AUGUST 2020 INCOME REPORT! (Transcript)
In August’s income report I’m going to be sharing with you how not working very much this summer has impacted our revenue, why I’d rather earn less and do things better than do everything myself, and why I’m trying to work no more than 15 hours a week.
This is a transcript of Work Less, Earn More, Episode 36. Listen to the episode here.
We became entrepreneurs because more than anything, we want freedom. We want to be in control of our own schedule, income, and life. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the reality of being a business owner. I’m Gillian Perkins, and I’m on a mission to take back entrepreneurship for what it’s supposed to be. In every episode, I’ll share with you how to get the most out of every hour you work, so that you can work less and earn more. Let’s get to it.
Oftentimes it can take days, weeks, months, even years to see the fruits of our labor, to see the results from the work that we put in. And I’m experiencing this right now. As you know, earlier this year in the spring, I was working double time so that I could take time off for the summer. And that meant that this past summer we had some of our highest grossing months to date, which was really cool since I wasn’t working at all.
But now I’m back in the office and I’m back to work, but my income has dipped a little bit. And I see this as a direct result from the time that I did take off during summer, where we weren’t doing any new launches, any new promotions, and I didn’t have that personal touch on the business or the marketing. So it’s nothing terribly dramatic, but I’m ready to get back in action and start making progress again, instead of slowly slipping behind.
Diving Into our August Income Report
In this episode, I’m going to be sharing with you our August income report, including exactly how much money we made, we brought in, in revenue as well as how much our expenses were. I’m also going to be sharing how much I worked in the month of August. My goal for the month, since I was newly back in the office was to work just about 15 hours a week. Not overdo it, not burn myself out, not get into too many projects too fast because they have a tendency to snowball. So that was my goal, but I’ll share with you exactly how I did on that.
And then I’m also going to share with you a struggle I’m currently having with our finances, kind of an emotional struggle really, and how I’m dealing with it, and also a new project that we are going to be taking on in the next three to six months here to be increasing our revenue. Let’s get into the first topic of discussion, which is the revenue that the business brought in, in the month of August. The grand total for our revenue in the month of August was $35,081 compared to the month of July when we brought in just shy of $43,000.
Now I do have to let you know right off the bat that I have it on good authority that a couple of our income sources are under-reporting a little bit at the moment, and so we probably actually earned about $3,000 more than that 35,000 in August. It’s probably actually more like 38 versus 43, but that’s still a significant dip. I also will acknowledge that that $43,000 earned in July is still one of our highest grossing months to date, and I probably shouldn’t beat myself up too hard about the fact that it has dipped a little bit, but I want to, of course, continually be making progress, not losing any ground.
Where did the money come from?
As for where this money came from, some of our biggest contributors to August revenue included or revenue earned from a few different affiliate programs. Specifically right now, we’re earning revenue from Teachable’s affiliate program and from the Virtual Savvy affiliate program, which has been doing really well for us. And then we also earned revenue from Google/YouTube, Of course, this is the ad revenue from the YouTube videos. And this revenue source was actually up a little bit in August and it was in July as well, but we had almost $7,000 from that ad revenue.
The total for the other income, which is income that we earned, not from products we directly sold ourselves was a bit over $10,000. And then we also earned about $5,000 from selling our channel lunch course, another 5,000 from selling the video creator academy course, and then about $14,000 from selling Startup Society memberships. And in addition, there was another $1500 or so that was brought in from other smaller products. We have a couple of different tripwire offers that we’re currently testing. These are small products, mostly they are individual modules broken out from other courses that we’re selling to give people a taste of what the bigger courses have to offer so that they’re more likely to purchase the complete course.
Like I said, those accounted for about $1,500 in sales. And so our grand total for product sales was just shy of $25,000. The grand total for our revenue in August was $35,081. Let’s move on and talk about the expenses for the month. The good news is that even though we didn’t bring in quite as much money in the month of August, we also did not spend quite as much. I’ve looked through these numbers in a fair amount of detail and I’ve come to the conclusion that we didn’t really intentionally spend much money or actually spend much less money, but rather it was more, a little bit random just when different things came due.
Here are our expenses…
We spend about $7,000 on Facebook ads. We spent another $500 on our bookkeeping services, $700 on some continuing education. Some courses I’m taking myself. $1,700 on the company that produces the podcast, $375 on video editing services, which is way lower than normal. And then about $2,200 on our administrative assistants. This is for some virtual assistants that help us in the office. But overall, I don’t think that we really spent less money in August if we were looking at this from an accrual standpoint, but from a cash standpoint, which is the type of accounting that we do, we did spend less money, less money physically left the business in the month of August.
This kind of brings me to what my current pain point is with my finances. I think this is happening because I was out of the office for a few months, and I didn’t look at these numbers as much for a few months. And now I’m kind of seeing them with fresh eyes. And the thing that is bothering me a fair amount at the moment is that I see that our total gross revenue for the month was like I said, about $35,000, and then our total expenses were nearly $20,000.
That just doesn’t sound very efficient to me. It seems like we’re spending a lot of the money that we’re bringing in and my business is built such that it doesn’t have to spend that much money. It doesn’t have to spend very much money at all in order to keep running. And so that is making me feel a little bit uncomfortable about my finances. When I was preparing to record this income report for you, I was looking at these numbers and I was like, “Man, do we really need to spend all this money? Maybe we’ve gotten a little bit bloated. Maybe we should slash some of these expenses.”
Identifying Essential Expenses
But as I went down the line items, I realized that every single expense was essential. This was actually the smallest portion of them, but was either essential or was saving in such a substantial amount of time that it’s worth it to me, or was an investment in the future of the business so that we can continue to grow, and in the future we can make even more money or I can work even less. I have this idea that next month for the income report, I’m going to go line item by line item and look through pretty much every expense that the business has each month and share with you, which of these categories it falls into and basically justify all of our expenses to you.
Not that you need it, but I think it will be interesting for you to see why we’re spending so much money and kind of my mindset behind spending the money, because I think that in the past, when my business was a lot smaller and I was spending a lot less, if I had heard someone share these numbers and share that they were spending $20,000 of the $35k they brought in, I would have thought, “Man, I could spend so much less and be running this business.”
The reason I think I would have thought that is because I really did think that when I heard other people talk about the teams that they had that were running their businesses, and I looked at my business at the time and I thought, “Man, I’m wearing all the hats. I’m doing everything myself. I’m spending almost nothing to run my business and I’m getting almost the same amount of things done that they’re doing.”
There is absolutely some truth to the old thought that I used to have, that things can be done. So lean and mean, and you can just get it done on a shoestring. But I think that there is also an important mindset shift that I experienced that has helped me to grow the business bigger, faster, and more successfully and better. And specifically, I think I used to try to do everything myself and just do more and more and more, but now I’ve realized that I would rather earn less but do things better.
I’m going to be sharing that with you in the next income report. At least that is my plan. But getting back to the numbers for just a second. We brought in $35,000, we spent about $20,000, but as I always point out, $5,000 of that did go directly into my pocket as my wages, as an employee of the business. So really it was much closer to bringing in $35,000 and we spent $15k, which means that our net profit was right around $20,000. Now the number I’m looking at specifically here is $15,471 in technical net profit, but then adding in that $5,000 would bring us to $20,471.
This episode is brought to you by Startup Society. If you run an online business or you’re thinking about starting one, then Startup Society is the place for you. It’s a boot camp training program for entrepreneurs plus an incredibly supportive membership community. If you’re looking for a framework to make a building an online business as simple and straightforward as possible, then that’s exactly what you’ll find inside Startup Society.
Every month we create a step by step action plan for our members to follow, to create a specific result in their business so that they can keep moving forward and growing. Past action plans have helped our members write their websites, launch online courses and hire their first employees. And when you become a member, not only will you get access to our future action plans, but you’ll also get access to our entire library of past action plans, including the ones that I just mentioned.
You’ll also get business coaching directly from me during our live monthly coaching sessions. During these sessions, you can ask any business questions that you have so that you can make sure that you get the answers you need in order to be able to keep moving forward and not get stuck. As a member, you’ll also be invited into our membership community where you can connect with other online entrepreneurs who are crushing it so that you can be inspired and make some lasting connections.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of Startup Society, then there’s no time like the present to make that happen. To sign up, just head to gillianperkins.com/startupsociety. Again, that’s gillianperkins.com/startupsociety. And as a listener of this podcast, I have a special offer for you. You can become a member of Startup Society for $10 off every single month. Just use code, EARNMORE when you are signing up. Again, that code is EARNMORE one word and it will give you $10 off your monthly membership costs. If you want to turn your online business into a success as quickly and as strategically as possible, then I would love to work with you to make that happen. And now let’s get back to the episode.
How much did I work?
Let’s move on and talk about how much I worked and also how much the team worked. So I mentioned earlier that my goal for the month of August was to work about 15 hours per week or not more than 15 hours, and this was mostly because as I stepped into the month, I was not feeling that great about going back to work. I’d been so enjoying the time with my family and I really wanted it to just keep going. And the way that I soothed my fears was I promised myself I would not work more than 15 hours a week, both so that it wasn’t quite so scary or overwhelming feeling, but also so that I could keep that really good thing that I’d found spending all that nice time with my family and homeschooling the kids and all of that.
I’m really proud to report that I stuck with this promise to myself. I worked a total of 58 and half hours for the entire month, which divided by the 4.2 weeks that were in the month of August, it means I worked 13.9 hours per week, which I think was just a perfect amount. I got quite a bit done and managed to catch up on some things that we were now a little bit behind on from me being out of the office, and I got back in the swing of things and we even kicked off a few small projects and I didn’t work too much.
Some of the things that I spent the most time on was creating the upcoming action plan for Startup Society. We just kicked off a new action plan with Tara McMullin of Yellow House Media, where she’s walking the Startup Society members through developing a premise for their podcast so that they can create a podcast that will really have impact, a podcast that will actually get listens, a podcast that will actually create results in their businesses.
I’m really excited about that, and that one was all ready to go before I left the office. But the one that is coming up this next month is with Tony Rulli of Intentional Spark, which is an amazing Facebook ads agency. And he’s going to be teaching the members how to create a tripwire offer, which is a specific type of product offer that you can sell in your business that works really well when you are first getting started with Facebook ads. It can help your Facebook ads get profitable really, really quickly. And then he’s going to teach the members how to launch their first Facebook ads. And this is something the members have been asking for month after month for literally the entire few years here that we’ve been running the program.
I’m so excited to bring this to them, but it wasn’t fully ready to go yet. In the month of August, I spent about seven hours working through all of the material that Tony had created for the action plan and working on revising it and adding to it so that this action plan can be as amazing and as helpful as possible. Another thing that I spent a good chunk of time on was YouTube video production. I recorded a few new videos and I even edited one of them myself.
One of the things that I like doing the most in my business is actually producing YouTube videos and actually editing them myself. If you’ve ever made videos yourself before, then I’m sure you’re aware that editing can be quite tedious, but it’s also where a lot of the actual creative work of making a video happens. And I love that part of the process, but when I’m busy doing all the other parts of running a business, I don’t normally get to do those things myself because they’re things that other people can do just as well, if not better than me, but because I didn’t have a whole lot on my plate yet in August.
Editing My Own YouTube Videos
I was actually able to edit one of the videos myself, and so that brought me a lot of joy and it also helped get some new videos produced that will be being published on YouTube next month. Another thing that I spent about five hours on was this podcast. I did a couple of guest interviews and I recorded last month’s income report, and all of that took about five hours. Another thing that I did, and this was kind of a random project. And honestly, in retrospect, I’m not sure that this was the highest priority of my time, but I had the time to spend on it and it will be a positive thing going forward was we did a few joint venture projects.
Specifically, we did one with Self-Publishing School, which is an awesome program that I went through a few years ago when I was launching my book, Sorted. I really had no idea how to get it published, and I didn’t have an audience myself at all. And so I didn’t know how it could possibly be a success, but I went through this program called Self-Publishing School. It worked really well. It turned my book into an Amazon best seller in just a matter of a couple months, which was amazing considering, like I said, I didn’t have any audience at all. It was all strategy and there was no big cloud behind it at all, but it worked really well, anyway.
Ever since then, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about how to publish their book, how to promote their book, how to turn their book into a success. Everything I know I learned from this program, and I’m definitely not an expert on this myself, although I’ve had an experience that I do like to share with people, but anyway, Self-Publishing School reached out to me and asked if I wanted to partner, and because I do have a fair number of people on my list who I know are interested in this topic, I said yes and we presented a workshop to those people on my email list, which was really cool and I was so glad to be able to share that with them.
Even though it wasn’t the highest priority thing for growing my business, I think that it was a good, positive thing to do. Going forward, we’ll be able to refer people to that program and just have it be a really positive partnership between our two companies. The last thing that I’ll mention before moving on from this hour’s report is that I spent about five hours on executive meetings and team management. So obviously with me out of the office for a few months, there were a few issues. I wouldn’t really even say problems, but just topics that had cropped up, things that needed to be addressed in order for us to move forward with different projects that were in the works.
Five hours of my time was spent just talking to different people about these different issues so that they could move forward on their work. The last thing that I wanted to share with you in today’s episode was just a new project that we’re going to be working on over the next few months. So way back at the beginning of 2020, before we knew that everything was going to explode, we were doing our beginning of the year planning and we were deciding what we were going to take on this year.
We had a whole bunch of projects lined up that we wanted to get done before I went on maternity leave, and then Courtney, my integrator asked me what I wanted to plan for the second half of the year, specifically for after I got back in the office. And I said, “I don’t want to plan anything, because I have no idea how much I will want to do. I might be on fire and just be ready to go after taking such a big break and want to do all the things and take over the world, or I might be exhausted from having a baby and from having four children and just feel overwhelmed and just want to take the rest of the year off, take it easy.
I don’t want to commit to anything right now because I know if I commit to things now, then I’m not going to feel like it later on, and I’m going to wonder why I signed up for so much. Let’s just wait until I come back. We’ll see how I feel, and then we can plan then.” And so that’s exactly what we did. When we had some of these executive meetings a couple of weeks ago, we talked about what the rest of the year and the beginning of next year should look like, basically, what will we be doing over the next six months?
I threw around a few ideas for a few different projects that we could focus on, some things I would like to get done, but there was one project that stood head and shoulders above the other ideas that I had, that the more I thought about it, the more I realized this really is the number one project that I want to focus on. And what that is, is building a new sales funnel for Startup Society. Let me back up a tiny little bit here and give you a little bit of context.
I’m sure you’ve heard me say if you’ve listened to this podcast for any amount of time at all, how important I think it is that you focus in on one thing, one platform that you are promoting your business on, one product that you are selling, one main idea in your business, one project at a time, in whatever you’re working on or whatever you’re trying to accomplish or whatever strategy you’re using to accomplish something, I have just found that the less I do, the more I focus on just one thing instead of many things, and the more successful that I am overall.
In my business though, as things have grown, I’ve added on a few new products, we’ve gotten out a few more platforms and then we have to do things to support all these different things we’re working on. For example, for every different product we’re selling, we have to have a different sales funnel. And what I mean by that is just a process that leads people into buying that product. And that means that we end up spreading ourselves a little bit thin.
If I get really honest with myself, the product or the program that I am most excited about, that I am most passionate about, that I most want to succeed, that I think has the highest value to other people really is Startup Society right now. That is the basket that I want to put all my eggs in. And we used to have a sales funnel for Startup Society that worked decently well, but for a number of different reasons, it wasn’t working as well as we wanted it to.
Specifically, it was a process that took a lot of time and energy from our team. It wasn’t a fully automated process at all, but despite being relatively high tech, it was converting at a pretty low rate of one to 2%. Now, if you have a fully automated sales funnel, one to 2% is not bad at all, but considering it was more high tech, we were hoping it would convert at more like five to 10%. We decided to not quite scrap it, but largely retire the system, not be trying to send all of our traffic into that system anymore.
Now what is happening is people find out about Startup Society and they either know immediately it is for them, or they hear something about it that I post on Instagram, or I mentioned in the podcast and they realize, “Oh, this is the program for me.” They go to startupsociety.com and they sign up and then they get into the program and they love it, or they never even get to that part of the process.
They hear about it and they don’t know enough about it, and so they forget about it and they don’t sign up, because we don’t have any process that is really nurturing them and moving them closer to the sale, that’s telling them about Startup Society and how Startup Society can help them start a business, start creating consistent income in their business, hit that 10K mark and so on. And so this is a problem that needs to be fixed. We need to have a process like that. And right now it doesn’t exist, and it is the number one thing that I want to drive the business toward.
I want to focus our attention and our energy and our time on over the next three to six months, basically until it is done, because that is our core program and we don’t have a great process that is selling it right now. I share this with you today, both to just let you know, like heads up, this is what we’re working on, because that is kind of what these income report episodes are all about. Kind of an update episode of behind the scenes in the business sort of episode.
It’s relevant for that reason, but also to remind you, like I needed reminding how important it is that you do focus in on one thing, that you sell one thing, that you have one main strategy for selling that one thing, that you are promoting it on one main platform, and you put the majority of your energy, your attention, your time on each of those one things in each category that you’re trying to touch on, each product category, the categories of product and platform and strategy, each of those different things you need to do in order to be making money in your business.
And believe you me, I know how tough this is. I am a person of many ideas and I’m constantly having to scrap many ideas because I need to focus on one thing. I’m going back to my roots and reminding myself of that, and we’re going to be focusing in on that over the next six months and I’m so excited about it, and I would just challenge you that if right now you’re selling too many things or you have too many different ways that you’re selling different things, or even too many different ways you’re selling one thing, get really honest with yourself about which thing is actually the most important and which strategy you really want to invest the majority of your time in, and really go all in with so that you can create the biggest results with that strategy.
Today’s featured review was posted on Apple Podcasts where Clarice Gomez wrote the following: Awesome podcast. Gillian, host of the Work Less, Earn More Podcast, highlights all aspects of entrepreneurship, productivity, and more in this can’t miss podcast. The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens.
Thank you so much, Clarice, for writing this awesome review. I really appreciate your taking the time and I’m so glad to hear that you are enjoying the show.
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Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Work Less, Earn More. Now, here’s what I want you to do next. Take a screenshot of the episode you’re listening to right now and share it out on your Instagram stories. And when you do that, make sure to tag me @gillianzperkins so that I can see that you’re listening. Sharing on stories is going to help more people find this podcast so that they can learn how to work less, earn more and take back their lives.
And when you share, I want to add it to my stories so that you can get some exposure that way as well. And if you really love the show, head over to Apple podcasts and leave it a review to give the show a boost. Every single week, I feature a review on the podcast and I would love to give you and your business a shout out. If you leave a review, it will help the show, but it can also help your business as well. Let’s wrap this up. I’m Gillian Perkins and until next week, stay focused and take action.