It’s almost the end of the year! This has undoubtedly been one of the most hectic and stressful months of my entire life, but not without a happy ending. On the first Monday night of December, I was woken up by a neighbor because of a fire just blocks from home. While evacuated, my wife went into labor and we had a baby girl! And somewhere along the way, I’ve been spending time on the business too. Read on for my November income details and the story of my fire baby in early December.
Why in the world do you share your income publicly?
When I started this website back in 2008, I had just left a job working as a bank manager. I learned a ton about misunderstood parts of banking and personal finance that I decided it was time to share what I had learned. I was the guy who decided if your mortgage was approved, after all, something most people never see firsthand.
I read other personal finance blogs as I worked to pay off my car loan (which I did in half of the five year term), pay off my student loans (two years and six days after graduation), and conquer other financial challenges. I realized reading those other sites that I had a unique perspective thanks to my background, and to build trust with you, I am completely transparent on how I deal with my own finances.
Since the beginning of 2012, I have shared my online earnings from my side hustles as they grew and turned into my full-time job. While it is now my primary income, I continue to share every month to show you what is possible if you put your mind to it. Side hustle income has changed my life, and I like to show you how in these monthly updates. Prior to 2012, I shared my net worth monthly and you can see how my online income started coming together.
If it’s your first time stopping in, you can see a history of my online income reports here going back to February 2012 when I brought in $739 online. I did a whole lot better this month, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out exactly how much better and how I did it!
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A Fire and a Baby
For the second time in my life, my wife went into labor and delivered a wonderful, healthy baby. I’m now a father of two little girls, and I am totally in love with the girls in my life. Daughter #1 joined us during a flood in Portland, and Daughter #2 came during what is expected to be the largest fire on record in the history of California.
Having a baby during a major disaster is newsworthy, and I did the rounds after sharing my story online and videos of the fire on Twitter. I did phone interviews with CNN, HLN, and KISS-FM and video interviews with CBC. I also recorded a dedicated podcast episode sharing the story of the fire and having a baby while evacuated.
The whirlwind left us out of our home for days, with evacuated visitors for days, and all the while busy with a new baby and managing our health among the smoky air conditions. We were locked into the house for about two weeks, and my productivity was in the toilet during most of this time. I’ll likely miss my $10,000 income goal for December, but I got a baby out of it and my house didn’t burn down, so I’ll call the month a win. Not all of my neighbors were so lucky.
Writing – My writing business is running well. I have not been running at the same 110% capacity I was last year, so my income is down a bit year-over-year. However, I’m still running above my target revenue so I’m a happy camper. I’ve had a few clients slowly onboarding since FinCon in October, and will have them running in January. I have to be honest that it’s nice to have a lighter load this month, even if that means a little less cash in the bank.
Speaking – Speaking is on pause until things calm down with baby #2. I have a list of events I’d like to send my info to speak in 2018! If you or your organization are looking to hire a speaker, let me know! I cover money, business, and lifestyle topics on the stage.
Money Mola – We were all set to launch at the start of October, but then our ACH provider Dwolla told us we were too high risk and could not use their platform to transfer money for our users. We found a new provider, but launch is delayed yet again. Hoping to be live within a few months with our new provider Fiserv. Before they will turn us on, I need to get a legal review, which is going to be time consuming and expensive. All part of running a business!
Entrepreneurial Income Breakdown
And now [drumroll please], it’s time for the income and expense results! This is a result of my side hustle turned full-time self-employment online. If you are a new visitor, check out my entire history of income reports going back to 2012 here.
Personal Profitability Income – Advertising
- Affiliate Marketing – $9
- Direct Ad Placements – $0
- Writing Services – $9,896
- Website Support – $500 (just doing a few projects here and there)
- Product Sales – $0
- Flipping – $0
- Premium Plugins – $0
- Denver Flash Mob – $0
Gross Profit – $10,405
November included a big illness for me, Thanksgiving visitors, and plenty of other distractions that kept me away from my desk. My freelance writing income was below $10,000, but I made up for it with a website project that I wrapped up at the end of the month for a gym in Santa Barbara. I’m planning to earn below $10,000 in December, but am looking to increase my goal in 2018.
EXPENSES (Does Not Include My Paychecks, Taxes, or Health Insurance)
- Advertising and Promotion – $7
- Bank Charges and Payment Fees – $1
- Business Licenses and Permits – $0
- Computer and Internet Expense – $1,027
- Continuing Education – $50
- Conference Fees – $0
- Meals & Entertainment – $6
- Money Mola Related Expenses – $30
- SG&A – $194
- Outsourced Labor – $938
- Postage & Shipping – $3
- Professional Services – $0
- Telecom Expense – $125
- Travel – $-18
- Total Expenses – $2,363
Total Revenue $10,405 Total Expenses $2,363, Profit Before Tax $8,042
Check out my full history of income reports here.
Financial Planning & Analysis
This month is more focused on family than business. One of the downsides of self-employment is that I don’t get paid vacation days and can’t hand off a project to a team member for help when I’m away for an illness, new baby, or disaster. But what I don’t get in support from colleagues, I can make up for with my own schedule freedom and flexibility and help from my awesome assistants Melissa (blog and general support) and Jennifer (podcast editor).
Slow months happen in business, and while I still beat $10,000 in revenue in November, if I don’t in December I’m not too worried. I have significant business and personal savings, so a down month or two won’t rock the boat too much. However, it is a wake up call that I need to do more to build sustainable income outside of my freelance writing business. I tested out a new mastermind for recurring revenue over Black Friday weekend, and didn’t get enough interest to launch it full-scale. On to the next project! I’m never out of ideas. It’s just finding the combination of time, motivation, and skills to get them all done.
Until next time, stay profitable.