Every month, I’m peeling back the curtain and sharing the ins & outs of my monthly revenue.

These income reports are an in-depth and honest look at how much my business earned, what it cost, and how many hours it took me to do it.

It’s now October and it’s been two months since I returned from taking the summer off for maternity leave—and September’s income report shows that things are still trending downward which means it’s prime time to make some moves to change this and start, once again, growing!

This is a transcript of Work Less, Earn More, Episode 40. 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.

Hey there, I'm Gillian Perkins. And welcome back to the show. In this episode, I will be sharing with you exactly how much money my business brought in, in September of 2020, as well as how much we spent. And spoiler alert, as with last month, my income went down again due to the time I took off a couple of months ago for maternity leave. We'll be getting into that a little bit. And later in the second half of this episode, I'm going to be sharing with you a few things that we have put into place that we're starting to work on, so that we can change this trend and make sure that the income is actually increasing in future months. I'm back in the game now. Things are rolling. And I'm ready to start making progress again. Beyond the Income Report, I'll also be sharing with you exactly how much time I worked and what I spent my time on this month, and how much time my team worked. And something that I haven't shared with you in the past, which is what my team spent their time on.

Affiliate Program Income

All right. Let's get on into the Income Report. First of all, let's talk about some of the things that brought in the bulk of our revenue in the month of September and how we earned that money. The first thing is affiliate program income. This is income that we earn from partnering with affiliate programs. Specifically, we partnered with Teachable, for one of their summits. And then we partnered with Virtual Savvy, which is a training program for virtual assistance. And together, those two affiliate programs brought in $4,396. The next thing on my profit and loss that brought in the most revenue was YouTube, which brought in just shy of $5,000 this month. It's a little bit down from where it's been the past few months. It has gotten as high as 8,000 within the last six months, which was an all time high. 5,000 is much more normal.

It'll be interesting to see in future months, if this ad revenue continues to go down or continues to fluctuate between 5,000 and 8,000, or if that 8,000 really was quite a peak and we don't see that again for a long time. A very small item on my profit and loss report, but one that I'll mention here is, attract paying customers. This is a specific action plan that is one of the action plans that is offered inside Startup Society that we've been experimenting with over the past month using as a tripwire. This is a small inexpensive product that we are using to get people to make that transition from being a passive member of my audiences, just consuming free content, to being a more active member of my community, who is actually consuming the paid content. Over the past couple of months, we've experimented with a couple of different products as tripwires.

And so in the month of August, attracting paying customers was our main tripwire and it brought in almost $900. Then in September, we backed off, we switched to a different tripwire that ended up not performing as well. We only earned $135 from attract paying customers. And we earned $324 from the tripwire we were testing, which was another action plan called Decide What Business to Start. A lot of people love that program, but it didn't perform very well as a tripwire offer in the way we were promoting it. I'll get more into that later in this episode. I just want to mention, attract paying customers brought in $135. It'll be interesting to see what that does over future months, because while that is a very small part of our revenue, it is a big indicator as to how successfully we are converting people into paying customers, which affects everything overall.

The next revenue line item would be Channel Launch. And Channel Launch brought in $7,482. And I thought I'd share with you how people typically are purchasing Channel Launch. Their journey starts by finding one of my videos on YouTube, where I'm talking about YouTube growth strategies. From there, they learn about the YouTube workshop that we offer. It's a free workshop called How To Get Views on YouTube With Zero Subscribers. And when they attended that workshop, they find out about the opportunity to join the Channel Launch program. And after the workshop, they also receive a series of emails, sharing more details about the program with them. That is how the majority of these sales come in from organic traffic, a webinar, and then an email funnel. The next revenue item is pro quality videos, which is a very short program that we sell that teaches people how to make professional quality videos, even if they're on a budget.

This is the tripwire product that we've used in our Channel Launch funnel. And it's been converting pretty well. However, I am expecting this to drop away this next month, because we're moving this program into a different part of the funnel. We're not going to use it as a tripwire anymore, but rather as an upsell. It'll be interesting to see how it performs. Honestly, the number here might go up, except that a much smaller number of people will see the offer. I'm expecting this number to go down. And just to explain a little bit why, when it's on the front end of the funnel, where people are seeing it right after they sign up for the webinar, then a lot of people see it, because we have a lot of webinars signups every single week. But when it's on the back end of the funnel and it's an upsale, people will only get the opportunity to buy it after they've already purchased the main program.

Even if the conversion rate ends up being better, which I expect it will be, there will be a much smaller number of people that the offer is being presented to. And so it probably is going to end up being less. But my hope here is that we are getting more people actually onto the webinar, because we've changed up the funnel structure. Now instead of someone signing up for the webinar and then being taken to a thank you page where they're given this tripwire offer and a small percentage of them buy it, then later we try to get them to attend the webinar and then purchase the program. Now, after someone registers for the webinar, they're going to be immediately directed to the page where they can watch the workshop. And I'm hoping that more people actually watch the workshop because of this, get some helpful training and learn about Channel Launch instead of missing out on all of that.

I'm hoping that we see more Channel Launch sales because of the way we're restructuring this funnel. But I will be sure to share more about that with you next month in the next Income Report. And we'll see exactly how this new version of the funnel converts. So far, we've had this new version of the funnel up and running for about two weeks, and that's not really enough data for the data that we have to be statistically significant. I can't say for sure. There are two more items in our revenue, and that is Startup Society, which brought in $14,000 in the month of September. And Video Creator Academy, which brought in just $3,349, significantly down from August when it earned $5,000. And we are expecting this to actually entirely drop off of the Income Report pretty soon here, because we aren't promoting Video Creator Academy as a standalone program at the moment.

We might use it as a standalone program in the future, but right now we're only promoting it as a package offer with Channel Launch, because that's really how we prefer people to purchase the program. Because they're able to be as successful as possible if they have both pieces of this program and they both learn how to work the YouTube algorithm or really work with the algorithm to grow their channel, but they also learn how to make awesome videos, because video quality is so important on the platform.

The Grand Total Is…

All right. All told, we brought in $36,185 in the month of September, compared to $38,251 in the month of August. Essentially, we earned about $2,100 less in September. Not a big drop-off. I could be wrong, but I'm not expecting it to diminish much from here. But it still is on a descent from where we were a few months ago. I think it was back in May, we had our all time best month. We were at about 45 or so thousand dollars in revenue. As I mentioned earlier, it's mostly because I took the summer off. And so there were a lot of projects that I'd done in the Spring that then came to fruition in the summer. And now we're seeing the result of me not working for the summer.

Don’t stress about lower numbers

I also think that certainly the time of year, and the economic climate and leading up to the election, all these things are playing a part. But mostly it's just because we hadn't done any big promotions over the summer or even for the past couple of months. Because I wasn't working in the summer, we weren't gearing up to do promotions. Now, we are actively working on some new projects that we'll be launching. Some new funnels and sales strategies. I'll be sharing those with you more once we get through our expenses for the month and that time report. But for now, the last thing I wanted to say about this is just if you happen to be in a similar situation right now, maybe with your revenue, maybe with your audience growth, maybe with something in your personal life where you are kind of in a descent in your life.

I just want you to know that that is 100% okay. And that, that is just a natural part of a growth cycle. Oftentimes we can feel discouraged when we feel like something is two steps forward, one step back, and we just want it to be constant progress. But really, constant progress isn't normal or natural. It's much more natural to see that pattern of two steps forward, one step back. And I think it's really important that we're okay with that, and that we accept that, and that we understand that it's part of the process. We don't beat ourselves up when we are in that period of contraction when things are shrinking down a little bit.

Because in nature or in any creative journey, you're going to have that Fall and Winter period when things are hibernating and dying away, so that you can have that regrowth, that rebirth in the spring and things can begin to grow again. And while that certainly doesn't always follow the calendar year, I mean, my situation, here's the perfect example of that. The summer ended up being my Fall in the creative process. And now I'm in the Winter of my creative process or the process of my business growth, but just know that it's all part of the process. And you are not behind or failing if you are in one of those parts of the process. But it's the perfect time for you to start working on new things, so that you can create new growth in the future.

Startup Society 

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 and build 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 Again, that's, 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, all 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.

All of our expenses… 

Okay, let's move on and talk about my expenses in the month of September. Unfortunately, these were slightly higher as well. Part of this had to do just with how things fell. I've talked about this before. Sometimes I'm paying my contractors twice in one month and then not in the next, just because of when I happen to pay their invoices. And that was the case this month, where I paid one big invoice twice in the month. And also I redid part of my office. I created a new filming spot in my office for a video. And what I mean by that is the video was about how to make a background for your YouTube videos. But I also wanted to actually make a new background for myself as well. I spent several hundred dollars there on some new furniture and things like that. So let's go over these expenses.

The first one is advertising and marketing. This all went to Facebook ads. We spent $8,000 on Facebook ads. 3,000 of that went to the company that is managing our Facebook ads. And the other 5,000 was spent on ads themselves. We are not seeing a positive return at the moment. Honestly, I'm fine with not seeing a positive return, because this is money that we're spending to attract new leads to grow our audience, to strengthen the business. And so that's good. However, I would definitely like to see a bigger return than we're currently seeing. Our return on ad spend is currently around 30% or so for the month of September. If you're interested in that, that's definitely something I can get into more in future months. Now we're seeing a lot more data on these ads now that we've ramped up our spend each month, but I would really like to see our return on ad spend up above 75%.

Ideally, it is actually positive when we're making money. But as long as it's over 75%, I definitely feel completely comfortable with the investment I'm making into the business. Next, I'm seeing just over $1,100 that we spent on payment processing fees. That of course is directly related to how much money we brought in. So when we bring in more money, then we have to spend more in payment processing fees. And when we bring in less, then we spend less. And just for your information, $320 of that was PayPal fees. And then $800 of that was to Stripe. I spent just shy of $800 on continuing education. I bought a couple of small programs and also I'm in an ongoing program that costs me $700 per month. I've been asked a couple of times what the name of this program is. I don't actually want to share that, because I have a very mixed review of the program.

I'm definitely learning some things from it and I'm glad I invested in it. But I wouldn't actually strongly recommend it. Since I can't give a good review of it, I'm not going to share exactly what the program is. But it's something that I am on the hook for, for a few more months here. And then that will be off my expenses, which I will be glad for. Although, like I said, I am glad that I have taken the program, because I've certainly learned several things from it. We spent about $300 on graphic design expenses. This number will be going up significantly next month because we've brought a new graphic designer on board, who is a more expensive graphic designer than we've worked with in the past. But I am really excited to be working with her because she comes very highly recommended and she's a very marketing savvy designer.

She really understands the concepts that we're trying to communicate to our audience. And I think she's going to help us create some really unique custom designs to actually explain concepts with the designs. I don't want to spend too much time talking about this right now, but basically I've noticed that sometimes people create template designs just to promote other content. And while it's good to be telling people about helpful content that you made. It is ideal if the designs themselves can be helpful as well. If they can be infographics that actually teach you something, not just promote other content. This designer will be helping us do that, but it means our expenses there will be going up next month. Beyond that, I spent about $700 on office decor. Like I said, I redid a part of my office to make a new filming space.

And then we spent $420 on software and subscriptions. I was testing out a few new pieces of software in the business and I ended up deciding not to change anything, but I'm still glad that I tried them out, because it gives me more confidence in what we're doing. We spent $1,700 on podcast management, which is the amount we normally spend. And then we spent $1,600 on video editing, which is significantly higher than it was the past couple of months. That's because I'm back to making YouTube videos. Plus, I made a few extra promotional videos and we produced a few more action plans. I think we probably edited the videos for two new action plans that will be coming out in early 2021. We got a whole lot done, and this is kind of an expense that just kind of ebbs and flows from one month to the next. But is money very well spent because my business pretty much runs on video. And the more high quality video we produce and we get into the hands of our audience, the more money we tend to make.

In addition to that, we spent about $600 on website updates. We have a designer we work with on a regular basis and we hired her to help us just update a few things on the website, including moving Startup Society to When we first created the website for Startup Society, wasn't available. We bought, but we since have actually purchased, which I'm so excited about. And this month, the web designer finally moved it over to that new URL. And then beyond that, she also moved our sales page to that URL, so that when people go to and they're not a member, they can find out about the program. Because previously when people went to the Startup Society website, they would just be met with the login page. And if they weren't a member, there wasn't any information to tell them about the program, or how to sign up or anything like that.

My Wages

Next step, there's the $4,700 that was paid to me in wages. And then the $360 in taxes for those wages. Then we spent $300 on administrative assistance. This is split pretty much in half between money that was paid out to our marketing manager and money that was paid to our customer service team. I paid another $2,300 out to my integrator for her management services. $320 for cell phone and internet. And finally, $1,200 was spent on an Airbnb that we are going to use for our team retreat in two months from now. I've paid for it now, but we will be getting the benefit from it in two months. This will be our first in-person retreat. I’m so excited about that. I;m excited to meet my virtual team members face-to-face. And I'll definitely share more about that in future episodes. All right. So that is everything for my expenses.

Profit and Loss

All told, we spent $27,454 in the month of September, compared to $22,335 in the month of August. And as usual, both of those numbers should be reduced by about $5,000 that was paid to me in wages. That would bring August to $17,000 in expenses and September to $22,400 in expenses. A pretty significant increase of almost $5,000 in expenses. Like I said, mostly attributed to redecorating the office. More money spent on Facebook ads and paying a few people twice in the month, plus all those extra videos that we produced. But that does mean that my net profit is significantly lower than it has been in past months. On my profit and loss, the net profit showing is $8,730, but adding 5,000 to that would bring it to $13,730. Also, the lowest it's been in a few months. Let's quickly go over how much time I worked and what my team has spent their time working on.

How much I worked

I'll share with you what we're doing to increase the revenue over the next few months here. In the month of September, I worked a grand total of 94 hours. Which works out to just over 21 hours per week, since there were 4.4 work weeks in the month. And some of the things that I spent the most time on this month were first of all, marketing. Specifically, the Startup Society funnels. This is what I'm going to talk to you about in just a couple minutes here. We are working on building some new funnels and I spent about 20 hours per month, and I spent about 20-30 hours this past month working on just that. The reason I say 20-30 is because there's 20 hours that were tracked directly for that, but then there's another 10 hours or so that were on related activities.

I'd probably say most of 30 hours in the past month, working on these funnels. After that, the thing I spent the most time on was YouTube video production, which I spent 11 hours on. And then I spent another five and a half hours in executive meetings with other team members. These aren't so much meetings to manage the team members, as they are in meetings to manage the projects and plan new projects. Because we are working on these new projects, there was a more significant time investment there than there normally is. And two more things, I spent a significant amount of time on were podcast episode creation, which I spent four hours on. And then email marketing. I spent three and a half hours writing emails for our email list. I've been trying to get caught up a little bit. Right now, we're sending out two emails every week to the email list. But people who are subscribed are not getting two emails, we're sending these emails to two different segments.

One email is going to people who are interested in business, and the other is going to people who are specifically interested in YouTube. And so because of that, and I'm writing two emails a week, and one of the projects we're going to be working on in the future is a long term automated funnel that sends people helpful emails for a total of six months that has some pitch emails mixed in. I haven't started working on this yet, but it means I'm going to be spending even more time on email marketing over the next couple of months here. 

How much did my team work?

Now let's talk about how much time my team worked. All told, they worked 242 hours in the month of September. And that means that collectively, they were working about 55 hours per week. As I mentioned before, this is for my internal team, which are the people who are familiar with and interacting with multiple aspects of the business.

This is not including any sort of agency that I'm working with. It's not including the agency that manages this podcast, or the agency that manages our Facebook ads or anything like that. Specifically, includes our marketing manager, project manager, video editor, and customer service representative. Here is what my team has spent the majority of their time on. First of all, 56 hours was spent on project management. This was all Courtney, my integrator, and this is her biggest task is just keeping everything organized. It's kind of her catch all task for all things related to managing our projects. Next up is content management. This was all Bailey, who is our marketing manager. She spent 55 hours on that. Then Tiffany spent about 30 hours answering customer service emails. And John spent 27 hours editing videos. Then the team spent about 16 hours total, between all of them, in meetings.

And then Courtney spent about nine hours reviewing and auditing content that other team members had created. And then Courtney and Bailey both spent about eight and a half hours setting up tech for various funnels and working on the tech of the website. Another six hours were spent managing the Startup Society content. Six hours on managing and interacting with people on social media. Five hours spent creating content for Startup Society. And from there on down, it's pretty much miscellaneous tasks and things related to creating these new funnels. And that is the perfect segue to talk about these new funnels that I've alluded to so many times throughout the last half hour or so here. There are three main things that we are working on implementing right now so that we can start making more money in these future months. And I'm going to share each of them with you, because I think that will be interesting, but also they might give you some ideas for things you could do to increase your revenue as well.

What I’m working on

The first one is working on our thank you page tripwire offers. Basically, what this is, is after someone signs up for some sort of free offer on my website, or they sign up for my email newsletter, they get taken to a thank you page. And this is quite typical standard practice. It just tells people, congratulations, you have downloaded the thing, you're on the list. Go check your email. But this is also prime real estate for selling something. And the reason for this is because you know exactly who is landing on this page and exactly what they're interested in. They just signed up for some specific free offer. And so you have this unique opportunity to sell them something that will help them with a similar problem or help them get a similar result. Not only that, but 100% of the people who have just become your leads will see this page and will get presented with this offer, as opposed to if you send them an offer via email later on, and only about 20-40% or so of these people end up opening the email and even being aware of the offer.

You get to put an offer, a very targeted offer in front of a lot of people, if you put it on that thank you page. And so this is called a thank you page tripwire offer. We've had a thank you page tripwire offer for several months now, but this month, what we're going to really do is work on optimizing that. We're going to figure out some specific offers that we can put on these pages that will be more targeted based on the free offer that someone just signed up for. And we're also going to be A/B testing different page designs and copy. Because this is a part of the funnel that so many people come in contact with, if we can increase the sales conversion rate even slightly, it will have a big impact on revenue. For example, let's say 5,000 people every month land on one of these thank you pages.

If right now it's converting at 1%, and we're making 50 sales. If we could get that up to just 1.5%, we would be making 75 sales. Which is obviously 50% more sales of that low priced offer. It also means we have 25 new customers in the business each month. And like I said, those customers are really valuable, because it's where we get people to take that leap from being a passive member of the audience, to being an active buying member of the audience. That is the first strategy that we are working on. The second strategy is a new sales funnel that we are implementing. I call it a value ladder funnel, and here's basically how it works. We start off by selling a small offer. This is very similar to a tripwire offer, but it's not offered on a thank you page. It's on its own sales page.

If someone chooses to buy this low cost offer, then we upsell them. We offer them something more expensive that they can add to their purchase. If someone says no to that upsell, then we down sell them, and we offer them something less expensive. Either way, we then offer them another upsell. And what that means is that every time we have successfully closed a new customer, we have the opportunity to increase their cart value, which means to make more money from that one customer. And what that means is that we can afford to spend more money on Facebook ads to acquire that customer. For example, let's say we were selling something for $25, which is in fact, the price of that first low cost offer. And then it costs us $3 to get a Facebook ad click, and then 10% of the people who click the ad actually buy.

That would mean that it is costing us $30 per sale, but the product is only being sold for $25. We're losing $5 for every sale. But if we can get some of these people to buy a few more products, then that means that on average, each of these sales will be worth more. Especially considering that some of the upsells cost a few hundred dollars. And that means that we can easily afford to spend that $3 per click, or even four or $5 per click, and we'll still be getting a positive return on that ad spend. I have a diagram I created of exactly how this funnel works. I will make sure that we get that up on the blog and hopefully get it linked in the show notes. Although, I'm not sure if that episode will be up by the time this episode comes out. 

How to implement the 15 minute funnel

Be sure to check back on the blog in about a week, if you want to see that diagram. The third strategy that I'm going to share with you today that we are currently working on implementing is the 15 minute funnel. That sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Because a lot of the time funnels can be a lot of work and a lot of time in order to build. It isn't uncommon at all for a funnel to take days, or weeks, or months for you to get it off the ground. A 15 minute funnel sounds pretty good. Unfortunately, a 15 minute funnel does not take 15 minutes to build, but it is pretty quick and easy. Again, I have a diagram of exactly how this works, that I will get up on the blog. But let me try to describe this to you. It starts off with someone signing up for a 15 minute training, and that's why it's called the 15 minute funnel.

Now, the reason it's a 15 minute training is because everybody's busy. Not everybody has time to watch a two hour long webinar. So we want to give them some value without taking up too much of their time. They will find out about this 15 minute training, either organically via a video, or a blog post of mine or via Facebook ads. And we are going to be actively promoting this with Facebook ads. Once they sign up, they will be taken directly to a page with the training on it, the training video. And what is nice about this is that means we don't have to create a thank you page. And we don't have to send them a series of emails to try to get them to show up for the training. That cuts out a lot of work for us. On the page with the training video, there will also be a paid offer.

And for this 15 minute funnel we're setting up right now, the paid offer will be Startup Society. They'll watch the training video and at the end of the training video, in just the last two minutes or so, I share with them why they might want to join Startup Society and what it could do for them. There, that will be right on the sales page. They'll just have gotten some value and they'll have this invitation. And some of these people will choose to buy right then. However, others of them won't of course. And so we'll send those people a series of emails to try to convert them into buyers. Now, if someone does choose to purchase Startup Society, then we will offer them one upsell from there just to, again, maximize that cart value. Now, right now we're keeping that upsell structure very simple with just one upsell, just because we wanted to keep the funnel as simple as possible, so that we could get it off the ground as quickly as possible.

But in the future, we might go back and add in some more upsells and downsells to increase that cart value even further. Like I said, I have diagrams of both of these funnels, if you're interested in checking them out. And I'll get them on the blog in the next few days. We haven't been actively publishing blog posts lately, just because we've been prioritizing other things. But we have a new process for getting blog posts published that I'm pretty excited about. Should be pretty streamlined. And so I'm looking forward to sharing some more visual content with you all there. All right, well that is everything for this month's Income Report. Thank you so much for joining me. And I'll be back next month to share another one of these with you.

Connect with me

Thanks 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 on Instagram stories. And when you do make sure you tag me at GillianZPerkins So I can see that you're listening. Sharing on stories is going to help more people find this podcast so that they too can learn how to work less, earn more and take back their lives. And if you really love the show, then head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review to give it a boost. Not only will this help the show out, but it's also going to give you the chance to win a 12-month membership to Startup Society. Each week, I'll be picking one winner. To enter, all you need to do is post a review on Apple Podcasts and be sure to include your Instagram handle so we can send you a DM if you win. Okay, now let's wrap this up. I'm Gillian Perkins, and until next week, stay focused and take action.

Sean McMullin