Welcome to the first income report for 2016! It’s a little later than usual here in February because my book launched this month (and hit the Wall Street Journal bestseller list!), but more on that later. For now, we’ve got January’s numbers and big lessons to share. [This link leads to Amazon. Full disclosure: I receive affiliate commission if you purchase from this link.]
These income reports are a part of a monthly series that I’ve been doing since October 2008 where I let you in on what’s happening in my business.
Why do I publish these reports?
I do this because I believe in leading by example, and it doesn’t work unless I share everything involved with what I’m doing, including how much I earn, what’s working well, and where I’m completely failing.
My earnings don’t always increase and I do go through a number of failures along the way, but it’s always a lesson for those who follow along. If I can make mistakes so you don’t have to, then it’s still a win.
With all that said, let’s get into January’s report:
Important Goings-On in January
My primary focus for January was my upcoming book launch for Will It Fly?, which went live on Amazon on February 1.
I’m currently in the middle of crafting a super-detailed step-by-step post about the book and everything I did to make it happen, from how it was written to all of the marketing efforts, and where every dollar was spent—and how much I’ve earned, too. So I won’t get into details about that here, but a lot has already been shared on the following podcast episodes:
Also, Team Flynn member Non (pronounced like “known”) wrote an amazing guest post recently about our social media strategy for the book, which I highly recommend you check out.
Again, you’ll hear a lot more about the details of the book launch in that upcoming post. It’s going to be a big one.
A Brand New SPI Website Coming Soon!
Simultaneously, another big focus for January was the redesign of the SPI Blog. I’m working with a team to make it one of the best personal brand websites on the internet, and I cannot wait to share it with you!
It’s not just about fancy designs though. It’s about functional design, and that’s truly the main purpose of the upgrade.
You see, back in July 2015, I ran a survey (thanks to Ryan Levesque’s book, Ask, which I highly recommend), which revealed that the way the current site is structured does a poor job of serving you with relevant content. [This link leads to Amazon. Full disclosure: I receive affiliate commission if you purchase from this link.]
Most people who have heard that I’m undergoing a redesign say something to the likes of, “But it’s not broken!” which is kind of funny, because looking only at the numbers, it doesn’t seem broken. The traffic and time on site have been increasing, but when it comes down to it, hearing directly from the voice of your reader or website viewer is what’s most important.
To confirm the survey results, I reached out to a number of subscribers and had a Skype conversation with them, and after about two hours of conversations with about two dozen people, it was easy to see that, in fact, the site was broken, or at least not fully optimized.
Along the same lines, I’m set on improving the search experience through the site a lot better, too. If you’ve ever tried to use the search functionality on any WordPress site, you’ll probably agree that it’s pretty much a waste of time. Results are hardly ever what we’re looking for, and I’d like to change that here on SPI.
And finally, another big focus is on the products that SPI will be offering in the future, starting with Will It Fly?, and then on to the other products and courses that are coming down the road. We’re laying the foundation to make it easy to integrate a sales page and checkout experience on the site, and further the conversation we start together here on the blog and on the podcast.
We’re shooting for the first week or two in April for the reveal of phase one of our redesign, and I look forward to hearing what you think!
Besides the book and the redesign, I wasn’t focused much on anything else. That’s my cue to get into the numbers breakdown for January, so here we go.
Full Disclosure: Some of the items in the list below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase through that link, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Note: Items with an empty difference percentage were not present on the previous month's income report.
Expenses do not include pro-rated yearly fees. Most are related to the Smart Passive Income Blog and new projects that are currently under development.
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The Biggest Lesson I Learned in January
We’re off to a good start for the year, and I owe a lot of that to my new “word.”
What do I mean?
Well, have you ever heard of people coming up with a new word or phrase to focus on when approaching a new year? This year mine is:
Okay, well that’s an initialism, one that is actually three words, but it encompasses a whole deeper meaning than Chief Executive Officer, especially when you consider how I started my business in the first place.
Back in 2008, coming off of my layoff, I started out as a scrappy, just-make-it-work, figure-it-out-as-you-go type of entrepreneur. And from 2008 to 2015, I had always considered myself as that scrappy kind of entrepreneur, because I was good at it.
It’s almost a ready, fire, aim approach.
During these past six months, however, I have made a mindset shift to start thinking of myself as more of a CEO of my company. Not CEO in the sense that I’ll be putting on a suit every day, inaccessible to my team, and above everyone else, but CEO in the sense that I need to start treating my business like a real business.
CEO in the sense that I will focus on building out a team to continue growing, and ultimately serving my community better.
Because of that shift in my focus, I decided I would make it a priority to take charge in working on big projects that would have the greatest impact. That’s where the book came from, why the site redesign is important, and why I’ll be making a shift over the next two years from an affiliate-based income to one that is more diverse with my own products and courses.
It also has me thinking about what else beyond SPI I can get into, something beyond business with even more purpose. I have a number of things in the works that I’m excited to share and take part in very soon.
Systems, purpose, and keeping better track of the numbers are all things that are a priority for me here in 2016, and it already seems to be paying off. I’m excited to continue the SPI journey with you here and share all parts of it with you as we go along.
Again, I truly appreciate your support, time, and attention, and I look forward to serving you more and even better down the road.
Here’s to you and an amazing 2016! Here we go!