I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit worried about May.
There were times during the month when I wondered if I’d even break $15,000. The month started off with predictable expenses, but not so much on the income side…
April’s migration to Rainmaker took up a lot of time, energy and stress. And I just relaunched my VA course at a much higher price point.
What if it didn’t continue to sell? What if reducing my coaching client load was a mistake?
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 began payroll practices later that year. (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 – in 2015 they opened 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: $20,426
A 17% decrease month-over-month.
Business Expenses: $8,871
Whew, a bit more inline with where I expect them to be! (See the expense section for the full breakdown.)
Net Income: $11,555
(After expenses, but before tithe/tax.) This is a 12% decrease month-over-month.
I’m not gonna lie, I liked it better when it was all going up, up, up! 😉
But in all reality, I have NOTHING to complain about. I’m still grossing more than 3X my previous salary, Wade is comfortable with his role as a SAHD and we’re able to both pay the bills AND save for our retirement again.
God is good!
Here’s what the breakdown looked like for May:
- Writing: 14%
- Virtual Assistance Work: 32%
- Course Sales: 47%
- Coaching: 3%
- Other: (Affiliate, MM Svc, etc.): 4%
Writing: My writing income came in just over $2,800, which is great – especially considering I only wrote eight pieces (so I averaged $350/piece).
Two of these articles were for my first Contently client. If you don’t have a Contently portfolio up and you’re serious about getting paid well to write, do it. NOW! They’re super easy to work with and seem to really care about both their clients and the freelancer writers they work with equally. I hope it’s the beginning of a long standing relationship!
VA: Last month was another five week month, so my income was slightly higher than “normal.” I have three VA clients, all of which are on a retainer – two pay me in advance on or around the first of the month and the other I have a recurring PayPal payment set up with.
This was the main area that I was worried about in May. Again, I raised the price pretty significantly on my VA course (because I more than doubled the content, added a ton of valuable enhanced resources, moved it to its own courseware, etc.)
I got creative towards the end of the month and decided to offer a 2-for-1 birthday bundle, packaging both of the Growth packages together for my writing and VA courses at a discount. I.e. instead of buying them both for $298, I offered them at $199 or the price of the VA course instead. I generated 16 sales from this method, which was a nice (and quick) boost to my course sale revenue. And it was a fun way to celebrate my 32nd birthday!
What’s next? The Course Course launches in just a couple of weeks – this will be my first non-evergreen launch and we’ve been hustling trying to build interest and anticipation. Two ways we’ve done that are:
Both turned out super cool and it’s been a lot of fun putting our own strategies to the test!
I decreased my coaching load in May. I love helping others build their freelance businesses and gear up to quit their day jobs, but I’ve been pressed for time and this made the most sense to “cool off” for a bit. I’m still mentoring for DYFC, but didn’t get paid due to it being in “Spring Break.”
The Mamapreneur Mastermind is still going strong and Ariel and I are tossing around some ideas to help take it to the next level. If you’re interested in joining some like-minded lady bosses ready to kick butt and take names, hop on the waitlist and we’ll let you know when the doors open again.
This category is mainly for affiliate income now. I’m excited to see it continue to evolve and hope to systematically grow this portion of my income over time.
May’s expenses were more inline with “normal.” Isn’t that crazy when they were still almost $9,000?
I do reinvest a lot in my business, so I’m NOT trying 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): 3%
- Advice (Coaching, Marketing): 23%
- Support (VA, Writing, Website): 50%
- Affiliate Payouts: 15%
- Fees (PayPal/Stripe): 6%
- Miscellaneous (Travel, etc.): 3%
Nothing too crazy this month. Due to the uncertainty of income earlier in May, I was a bit more careful about my spending habits. Having “staff” is new territory for me. It’s not so hard creating/planning income for just my family, but running “payroll” of sorts is kinda strange. But so far, so good. Guess I’ll keep rolling with it!
2016 Goals Progress (as of 6/1/16)
My ‘A’ Goal: $250k+ gross income ($106,719 YTD) – ON TRACK!
My 3 ‘B’ Goals:
- Pay-off land loan – $20,692 to go!
- $20,000 in savings – $16,350 in savings (part of this is earmarked for clearing the above land).
- 20,000+ newsletter subscribers – 6,292, a bit behind!
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 or online 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 are you doing on your 2016 goals so far? It’s almost halfway over…