Welcome to my September 2014 Monthly Income Report!
Yes, I realize it's already November, but due to personal reasons I've been behind on these reports. Lots of you have been pinging me asking what's up, and I appreciate you keeping me in check.
In the past on the rare occasion that I do get behind and have had to play catch up, I've combined two or more reports in one, but this time I'm going to separate them out. Today I'm publishing September's report, and my next post will be October's. From there, we'll be back on track and ready to go for 2015. An overall 2014 income report is already in the works as well and will be posted early January of next year.
I can't wait for what's coming up, but it's always good to look at the past and what was accomplished and what has been set in motion for the future. Here's what happened in September.
1-Day BB and The Future
Every time my buddy Chris Ducker comes into town, we enjoy putting together our 1-Day Business Breakthrough event. In a co-working space in downtown San Diego, we meet with 20 other entrepreneurs and in a mastermind-like fashion help each and every individual take their business to the next level.
In September, we conducted our 6th successful 1-Day Business Breakthrough event. It's always a blast and we're always happy to hear that everyone says the price of admission is worth every penny.
Chris and I love working together. We seem to have a chemistry that is both entertaining and highly educational to those who attend our events.
Unfortunately, Chris isn't traveling as much next year and as a result, it limits our ability to continually do these types of events.
After our September event, we began to brainstorm how we could make the most out of his limited travel to the U.S. next year.
That's when we came up with the idea to do a road tour. Instead of having random 1DayBB events in San Diego throughout the year, we would visit 5 or 6 different cities around the U.S. all within one period of time.
I love this idea for several reasons:
- Instead of having people come to us, we would be going to them. We would at least be a little more accessible to people who may not be able to travel all the way to San Diego.
- We'd get to serve more people while visiting and exploring different cities around the US
- It would be so much fun! Chris and I on the road for 2 weeks, and there's no one besides my family that I would rather spend that much time with.
When we started to really think about what this trip would entail, however, we began to think twice about the road trip idea.
Sure, 2 weeks on the road would be fun, but that's two weeks away from my family too. It wouldn't make sense to bring them along and I like to be there at home to support my wife as much as possible.
Plus, it takes quite a bit of coordination to conduct an event here in San Diego. Imagine trying to do this in 5 or 6 cities (where I couldn't truly scout places ahead of time like I can here in my hometown), not to mention the cost of hotel and transportation.
And realistically, what would life be like after our two week road trip was over? We'd have some money in our pockets from the events, but that's a lot of sweat, time and energy and both Chris and I know exactly how much our time, energy and attention are worth. By the end of it all, we would be exhausted.
Consequently, we decided to dump the tour idea—at least for now.
We have a few other ideas up our sleeve, but the main thing that's motivating us now is how Chris and I can continue to work together, and how can we potentially reach even more people too.
Agents of Change
I was excited to travel to Maine to speak at Agents of Change an event put on by Rich Brooks who I met a few times at New Media Expo and Social Media Marketing World. Rich was kind enough to invite me to speak last year, but I couldn't go to because my family and I had a Disney Cruise vacation planned.
The Disney Cruise was amazing and my family and I are planning another one soon, however I was definitely bummed I couldn't attend Rich's event. I made sure that I cleared my calendar this year so I could make it, and I'm so glad I did—it was such a great experience!
I got to share the stage with John Lee Dumas, Greg Hickman, Rick Mulready, Nick Unsworth, Chris Ducker and several other marketing leaders, and I got to meet several SPI fans while there as well, which is always a delight to me!
Besides the conference, the highlight of the trip for me was the city of Portland, Maine, and ironically it just so happens that this is the city where John Lee Dumas is from originally. He showed me around and pointed out the apartment building where Entrepreneur On Fire was born before he eventually moved over to San Diego.
I've never been in such a beautiful town. The ocean and the ports mixed in with New England style brick buildings and cobble stone streets—it was gorgeous and I has some free time to myself to roam the city and explore. I will definitely be back one of these days, and I hope to bring my family along too to share the scenery with.
Making Video Easy
Caleb Wojick, who recently stepped away from Fizzle.co to focus on his video-centric brand and products, started helping me with my new video strategy moving forward into 2015. My goal is to utilize my completely underutilized YouTube Channel, and ultimately grow my email list.
Caleb has helped me with video in the past on various projects, including the infamous video trailer for my book, Let Go, and since he's local I'm excited to work with him to step up my video game next year.
Back in 2011, a blog survey with over 7,500 respondents revealed that my videos on YouTube were the #2 way that people first discovered my brand. My podcast was #1, and #3 was links and mentions on other sites.
It's time to get serious about video again, although I've said that before and there's always one thing that keeps holding me back…
How inconvenient it is to create a video!
One of the things I hate the most about producing videos is the setup and takedown of all of the equipment. Beyond the camera, there's the lighting and the audio technology, and that's primarily why I haven't been producing many videos lately.
That will change next year, however, because my wife was kind enough to give me permission to turn the tandem space in our garage into a video studio! My hope is that it'll become a place where I can walk in and press record, with no setup or takedown of any equipment. The garage is a perfect place because there are no windows and I can control the lighting 100% myself and keep it the same within each and every video.
Caleb is helping me setup the room and get the right equipment. I had most of it already, but it's just a matter of filling in the gaps and setting it up properly.
A major concern in the garage is the sound quality of course. It's echoey and I want to make sure the audio quality is just as good as the video quality in the space. Thanks to a consultation with Audi Mute Acoustical Panels, I've been able to find the right items to help with sound absorption in the space. This includes sound absorption blankets that will be off-camera on the sides of the room, as well as panels that cover the ceiling. We're hoping that will be enough, but there are acoustical solutions beyond that which could be added on. Let's hope they aren't needed, because I'd like to spend as little money as possible on making this work.
As soon as it's finished, I will shoot a video of the new space and break down everything from the cost to how the equipment is setup for you.
Alrighty, it's time for some numbers! Here's the breakdown for September.
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.
Another awesome month, and I'm so happy to see that FoodTruckr.com has been consistently earning 4-figures a month!
A significant portion of my total online income comes as a result of this very blog that you're reading right now—mostly from the products that I recommend as an affiliate, which are products I’ve used or am extremely familiar with and have helped me in my own businesses.
When I first started this blog back in 2008, I never intended to make any money from it. If you go back to my earlier income reports you'll see that all of my income was coming from outside of this blog through other businesses. Over time, however, the SPI community has grown and as a byproduct of being helpful and giving away as much as I can, I started earning an income from this site too. Because I believe in total honesty and transparency, I decided to include the income from SPI on these reports as well. It wouldn't feel right hiding this from you.
My non-SPI related income has hovered around the $10,000/month mark for a while now, which is much more than I ever made working my 9 to 5 job in architecture, but I'm truly blessed that I have the support from an amazing community here at SPI who is willing to pay me back for all of the information I publish and the help that I try to provide for free. Some people go out of their way to make sure I get credit for an affiliate link, often emailing me to make sure I got it, which means the world to me. Thank you so much!
With this type of community comes great responsibility and I will never take it for granted. I will never promote something just for the potential income that can come from an affiliate offer, even though those opportunities are definitely there.
I’m incredibly grateful for everything and I will continue to give back with valuable content and my experience in return.
As we get ready to put a cap on 2014, I can't help but be thankful for everything that me and my new team has accomplished this year. In October, I actually went to Columbus, Ohio to meet several of my team members in person and create a plan for 2015.
With that being said, looking back I definitely had lack-luster performance in several areas of my business this year. Video, as I mentioned, was a major disappointment, but I feel I underperformed on the blog as well.
Sure, there were posts that went viral and many that helped a lot of people, but in terms of content production and scheduling, I give myself a D.
One of the things I can't wait to share is about how I'm already 2 months ahead on my podcast production schedule—something that has never happened before. This was one of the great things that came out of my trip to Columbus, but like with the podcast, I hope to get ahead and begin thinking forward in terms of blog post content production as well.
You may recall an earlier post where I mentioned that I began to feel like I had to keep writing the most epic content ever, and as a result, nothing was written at all. I'm slowly breaking away from that and am already feeling much better about my written word. Thank you for sticking with me, poking me and helping me as I continue to grow and figure things out along the way.
Look out for my October 2014 report in the next post. Cheers!