These income reports are to inspire you on what is possible through an online business. In April, 2013 I left my job at a call center and launched on this incredible journey.
May started off with a roar.
Some friends from Missouri (And Cubicle Houdini students) dropped by during their vacation. They were staying about 40 minutes away on another island, but drove into our neck of the woods for an afternoon.
We checked out the Pensacola Lighthouse and the Blue Angels together, had some really crappy local barbecue and chatted business ideas.
Since we had been here for 2 weeks, it was really nice to see a familiar face.
Life Finally Normalizes.
I think for the first time in 2015, our life feels “normal”. We finally got our SUV back on the 25th and is about as good as new following the accident last month((except for the new “clunk” when it goes over bumps, and the fact that is seems a lot harder to stop.).
We’re now working on the “diminished value” request. This is a critical step that most people don’t do.
You see, when a car has been in an accident, it is now worth less money then it would have been before the accident. People pull up the CarFax, see that it has had structural damage, was towed from the scene and had airbag deployment… and then they run screaming from your car like it was Bigfoot or something.
Besides hurting your car’s feelings, this lowered valuation hurts your pocketbook.
Every state (except Michicagan) has laws to help the not-at-fault party reclaim this value.
But most people won’t file for it, and insurance companies won’t offer it proactively. In fact, I fully expect us to end up in small claims court before this is over.
What is even weirder is that I have had no fewer then 10 of my friends look at me skeptically and say “I don’t think you are right. There’s no way you can file for that.”
It’s amazing how many people will just accept that their car is worth less and go on their way. (BTW, if your car was in accident, you may have several years from the date of accident to file a diminished value claim)
Having our own car back gives a huge sense of normalcy. And we’re getting into a daily groove of working, playing and working out. I’ve decided to learn the skimboard and have spent 2 weeks covered in bruises and road-rash. (I fully expect to break an appendage before I figure it out.)
It’s pretty crazy. Almost every day we are either at the beach, at a museum or checking out a local seafood market. It’s an incredible life. And we are doubly blessed to get to enjoy it while we are young.
A Business Shift
The end of May marked a pivotal change for the company.
I ended the month by running down to Orlando to meet up with the likes of Kotton Grammar, Stephen Floyd, Mike Long, Joe Marfoglio, Greg Ortiz and about 50 other entrepreneurs at the Grand Rock Hotel. It truly was a meeting of the minds.
It was really great to see Kotton again. When I met him last year he was doing about $40,000 a month by using SEO to help businesses rank in Google. Today he is running about 10x that figure while simultaneously helping others learn the business. And yet, he’s one of the quietest, most unassuming people you’ll ever meet.
(And, yes, his house does look like a nightclub.)
The more I spoke with these fellow entrepreneurs, the more I realized that there are two things that separated them from me:
- They had systems. Good systems. And then they hired contractors to run those systems.
- Because they had systems in place, they could seize opportunities a lot faster than anyone else.
I went down planning to ask some fairly simple keyword/niche selection questions — questions I figured that they would be more willing to answer in person than on Facebook (and I was right).
But, somewhere around 2 AM, I realized that I had been focusing on the entirely wrong thing.
A successful, scalable business is about systems.
Master a system. Turn it into a guide that anyone can follow. Hire people to do the work for you. Master a new system…
We are 13 days into June as I type this and we’ve already accomplished more work then we had in the past 3 months. The new systems are lurching shakily into place and we are sorting out the problems and growing as fast as we can. It’s really exciting.
(Sorry. No Pics. I shoulda’ gotten pics. But I didn’t)
An Aggressive New Financial Policy
I heard a talk from Ezra Firestone where he mentioned that most business owners are pulling too much out of their businesses.
This got me wondering what a “healthy” money plan should look like for a company. I picked up “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz and read the book in a week. Going forward, we are going to try to put 40% of the Pre-tax income back into the company and then set another 5% aside for profits. These profits will be there to cushion a rainy day or to pay for large capital improvements down the road.
If we don’t need either of those things, we will have the option down the road of pulling some of those profits back into the family budget using pre-specified rules.
Ideally, we will get to the point where we can start dropping about 15% into that profit “bucket” each month.
We also took the opportunity to adjust our own household budget to be able to take a more aggressive savings stance.
It’s still not where I want it to be, but we’re getting closer.
The gross numbers keep going up, but the “profit” figure below is going to keep shrinking. As I outlined above, we are aggressively re-investing into the company. I set the goal last year of hitting the $50k/month mark, and we only have about 5 months to do that in. Hopefully the extra cash inflow will help us hire the help we need to hit those levels. (Working those new systems!!)
So far, I think most of the growth can be attributed to the new content we are adding to one of our existing sites. We’ve added 30 pages this year and hope to have another 60 pages on it by the end of June. This will make it one of my largest sites to date with close to 120 pages once finished.
Amazon Associates (March Earnings): $14,792.00
Other Affiliate Income: $1,456.00
Houdini Act One Income: $340.00
Total Earnings: $16,588.00 (+$4,954 Previous month)
Business Expenses: $4,828.00 (+$288.00 Previous Month)
Net Profit: $11,761.00 (+ 5415 Previous Month)