I almost feel like April was the month in which I grew up. I made a lot of decisions and changes to the way I run my business. I wasn’t expecting to be able to do half the things I did! It took a ton of work on my part, but I had great help, too!
I was able to produce similar income results compared to last month. And I even saw some growth!
Was it a difficult month? Absolutely! But I think I did okay, all things considered. In all of this, I haven’t wanted to give up. It’s far too amazing a ride to get off! If anything, I’ve thought long and hard about what I want from my business. I can see growth (HUGE growth!) just over the horizon. I just need to set aside the right amount of time to work on putting myself there.
Curious about what I’m talking about? Keep reading!
The Month’s Highlights
- Started One-on-One Coaching Services – I started the process last month and have already picked up two regular clients! The feeling I get from coaching is indescribable. I wasn’t expecting excitement I’d feel at watching others achieve their dreams in an incredibly short amount of time. It’s epic!
- Hosted my first Mega Coaching Giveaway – …then, I gave coaching away! LOL! Seriously. I did. A prior contributor to The Freelance Dance, Carrie Lowrance, won her sweet self two months of coaching! Didn’t get to enter? Don’t worry. I’ll definitely do it again soon!
- Hired my first VA – I cannot believe this one! It’s bonkers!!! Me? I have a team!?!? Whoa! I gotta say, it’s pretty darn cool! TJ helps me with my social media presence. He’s technically only been on board with me for about a week and I’ve already seen an enormous spike in my audience. How big, you ask? I started out with 160 Facebook followers. To date, I’m at around 1,200! That’s in just over a week, yo!
- Outlined my first course – I’ve had a preliminary outline for about two months now. I’ve tweaked it a bit and plan on dedicating a solid month to writing it. No, it won’t be May. But maybe June. We’ll see how it all shapes up in the meantime.
From my friend/mentor/boss/inspiration, Gina Horkey, I learned to keep a monthly profit-and-loss statement. And I keep a rolling total for the year, too. I run my business on a cash (and not accrural) basis. This means I count only the payment I receive (when I receive them) and not the invoices I send out. I can’t eat sales, people!
I came across Gina’s writing course in August 2015. At the time, I didn’t even have the $59 to buy the smallest course package. I saved for two months all the while researching more and more about Gina and her program. I read everything she wrote. But it helped me make up my mind.
I purchased the course in Mid-October and decided to blog my way through it in November for my very first blog project, Sweet November. I booked my first paying gig on Day 11 of the course and haven’t looked back since.
In 2015, I grossed a total of $1,175 in revenue. Expenses for the year were $160. That means that I cleared a total of $1,015 in all of 2015.
Gross Income: $2,988
An 11% increase month-over-month!
Business Expenses: $273
Roughly 9% of my income! Not bad, I guess. I really thought it’d be more. I guess it only felt like I was blowing through cash left and right. I broke it all down below.
Net Income: $2,716
This is income after expenses but before taxes. I spent less money than I did in March and incresed this figure by 11% over last month.
April was a busy friggin’ month! It kept me on my toes! I added services (like coaching) and that helped me increase my total cash received. Last month, I had qualms about calling March a record-breaker. I think I’ll be ready to issue the proclamation once I get up over the $3K mark. Soon!
Here’s how I fared in percentages:
- Writing: 0% – I know! I know! What’s wrong with this picture!? I have to agree with you there. This is definitely a first! Again, it’s something I offer to my VA clients, and roll writing assignments in with that income. But, I definitely need to do some pitching in May! I’ve been slacking. Honestly, I think this could’ve put me over my coveted $3K mark
- Editing: 0% – I’ve mostly phased out editing from my services list. I offer the service to current VA clients and roll the income I receive from them into my VA income. While I’m open to editing a nice juicy manuscript, I’m not actively looking for new editing clients. It’s something I’ll consider on a case-by-case basis moving forward.
- Virtual Assistance: 97% – When you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life. I’m here to tell you that’s 100% true! I love the work I do to help my clients grow their businesses. In a very short time I’ve learned more than I have in 32 years! It’s unbelievably amazing to worth for such amazing people! In fact, I have room for only one more! I’d consider adding someone to my client roster if the right opportunity presented itself 😉
- Coaching: 2% – I gave it away!!! LOL! No, not really. I had a few calls and booked two regular clients! And I never thought it could be so dang rewarding! It’s been an amazing experience to walk hungry webpreneurs down the path I once trotted down. There’s no joy like it!
- Other (Affiliate and PayPal Rewards): 1% – Rewards! Rewards! Rewards! I spend craploads of money. And PayPal gives me some of it back. Kinda cool! My affiliate sales took a dive this month. I’m hoping it’s just a slump ahead of a coming good month!
Investing in my business means a lot to me. I always want to make sure I’m on an upward trend. When you’ve worked as hard as I have to build this all up (bootstrapper-stryle), you sometimes live in fear of what can happen. I’m always afraid I’ll lose a client. It’s why I invest in my business to continue to diversify it.
Here’s the shortlist of what I spent my hard-earned cash on:
- Tools (Subscriptions, Books, Courses): 43%
- Support (Writing, Website, VA): 18%
- Advice (Coaching, Marketing): 6%
- Fees: 34%
April marked yet another milestone for me. I spent some money on Facebook marketing. So far, it’s delivered in spades!
Those pesky PayPal fees. It cost me more than usual because I did some brief one-off work for a client who runs her business abroad. I lost quite a bit on the conversion – something I didn’t anticipate. In the future, I’ll have to make sure I factor that into my fee!
2016 Goals: An Update
At the end of 2015, I made some goals. Doing so has helped me stay on track. The problem is that I’ve met most of them a quarter of the way in! Should I sit back and chill to rest my laurels? Nonsense! I’ll make new ones. Keep an eye out for that post coming up soon!
‘A’ Goal: Make $50K in Revenue in 2016
Um…no. Not yet. Not even close.
To date, I’ve made $9,505 and have almost $40K left to go. To meet this goal, I’d have to bring in nearly $5K every month moving forward. It could happen. I’m cautiously optimistic.
- Get published in Huff Po by 3/2016 – Guess who got there? That’s right! This guy! I’m officially in Huffington Post. Curious about my article? Read it here. Please give it a read and share if you like it.
- Land second steady client by 3/2016 – I’m blessed! Three regular VA clients!! Woo hoo!
- Improve monthly income by 10% every month – So far, so good!
I’ve made tons of progress and am pleased with my results. Again, keep an eye out for an upcoming post outlining my goals for the remainder of 2016!
You’re not alone in the online world of empire-building. I’m doing it too. Every month has its ups and downs. No one said this would be easy. It’s not! There are days I envy the 9-5-ers! But the tradeoff makes it all worth it. I get to call the shots in my business. My growth is my growth – and not some corporate bigwig’s!
I struggle like everyone else does. There are days I just don’t want to get up. I do because of my why. Providing for my family keeps me going. It’s the sole reason I do what I do.
I’m all over social media on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Catch up with me on one or all! Let me know how you’re doing and where I can go to support you as you climb the ladder toward your success.
Hit me up in the comments and keep me posted! What are you struggling with? How do you overcome? What can I do to help you?