Horkey HandBook Blog

October, 2015 Freelance Income Report

So fall continues to fly by, huh?

I’m still amazed at how fast each day seems to pass, now that I’m working for myself and on projects that I’m passionate about.

I’m not going to lie, there were many days just a year ago that I would be sitting at my desk waiting for 4pm to roll around, so I could be done for the day. And some days each minute seemed to take forever.

But it’s not like that anymore.

Now I risk working too much, because there’s always more to do and I really like it (most of the time). It’s a strange, but overall great paradigm shift!

Now, onto the freelance income report…

A Little 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 income chart Oct 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!

October’s Results

Gross Income: $13,626

16% increase month-over-month.

Business Expenses: $6,925

More than half of my income – eek!

Net Income: $6,701

(After expenses, but before tithe/tax.) This is a 20% decrease month-over-month.

Income Breakdown

Obviously, this was a pretty good income month for me. I’m happy that my focused efforts are paying off.

My new writing gigs are helping to bolster that portion of my income, without having to write a million words. My VA income has stayed the same and my coaching income as actually decreased as I’ve made some changes in that area.

Course sales were the clear winner. 30DOL to VA Success launched in beta, so while there were 20ish sales there, it was at a reduced price. One of my affiliates launched the writing course to her list though and I had 20+ sales from that alone. I wouldn’t mind repeating that every month!

Even though it’s still minimal, my affiliate earnings are growing. This is encouraging and is an area I hope to be able to improve little by little. I only promote things I use and believe in and plan to continue that standard.

  • Writing: 21%
  • Virtual Assistance Work: 29%
  • Course Sales: 42%
  • Coaching: 5%
  • Other: (Affiliate, etc): 3%
  • Consulting (former office): 0% (This officially ended in May of this year.)

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Expense Breakdown

October was an expensive month.

Like more than half of my gross income expensive. I’m not going to lie, that makes me a bit nervous. But when I look back on my expenses, nothing sticks out as frivolous or unnecessary. It just adds up fast!

So what’d I spend it all on?

I pre-paid for an upgraded LeadPages account (this is an affiliate link). I actually attended their conference (plus a private mastermind) this past month and it was AMAZING. Like Pat Flynn was a speaker, AMAZING. And I learned a ton!

I also got a new phone (which I just had to pay the taxes on and for a case/screen protector), so that I could film some decent video (yep, I’m on YouTube, check this dork out!).

Additionally, I had new headshots taken (I should be getting them back any day!), my girl Ariel talked me into taking a course on writing nonfiction ebooks (supposedly one could charge $25k to write one…) and I paid for more writing and admin help than I ever have before.

Ideally, my expenses would be much lower going forward. But I do feel good in that I’m supporting small businesses I believe in and other pretty awesome freelancers.

I’m cool with sharing the love when it makes sense. And hopefully these expenses return a pretty significant ROI in the future. Fingers crossed!

  • Tools (Subscriptions, Books, Training): 21%
  • Advice (Coaching, Marketing): 37%
  • Support (VA, Writing, Website): 18%
  • Affiliate Payouts: 12%
  • Fees (PayPal/Stripe): 5%
  • Miscellaneous (travel, etc.): 7%

Goals from October

  1. Finish writing 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success and beta test. CHECK! (It officially launched yesterday!!)
  2. Redo resources and home pages. Partial check (resources page is done!)
  3. Have a firmer plan to scale my business. Check? That goal wasn’t tangible, but I’m working on some big things (including a membership site and launching an agency that I’ll share more about soon!).

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 November

  1. Sell 100 courses. This hasn’t been done yet, but I think it’s achievable since I now have two courses for sale and a slew of affiliates spreading the word.
  2. Get a “Start a Blog” page up. Ideally this would walk others through starting a blog using Web Hosting Hub, my hosting provider. It would be a win/win scenario, as I would help people to start a blog quickly and capitalize on the sales commission.
  3. Take on Rebel Marketerz’ first client. Yep, my friends and I are launching an agency! What? I know! The amazing Ariel, Carlos and I are teaming up to offer copywriting and conversion optimization services to other small businesses. This pairs my love for writing copy that converts with measurable results (I’m a numbers geek yo!) and hopefully will be the launching pad for this next chapter of my business.
  4. Launch my VA/small business owner matchmaking service. This will be part of the Rockstar package of the 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success course option. My hope is to make it the VA version of Care.com. It’s a bit of an audacious goal, but if I don’t dream big, I’ll never get even close, right?

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!

How did October go for you? Share in the comments!

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Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey

FOUNDER & CO-OWNER

Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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