starting to convert semi-regularly.
- My affiliate program continues to grow and affiliates are awesome at spreading the word (thanks guys!).
What’s next? Carlos and are are beginning launch preparations of The Course Course this week and I’m excited about my first non-evergreen launch in June. We have big plans!
Side note: If you’re interested in building/launching your own course, hop on the waitlist for The Course Course here and we’ll let you know when the enrollment window opens up.
Coaching remained status quo for April, but I’m making some changes for May and going forward. I’m not taking on any new 1:1 clients and actually lowered my current availability as time to work on my own projects is getting harder and harder to find. I also still mentor for Double Your Freelancing Clients.
The Mamapreneur Mastermind is still going strong and Ariel and I will be chatting soon to talk future plans of the platform. If you missed the last enrollment period, but are interested in joining some like-minded lady bosses ready to kick butt and take names, hop on the waitlist here and we’ll let you know when the doors open for new applications again.
I made some changes to my “other” category this month, namely taking out the course upgrades (and adding that to course sales instead). My affiliate revenue is also down a bit as my hosting provider changed how/when they make payouts.
April’s expenses were a little higher than normal, because of three atypical expenses: I prepaid for a year of Rainmaker (my new courseware/blogging platform – post as to why I made the change to come in a couple of weeks), we had to pay our CPA to file our tax returns and I’m redoing the guest room in our home to make a home office for me (SO EXCITING!).
Ideally I’d like to keep expenses under $10,000 per month going forward. I do reinvest a lot in my business (and stand by my decision to do so), so I’m NOT having to do everything myself. And who wants to when the business keeps growing and getting more complicated?
Note: I could keep my expenses fairly minimal (like less than $200 per month if I wanted). But if I did this, I would have to do almost EVERYTHING myself and likely wouldn’t be able to grow as quickly as I have been.
What’d I spend it all on?
- Tools (Subscriptions, Books, Training): 10%
- Advice (Coaching, Marketing): 19%
- Support (VA, Writing, Website): 44%
- Affiliate Payouts: 9%
- Fees (PayPal/Stripe): 6%
- Miscellaneous (Travel, etc.): 12%
This month’s “abnormal” expenses were again prepaying for that year of Rainmaker, my home office makeover (most of which went towards buying a new window) and our accountant’s bill (which now includes personal and corporate returns). If we subtract those three, my expenses are fairly normal and come under that $10k mark that I’d like to be the threshold going forward.
2016 Goals Progress
My ‘A’ Goal: $250k+ gross income ($86,418 YTD) – ON TRACK!
It doesn’t escape me how crazy it is that I’ve been able to generate my former annual salary in the first four months of the year…
My 3 ‘B’ Goals:
- Pay-off land loan (5/1/16 – $21,539)
- $20,000 in savings (5/1/16 – $10,000)
- 20,000+ newsletter subscribers (5/1/16 – 5,500)
It’s nice to see we’re making progress in all of the above areas. I tend to set pretty audacious goals – it’s okay if I don’t hit them but come close, because I’m still WAY better off than not setting them in the first place!
Remember, We’re Totally in This Together
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!
How did April fare for your online business? Leave a comment and tell me what went well or what was most challenging about it.