November 2020 INCOME REPORT (Transcript)

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.

This is the very last income report of 2020. I’m glad I committed to doing monthly income reports — it gave me accountability to really look at the numbers regularly and see exactly how things were going.

This is a transcript of Work Less, Earn More, Episode 49. 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. Another month has come and gone, which means it's time for me to bring you another income report. So this is going to be the income report and the work report for November of 2020.

If you're new to these episodes, first of all, welcome. I'm so glad that you are joining us today. How this episode is going to work, is first of all, I'll be sharing our revenue, and then our expenses for the month, along with our total profit. And along with that, I'll also be sharing any significant marketing efforts that we did or any promotions we ran that contributed to those numbers. And then I'll be getting into the numbers of how much we worked. And by we, I mean, both me and my team. I'll be sharing exactly how many hours we work total, as well as projects that we spent time on, and whether those projects contributed to this month’s revenue or will be contributing to the revenue of future months.

November Revenue

So, let's start out by talking about the revenue for November. So the first type of revenue that we brought in is what gets categorized as other income. So this is anything that is not product sales. Most of this is affiliate revenue. And for affiliate revenue, we earned $6,500 in November. This number has been steadily going up over the past year or so, because we got involved with a few affiliate programs that are just such a good match for our audience and what the people who are consuming my content like you are really interested in. And of course, my company provides some different types of training and some services, but there are vastly more things that we can't offer because we are sticking in our lane and trying to really excel at the things that we are offering. So by partnering with these affiliate companies, we're able to offer some really great additional training that is outside of our wheelhouse and serve the audience of you guys even more.

The next line item is for YouTube/Google revenues. This is Ad revenue that is paid because people clicked on ads on my YouTube videos. And for the month of November, it was $5,400. And then we get into the product sales. So, the most significant products that we sold in the month of November were our channel launch program, which we sold $5,000 of, our start-up society membership program, which we sold $16,000 of, and then Video Creator Academy, which we sold $3,000 of. We also sold a few hundred dollars of several different tripwire and smaller products like our attract paying customers action plan, decide what business to start action plan, the plan your business program, and also, our pro-quality videos program.

Overall, product sales were a little bit down in November, and this was primarily due to seeing fewer sales of the channel launch program. Over the past few months, we've been testing an alternative funnel for this program and it hasn't been performing as well. And so, we are about to switch back to the older version of the funnel that was performing better, that was converting at a higher rate. And fortunately, it won't require very much work on our part to revert back because we still have all the pieces of the old funnel, but I'm still glad that we did this test because we learned something that didn't work as well. And so, we can cross that off our list and move on to trying something new. Here, I'll also mention that we did run a very significant promotion in the month of November, our Black Friday promotion.

Now, when we were looking at our promotional calendar for this quarter and deciding whether or not we are going to run this promotion, I was a bit hesitant and had pretty much decided we weren't going to run it. Reason being, the Black Friday promotion that we were considering possibly running was a $1 promotion for the membership, where people could try out the membership for just a dollar for 30 days. And this is exactly what we did last year. And when we did it last year, it worked well in some ways. We had about 300 people take us up on the offer and to give startup society a try, but it came at a cost. A lot of the people who signed up for a dollar of membership weren't really committed. They weren't really emotionally invested, as you would expect when you spend only a dollar on something.

Generally, the more money someone spends on something, the more invested they're going to feel. And so, they will set aside the necessary time and energy to get real results from that thing that they purchased. But if they've spent very little on it, then they won't really feel that it's worth their time. And that was exactly what we saw last year, where we had a lot of customer service inquiries from these people who didn't really understand how to get the most out of their membership. And also, just a lot of cancellations over the few months following the promotion.

So, for all of those reasons, I was not going to do this until my operations manager pulled up the numbers and we saw that, while it had been a little bit of a hassle, a significant number of the new members that we got from that promotion did stick around for many months after. And we ended up earning about $20,000 from that one promotion. And so, when I saw that number, I realized that we probably should run the promotion because that meant that there were a lot of people who stuck around in the program and got a lot of value out of it. And it also contributed very significantly to our bottom line. And it was going to be a very easy thing for us to do. In fact, we could send the exact same emails and it was going to take less than a handful of hours from the team in order to earn $20,000.

So, we went ahead with it, and it didn't contribute very significantly to November's income because those were just dollar memberships. So, we only earned about $300 or so from the new members that joined. But in the months that follow, it will have a fairly significant effect. Altogether, we earned $37,530 in revenue in the month of November. So now, let's move on and talk about our expenses. So, the first expense on my report here is our advertising and marketing expense. This is exclusively Facebook Ads in this case. And we spent $3,843 on Facebook Ads this month, which is down very significantly from what we've been spending over the past few months. As I shared last month, we've decided to take a big step back from Facebook Ads and really just advertising, in general, to double down on building our sales systems.

We're really trying to devote a lot more of our resources, both in terms of money, but also certainly in terms of time and energy, into improving our sales systems and converting a larger amount of the visibility that we're already getting into paying customers. I've just realized that we're going to really be able to take advantage of leverage by doing that, and create much bigger results, while being able to keep a lot more of our revenue. Now, that's not to say that that is always the case. We will come to a point in time when our sales systems have been improved almost as much as they can be improved. And at that point in time, we will see diminishing returns for more time we spend on the sales systems. And so, we'll want to, again, go back to investing more heavily in advertising and getting more visibility and attracting more leads. But right now is not that time.

So, this month this number is down to under 4,000 and you'll see it even lower in the following months. Next up on the report, we have payment processing fees, which totaled about $1,600. And then after that, we have graphic design expenses at $750. We brought on a new graphic designer who we're very excited to be working with because she is fabulous. Her name is Emily. And she is just going to really be able to take our graphics to the next level, not just in terms of how they look, but how they function really so that we can be providing more value in the content we create with these more informative and instructional graphics.

Investments, Softwares, and Services

Something that is completely missing from November's income report is continuing education and training expenses. I did not buy any courses at all. You can give me a little round of applause for keeping my money, which is something I'm not always the best at. I always like to be trying new things and investing in the business, but this month I didn't spend any money on that. And I've finished out paying for a program that I was paying for over the past year. And so, I'm anticipating that in 2021, I will not be spending very much on continuing education and training aside from buying competitors' programs, just to make sure that we stay ahead of the curve and stay the best of the best. But I don't expect that will be a very significant amount of money.

After that, I have $385 spent on bookkeeping services, and no dollars spent on tax preparation, which is good news. Finally done paying for that. It was a project that stretched far too long this past year. Okay. And then after that we have $433 spent on office supplies, including both physical office supplies and some of our software and subscriptions. I've realized recently that some of our software and subscriptions is being divided between both this category labeled, software and subscriptions and also another category labeled, website expenses. So really quick here, I'm just going to dive a little bit deeper into these numbers and tell you exactly what we're spending the money on.

So we spent $200 on SamCart which is our shopping cart software, $235 on transcription services, getting this podcast turned into written form, $20 on Adobe for their creative cloud suite including Photoshop and Premiere Pro and things like that. Then we spent $25 on QuickBooks software, and then another $30 for a separate Adobe subscription for another team member, spent $35 on a continuing education program that is in the wrong category, and then $30 on Hotjar, which is a software that you can cue as to see how users are using your website. So you're not seeing specific users, but you're just seeing data about where people clicked the most, and how people scroll down the page and stuff like that. It's really interesting and we use it to improve our landing pages in the website.

And then we spent $10 on Acuity Scheduling, which we use to schedule appointments. In the website category of software and those sorts of expenses, we spent $1,000 on SiteGround hosting. So this was renewing our plan for the year plus another $135 for another part of the hosting package. Then we spent $200 on the Pro pack for ConvertKit. So, ConvertKit is our email marketing and we normally pay for ConvertKit annually, but we have to pay $200 additional every month for some advanced features. Then we spent $67 for Deadline Funnel, which is a software that allows us to have evergreen deadlines, evergreen countdown timers, so that we can give people deadlines based on when they sign up for certain promotions, so that we can allow people to get certain offers after they have perhaps joined the email list or clicked a certain button. And then the final item here is $16 paid to SiteGround. And I'm guessing that that was to renew one of our domains.

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Profit and Loss Report

Okay, so now getting back into the main profit and loss report, we spent $1,769 on this podcast and the production team that is helping us with it. We also spent $49 on vidIQ, which is the software for YouTube video creators to help you analyze different possible keywords and optimize your videos and things like that. I've been testing it out over the last few months. I probably won't continue paying for it on into the future much, but I'm still testing it out right now. After that, we come to payroll expenses and subcontractors. So, there was $4,700 paid to me in wages, and then about $360 paid in federal payroll taxes. And then for subcontractors, we spent a total of $8,300 on subcontractors.

This included my operations manager, our customer service team, a graphic designer who is doing more like graphic design assistance work, where she is just copying and pasting text and formatting it and things like that, as well as VA's and video editing, which was $1,000 spent on video editing. The final expenses on my report here are $310 paid for telephone and internet. And then finally, a credit of $1,200 for travel. Because we were going to have our annual team planning retreat this month. And I paid for the lodging, and the plane tickets, and all in previous months. And then unfortunately, poor Courtney, my operations manager got COVID just about two days before we were all going to meet up. And so, unfortunately we had to cancel the entire thing because one of the most important parts of it was us meeting with Courtney.

And so, we ended up hosting the whole thing virtually. And it was a lot more convenient but not as much fun, but I did get that credit of $1,200 for the Airbnb that we did not go stay at. And then the plane tickets also were completely, well, refunded isn't the right word, but we got a credit with the airlines that we can use for the next year. So the money isn't lost at least, I think that it will go to good use, that we will still get our money's worth there. But the money didn't come back into the business directly. Okay. So, that brings us to the end of expenses. Our total expenses, including that credit brings us to $22,822.

And so, if we subtract that from our revenue of 37, 500, then that brings us to $14,700 in profit. And then if we add in the $4,700 of wages that were paid to me, then that will be, can I do this in my head, $19,400. $19,407 to be exact for my total profit. So, just shy of $20,000, which is definitely better than we've been doing for the past few months in terms of profit. And this was mostly due to cutting a few expenses and especially, the advertising expense, which allowed us to keep more of our money. And also, the fact that revenue is up compared to where it was a couple months ago. So, all good things, and I definitely am expecting them to only improve from here over the coming months.

Okay. So now we are going to talk about how much I worked and how much my team worked in order to earn this money. As I mentioned plenty of times in the past, just due to the nature of the business that I run, we often are doing work in one month to earn profits in future months. And so, it's not directly correlated or at least immediately correlated, although I suppose over time it is directly correlated. So just something to keep in mind as I share these numbers. So, in the month of November, the team worked a total of 292 hours, which is the lowest it's been in over three months. And this was partly due to the fact that we just worked an enormous amount last month and just did a lot of heavy lifting. And so, this month we were more coasting. We didn't have a lot of major projects going on. But also due to the fact that we had our Thanksgiving break.

Where Our Time was Invested

And so, over the last week of the month, the team was working a fraction of the time that they normally work. I only worked Monday and Tuesday myself, and I only worked about six hours on those two days total. Okay. So, now let me share with you what we spent this time on. The largest chunk of time was the work that my operations manager put in doing project management. She generally tracks all her time as one lump sum or else divides it between two or three major categories. But the largest one is always project management. She spent a total of 47 and a half hours on that. And then 42 and a half hours was spent on email. This is primarily not me answering email at all, but my team answering emails from our customers and the audience.

The next category is content management. And so, this is pretty much the lump sum of our content managers time. She spent 36 hours mostly publishing and then doing some repurposing of content. Then we spent 20 hours on Startup Society member management, and this is primarily the customer service team, but I definitely put in some time there myself as well. Then our video editor spent 19 hours editing videos. I spent about 17 hours on admin. I say, I, I did the majority of that work but some of the other team members did some of that work as well. And then I spent about 16 hours producing YouTube videos, which involves planning the videos and filming the videos and taking the thumbnails. So, on average, about four hours per week just for context. If anyone is wondering how long it takes me to make a YouTube video, normally about four hours.

And then, I spent about 10 hours engaging with our customers on social media. So this is not me answering YouTube comments or anything like that, but just talking to our customers inside our Facebook groups. And then, the team collectively spent about seven hours in meetings, and then about six and a half hours managing our SOPs, and five and a half hours reviewing and auditing content. So, this is when other people on the team made content, or set up landing pages, or automations or things like that, and then either, I or Courtney, have to go in and just review what they've done and make sure that everything is tight and as it should be.

And then I also spent four and a half hours on email marketing. And then the customer service team, specifically, Tiffany, who is our Startup Society program manager, she spent three and a half hours updating the Startup Society website. Okay. So those are the things that we spent the most time on. Overall, I would say this month was spent doing a lot of maintenance work and just running the business as usual. We didn't start a lot of new initiatives or run any big marketing campaigns aside from our Black Friday promotion, but that took an extremely small amount of time. Now, the one thing that we did do a lot of this month was a lot of planning. And a lot of that went into the admin time that I mentioned earlier, and also some into the meetings time, but we spend a lot of time planning this month for 2021.

We have planned all of our promotions, and all of the projects that we're going to be tackling, at least all the big ones. And we have a lot lined up for us. So, over these next few weeks, I have a fair amount of work I need to do just to get ready for 2021, so we can really hit the ground running and be on schedule. So, I'm glad that we took November kind of easy. And I'm also glad that I'm going to be taking the last two weeks of December off for the Christmas break, because we've just got a lot planned for the year. So, that brings us to the end of this episode. I would love to hear what you have planned for 2021. If you want to send me a DM on Instagram, @gillianzperkins, and to let me know, that's the best place to get to me more directly.

You can also send me an email at I read as many of those emails as I can, but so many of them come in that unfortunately I'm unable to respond to most of them. But I always love hearing from you, so if you want to share with me what your 2021 plans are, I would be delighted to hear from you. 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 @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