Latest EOFire Podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire: September 2017 Income Report

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

September 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for September: $207,349

Total Expenses for September: $44,835

Total Net Profit for September: $162,514

Difference b/t September & August: -$7,017

eofire income report button

Why We Publish An Income Report

This monthly income report is created for you, Fire Nation!

By documenting the struggles we encounter and the successes we celebrate as entrepreneurs every single month, we’re able to provide you with support – and a single resource – where we share what’s working, what’s not, and what’s possible.

There’s a lot of hard work that goes into learning and growing as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re just starting out. The most important part of the equation is that you’re able to pass on what you learn to others through teaching, which is what we aim to do here.

Let’s IGNITE!

**We’ll receive a commission on the affiliate links below.

Josh Bauerle’s Monthly Tax Tip

How to deduct medical related expenses

What’s up Fire Nation, my name is Josh Bauerle. I’m a CPA and the Founder of CPA On Fire, where we specialize in working with entrepreneurs to minimize their tax liability while keeping them in line with the ever-changing tax laws.

I’ve been working with JLD & Kate at Entrepreneurs On Fire for years now, and they’ve included me in these monthly income reports with unlimited access to all their accounts so I can verify that what they report here is complete and accurate.

And because they believe in delivering an insane amount of value to you, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level; I also provide a new tax and accounting tip every month!

Last month we discussed medical related expenses and I had to give a lot of bad news about just how deductible (or nondeductible) those medical expenses actually are on your taxes.

Unfortunately, for most people, medical expenses won’t be deductible at all, and for the few who can deduct them, it will likely be a small portion of the actual amounts paid.

This month, I’m going to give a bit better news. There are a few ways to make medical expenses more deductible, and these tips are even more applicable to self-employed people.

Here are two ways to drastically increase the amount of medical related expenses you can deduct on your taxes.

1. Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction

We talk a lot about how the tax code favors entrepreneurs, and the health insurance deduction is a great example of that.

For those employed in a traditional job that have to pick up private health insurance, in order to deduct the premiums they are limited by what we discussed last month.

First, they have to itemize and second, even if they do itemize, those costs are still reduced by 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.

For those who are self-employed, the rules are much more favorable.

If you are self-employed and are not eligible for a group plan through your spouses job, you are able to deduct the entire amount of your health insurance premiums without itemizing and without the 10% income limitation.

Anyone who has had to purchase private insurance and seen the costs involved knows this is a huge advantage.

For those with a family, it could easily be a $10,000 or more tax deduction that employees in similar situations are not able to take.

And you don’t need to have the health insurance plan run through your business to count. It can just be a regular, private health insurance plan. As long as you are self-employed and don’t have any group plan available to you, you will qualify.

Leveraging HSA’s

The self-employed health insurance deduction is great for deducting the health insurance premiums, but what about actual medical expenses? Is there a way to make some of those tax deductible without the crazy itemized and ten percent of income limitations?

Believe it or not, the answer is actually yes – if you can get a health insurance plan that allows an HSA as a part of it.

A health savings account, or HSA, allows you to put up to $3,400 for an individual or $6,750 for a family into a savings account that is used specifically for medical related expenses.

The benefit?

Every dollar you put in there is a write-off on your tax return.

This is essentially a shortcut for being able to deduct between $3,400 and $6,750 of those medical expenses on your taxes without those pesky limitations the IRS likes to put on you.

One word of caution on this one: once you put the money in the HSA, do not take it out for non-medical related reasons. Doing so can subject you to similar penalties to taking out retirement income early.

It can get ugly and expensive. This deduction is solely for being able to deduct medical expenses.

As with many things tax related, there are ways to make medical expenses significantly more deductible, it just takes some planning and strategy.

I highly recommend working with both your health insurance professional and CPA to make sure you are maximizing your ability to deduct medical expenses, especially if you are self-employed!

As always, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss what would be best for YOUR business. I LOVE chatting with Fire Nation!

*Bonus* Claim your spot in Josh’s FREE Course on Business Entities!

David Lizerbram’s Legal Tip

Best Practices for Online Brands

If you’re doing business online, you should take a few steps to make sure that you’re establishing ownership of your brand.

Just because your brand is based online rather than in a physical location doesn’t mean that the rules don’t apply.

Start by recognizing that your brand name is legally considered a “trademark.” So the rules and advice for trademarks also apply to your online brand.

Do Your Due Diligence

Under U.S. law, if a competitor is using the same (or a similar) brand, or trademark, and they started before you did, then they’re considered the “Senior User” and their rights are superior. This means that you should carefully search to be sure that the brand name is unique and nobody else is using it for similar services or products.

Just searching the U.S. Trademark website is not enough – although it’s a good start.

A more thorough search is a better idea. Some people have the resources to do this due diligence on their own, while others hire a trademark lawyer to do the search for them.

Protect Your Brand

OK, you’ve found that your new brand is unique and nobody else has a legal claim on it.

What now?

There are four steps you should take:

1. Get your brand out there!

Since trademark rights are acquired through use in commerce, the sooner and more publicly you start using it, the faster you will acquire those rights.

Lots of people think the opposite is true – that they have to keep their brand name a secret. If you get that advice, ignore it. As long as you’ve determined that your preferred brand is available, it’s usually best to publicize it as soon as possible.

2. File to register your brand with the trademark office.

Again, this is something that some people do on their own, or through some online services, but studies show that trademark applications that are filed by attorneys are more likely to go through and become registered trademarks.

Do your research, talk to multiple attorneys, and find the one who’s the best fit for you and your business.

3. Secure your brand name for all the different social media accounts that you might want to use.

When a new social media services debuts, act quickly and grab your brand name before somebody else does!

4. Get as many domain names as you can.

Think of how someone might misspell your brand, and get those domain names, too – you can just redirect them to your site.

In my experience, lots of entrepreneurs skip this last step. They get MyBrand.com but not variations on the words in their brand name. Then someone else comes along, grabs a domain name with a slightly different spelling, and starts causing trouble.

The cost to get the domain name back can turn into thousands of dollars, when the entrepreneur could have gotten the alternate domain names for next to nothing if they’d been proactive about it!

So, to summarize, always do your due diligence and follow the few simple steps above to protect your online brand. If you do, you’ll be well on your way to creating valuable intellectual property that you can own and benefit from for years to come.

If you have a legal question that you’d like me to cover on a future Income Report shoot me an email with your request! I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out when I join John & Kate to talk about your legal questions!

*Bonus* Download David’s FREE Checklist on Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs!

What Went Down In September

Entrepreneurs On Fire Celebrates 5 Years!

For four years straight we’ve been celebrating Entrepreneurs On Fire’s birthday in Maine, but year five brought a new kind of party – this time, in Puerto Rico.

We’ve talked about our community in Puerto Rico many times on these income reports since settling in. We’ve made some amazing friends and truly created a community in Palmas Del Mar. We even refer to ourselves as the Palmas Power Couples 🙂

As is common with most weekends in Palmas, someone hosts some type of get together – a brunch, a Friday night couple’s game night, a Sunday bbq… We’re never at a loss for things to do!

The weekend of September 2nd was really no different: Mark and Krista, Founders of American Posture Institute, were hosting a BBQ at their place on Saturday afternoon at [12:30].

Because a lot of people in Puerto Rico are, well… on “Puerto Rico time”, John and I didn’t really think twice about leaving our place around [12:45] and showing up at 1pm.

As we drove into the gate and up to Mark and Krista’s house, we saw Mark standing outside.

John and I both thought to ourselves that this was a little strange: Mark greeting us outside?

But maybe he was just waiting for someone who didn’t know exactly where they lived…

So we get out of the car and start sun-screening up, and Mark was being a little pushy – like “come on guys, let’s do this!”

Again, didn’t really think too much of it; Mark is an excitable guy 😉

So we follow Mark inside, and walking through their living room we notice a huge picture of John on their TV – you know, the one with his hair and arms on fire.

Hhmmmm… okay, that’s definitely odd. We know our Palmas crew are fans of the show, but this was definitely a little out of place.

So we continue to follow Mark out back where the pool and BBQ area is, and we walk outside and notice a few streamers and some pictures hanging all around their awnings. Now Krista is super creative and loves to decorate, so again, we just thought “oh cute – Krista really did an awesome job with the decorations!”

As we continued walking out and into the BBQ area, we suddenly saw 20 of our closest friends from our Palmas crew standing there, decked out head to toe in orange, yelling out “Surprise! Happy 5-year anniversary!”

John and I were both SO SHOCKED!

The crew did such an amazing job of hiding it; we had NO IDEA!

Entrepreneurs On Fire anniversary

We are so incredibly grateful for the friends we’ve met since moving to Palmas Del Mar; they’re thoughtful, giving, and they keep us on our toes! And they’re A LOT of fun to be around 🙂

Palmas Del Mar

Palmas Del Mar

A huge shout out to the Palmas Power Couples for bringing the heat and helping us celebrate 5 years with Entrepreneurs On Fire!

Hurricane Irma misses; Maria hits Puerto Rico

It was actually at the BBQ we all started talking about and tracking Hurricane Irma, which was about 3-4 days off the East coast of Puerto Rico.

With a few Puerto Rico veterans in the house feeling pretty confident that Irma wasn’t going to hit PR, everyone had full intention of staying put. And stay put they did.

However, that same night I was faced with a really tough decision.

It was September 2, and on September 8 I had a flight out of PR to San Diego to visit my family before heading to Austin to speak at an event.

That would be just 2 days post-Irma, and I was pretty nervous about my flight on the 8th getting canceled – and potentially being stuck in PR – if I didn’t get out of there ahead of Irma.

So I booked one of the last flights that would leave PR before Irma hit: Tuesday afternoon, Sept 5th.

With a worry in my gut that I’ve never felt before, I boarded a plane to FL where I’d connect to San Diego. All I could think about was John being there by himself.

Luckily, the Palmas crew had other plans for Wednesday, September 6th: a Hurricane Party at Ted and Arleen’s place 🙂

I found a lot of comfort in the fact that John would be with everyone, and Irma came and went without too much damage done in our community. A couple of fallen street signs and some downed trees, but nowhere near the type of damage that could have been had Irma hit PR head on.

 

Judging from the first image below, you can see Puerto Rico wasn’t directly in Irma’s path, but you can see in the second image that PR certainly didn’t go untouched either.

There was a lot of damage done to the capital, San Juan, and sure enough, the same day I few out of PR, my flight on September 8th was canceled.

Hurricane Irma

As Irma passed, the island of Puerto Rico let out a huge sigh of relief. There was of a course major concern for the islands behind us that had just been massively impacted, and a lot of thoughts and prayers being sent ahead to FL and the East Coast.

Within days members of our Palmas crew were at Sam’s Club and Costco purchasing food, water and supplies to ship out to the islands around us. With a little loving help from a neighboring island, PR was doing what it could to restore some type of normalcy around it.

But right on the heels of Irma we caught wind of another hurricane that could be danger for PR: Hurricane Jose.

Luckily, within a couple of days, the threat of Jose hitting PR didn’t exist.

But it wasn’t 48 hours later we heard about Hurricane Maria.

Not only had Maria picked up speed incredibly quickly – going from a Cat 1 to a Cat 5 within a day – but she was tracking further South than Irma, a fact that didn’t bode well for PR.

The response to the news of Hurricane Maria was drastically different from that of Irma. Veteran Puerto Ricans were rushing to the store and stocking up on supplies, and unlike Irma, over half of our crew was scrambling to find a flight off the island.

While John was seriously considering staying in PR, the path of Maria only got scarier. By Sunday, September 17th there were zero flights off the island that weren’t already full.

Hurricane Maria was starting to get VERY real.

And on Monday morning, I got a call from John. Our friends Ginni and Tony had sent their two kids in a chartered jet with another family from Palmas, leaving 1 plane ticket available for whoever wanted it.

By Monday evening, after a lot of phone time with Jet Blue and some very close calls, John had a ticket for a flight Tuesday evening, September 19th, at 5:30pm.

Just about 3pm that day I heard the airport would be closing at 7pm.

John was literally one of the last flights off the island ahead of Maria.

As you can see from the images below, there was absolutely no doubt that Maria would hit PR. It was just a matter of where.

In the last image below, that star represents our community.

Hurricane Maria hit within 10 miles of Palmas Del Mar.

Hurricane Maria

The next 72 hours were terrible.

We knew exactly who had stayed in Palmas, and we hadn’t heard from any of them.

It wasn’t until Friday afternoon – more than 50 hours after Maria hit – that we finally got a phone call from Ted & Arleen confirming they were safe, but that Palmas was in very bad shape.

It was a breathe of fresh air to hear from them, but in a very strange way. The news they were sharing, the experience, and their surroundings didn’t sound real.

Even once we saw pictures of our community and home from those who were actually there on the ground (not the news, or CNN, or the Internet), it was still hard to come to terms with what Puerto Rico is going through right now.

This is an image looking down our street. The last time we saw it, it was lined with beautiful, fluffy green trees.

Below is an image of one of our favorite restaurants, not a quarter mile from our house, La Pescaderia. Luckily the main part of the restaurant was boarded up, but the entire property still sustained terrible damage.

Our favorite beach bar, Beach Bohio, was completely washed away.

Beach Bohio

Photo credit, Travis Chappell

We’re very blessed that everyone in the community made it through Maria without injury, and we continue to send our thoughts and love down to the island every day.

My flight back to Puerto Rico has been canceled twice now, leaving us unaware of when we’ll even be able to make it back to our home.

Most of Puerto Rico, including our community of Palmas Del Mar, continues to be without power, without water, without access to gas and diesel, and without the supply chain that can help breathe life back into a devastated area.

Thankfully we finally have more regular contact with our friends in Palmas. While they have to drive 40-50 minutes for service to call, they’ve been incredibly awesome about doing so.

We’re also incredibly grateful to everyone who has reached out and offered to help. Thank you!

The relief efforts are underway, but unfortunately the infrastructure isn’t present to support those efforts. We wish we had a better way to help, but right now what Puerto Rico needs is trucks with gas, clear roads, and drivers who can haul supplies throughout the island.

If Maria has done one thing for us, it’s put everything in perspective.

Screw U Live 2017

Amidst Maria I was prepping for a weekend in Austin for our great friends Jill & Josh Stanton’s live event: Screw U Live.

The event is put on for their community, Screw U, and this year it brought together nearly 100 incredible entrepreneurs who are working towards – or who recently have – screwed their 9 to 5.

Because of Hurricane Maria, John was able to join us, which was a great treat!

The 2-day event featured seven speakers, including Jill & Josh, and to say value was dropped would be an understatement!

Perhaps the biggest takeaway of the weekend was the power of community and knowing you’re not alone.

The opening keynote following Jill & Josh’s talk was James Wedmore, who took the group through some incredible exercises to help determine what their business will look like when it’s done being built.

He also asked a very critical question to help attendees breakthrough the doubts and the imposter syndrome that gets all of us at one time or another:

How does a company like that look and act?

If you take the time to sit down and really map out what your business looks like when it’s done being built, and then ask yourself how a company like that looks and acts, you’ll be surprised at what you come up with.

The final step James covered: now that you know, ACT like it.

I took a few notes throughout the event, and I’m excited to share some of those right here in our income report, including the 4 biggest lessons Jill & Josh shared from their 4 years in business.

4 Lessons in 4 Years

1. Surround yourself with people who get it

Because let’s be real: the people you surround yourself with lift you up, encourage creativity, and affect your behavior.

2. Invest in yourself

Invest in yourself and others will invest in you.

Investing in yourself builds confidence, increases competence, and helps you build connections.

3. Comparison is a killer

Compare yourself to others and they will compare you.

When you compare yourself to others who are “ahead of you” in business, you end up copying and copying ends in bad results.

Be unique.

4. Momentum is the lifeblood of entrepreneurs

Momentum breeds invention!

A huge shout out to Jill & Josh Stanton of Screw the 9 to 5 for bringing the heat, creating a space for entrepreneurs to connect and thrive together, and for hosting one hell of an event!

If you’re looking for a supportive, upbeat community to help support you on your journey to screwin’ the 9 to 5 and building the business of your dreams, check out Screw U!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

September 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $121,907

TOTAL Journal sales: 696 Journals for a total of $26,365

The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!

  • TheFreedomJournal.com: $3,418 (77 Hardcovers & 19 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $10,452 (275 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $13,870

The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!

  • TheMasteryJournal.com: $4,656 (106 Hardcovers & 11 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $7,839 (208 Mastery Journals sold!)
  • Total: $12,495

Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!

  • Recurring: $18,593 (193 monthly)
  • New members: $7,575 (38 new members)
  • Total: $26,168

Podcast Sponsorship Income$64,000

Podcast Websites: $5,000 Your all-in-one podcast website peace of mind

Skills On Fire: $62

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$268 | eBook: $44

Free Courses that result in the above revenue:

Free Podcast Course: A free 15-day course on Podcasting

Free Webinar Course: A free 10-day course on Webinars

Free Goals Course: A free 8-day course on Setting & Accomplishing Goals

Funnel On Fire: A free 8-day course on Creating a Funnel that Converts!

Kickstarter On Fire: A free 5-day course on going from Idea to Launch on Kickstarter!

Affiliate Income: $85,442

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $57,041

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $25,672

Resources for Podcasters: $1,965

Other Resources: $764

  • Amazon Associates: $674
  • Other: $90

Total Gross Income in September: $207,349

Business Expenses: $40,461

  • Advertising: $997
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,643
  • Accounting: $350
  • Cost of goods sold: $3,715
  • Design & Branding: $2,155
  • Education: $149
  • Legal & Professional: $0
  • Marketing: $20
  • Meals & Entertainment: $1,428
  • Merchant / bank fees: $1,526
  • Amazon fees: $6,512
  • Shopify fees: $91
  • Stripe fees: $3
  • PayPal fees: $409
  • Office expenses: $275
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,454
  • Paradise Refunds: $1,545
  • Total Launch Package fees: $0
  • Promotional: $36
  • Sponsorships: $9,000
  • Show notes (email Mallard Creative!): $480
  • The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $0
  • Travel: $1,814
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $5,293
  • Website Fees: $1,566

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $4,374

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Cell Phone: $165 (Thank you, ShrinkABill!)
  • eCamm Call Recorder: $39 (1-time download)
  • Google: $45
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $10
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $396
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $271
  • Manychat: $64
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Screenflow: $39 (1-time upgrade)
  • Skype: $3
  • Shopify: $176
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Workflowy: $5
  • WPEngine: $49
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Taxes & Licenses: $300
  • Quiz Funnel: $1,500 (1-time setup)
  • Zapier: $15
  • Zoom: $15

Total Expenses in September: $44,835

Payroll to John & Kate: $15,900

In our May 2014 Income Report and our June 2016 Income Report, Josh focuses on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check them out!

Wondering what we do with all of our net revenue? We share all in our April 2017 Income Report 🙂

Total Net Profit for September 2017: $162,514

Biggest Lesson Learned

This too shall pass

As I sit here on my friends couch in NYC, I’m reflecting upon this quote.

When things in life are going INCREDIBLE, it’s important to remember This Too Shall Pass, and enjoy the moment.

When things are going TERRIBLE, it’s important to remember This Too Shall Pass, and not dwell on the negative.

Currently, much of our home in Puerto Rico is destroyed courtesy of hurricane Maria, and I could dwell on that reality.

Instead, I choose the mindset of This Too Shall Pass, and I know there will be a day where our place in PR is beautiful once again.

What is going great in your life Fire Nation?

ENJOY that.

What is going poorly?

Don’t DWELL on that.

Below is one picture of the devastation hurricane Maria wreaked upon my home…

I look forward to posting another photo months from now when our home is whole once again.

Remember, This Too Shall Pass.

Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!

EntrepreneurOnFire

Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!

~ Kate & John

Note: we report our income figures as accurately as possible, but in using reports from a combo of Infusionsoft & Xero to track our product and total income / expenses, they suggest the possibility of a 3 – 5% margin of error. 

Click here for all of EOFire’s Income Reports

This post was written by Kate Erickson, Content Creator and Implementer at EOFire. Follow Kate on Social:

Facebook FollowGoogle Plus FollowLinkedIn FollowTwitter Follow

The post Entrepreneurs On Fire: September 2017 Income Report appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2xhyFCY

Latest EOFire Podcast S7E9: Setting and Accomplishing Your Biggest Goals

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

set and accomplish goals

Setting and accomplishing goals isn’t easy; if it were, why wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Today’s episode walks through the most critical steps you can follow to make it happen.

All the details of what’s included below is inside of this episode!

Before we dive in, one of the most important lesson I’ve learned is that goals are accomplished one at a time.

If you want to make progress and move forward in your business and life, then FOCUS is integral.

So before you fill your plate with way more than you can handle, resulting in massive overwhelm and zero action, take a step back and realize that any successful business has been built ONE block at a time.

How to set and accomplish your biggest goals

Here are the steps you can follow starting today to set and accomplish your biggest goals.

5 Steps of reflection

Following the 5 steps of reflection will help you choose your goal.

Remember, ONE goal at a time. Progress requires FOCUS.

Make your goal SMART

Once you’ve chosen the ONE goal you’ve focus on, it’s time to make it SMART.

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time-bound

Set micro-goals

Now it’s time to put a plan in place. The simplest way to do this, since you already know exactly where you want to go, is to reverse engineer your plan.

Given what you want to accomplish, what are the bigger picture tasks that need to happen?

Walk backwards into identifying the smaller steps you need to take to get there.

In The Freedom Journal, these are called 10-day Sprints. During each sprint, you work towards accomplishing ONE of your micro-goals.

Set review periods

You need to be able to track your progress towards accomplishing your number one goal.

In The Freedom Journal, this happens every 25 days.

This is a time to pause and look at:

What’s working

What’s not working

Do you need to correct course?

How are you doing time-wise?

Time to leverage your “measurement” and gauge your pace! And remember, be flexible! If you need to pivot, that’s okay; that’s exactly why we set 10-day Sprints and Review Periods to help us along the way.

Hold yourself accountable

This is a critical piece of the puzzle; if you’re not actually doing the things you’ve already identified as the necessary steps to help you accomplish your ONE goal, how do you expect to get there?

It’s really easy to “let it slide”, but now is the time to step up and NOT let yourself get away with pushing deadlines, saving something for tomorrow, or getting distracted by things that aren’t contributing to you getting one step closer to accomplishing your goal.

The Freedom Journal

If you want a step-by-step guide to everything we’ve talked about in this episode – plus the daily accountability you need to keep your progress and momentum strong – then The Freedom Journal is for you!

Cheers to setting and accomplishing your biggest goals!

The post S7E9: Setting and Accomplishing Your Biggest Goals appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2yizsUu

Latest EOFire Podcast S7E8: Biggest Lessons Learned from Idea to Launch

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

lessons learned

It’s always been my thought that if you’re not learning anything from the projects and goals you’re working on, then what’s the point?

The lessons you learn along the way all prepare you for future projects and goals, and they remind you that nothing of high value comes easy.

We identified 8 lessons learned from launching The Freedom Journal on Kickstarter, and here they are.

8 Lessons Learned from launching The Freedom Journal

Tune in to this episode for details on every lesson learned we share here!

1. Enjoy the Journey

Launching is just the beginning 🙂

2. Your Kickstarter page design, video, and the story you tell make a big difference

Our designer spent countless hours refining our Kickstarter page, and we pulled out all the stop when it came to creating an incredible Kickstarter video (I talked about this in detail in our Hiring episode).

Our designer’s #1 tip? Do your homework! What is the competition doing, and based on that, how can you make your page unique?

3. There’s no guarantee you’ll get featured

We were convinced with the success of The Freedom Journal campaign in the first 24 hours that we’d get a feature on Kickstarter. Turns out, Kickstarter had other plans.

4. Not every idea will work

And that’s ok!

5. Building relationships of trust and value is powerful

The results of The Freedom Journal campaign would have been a whole lot different without the support from our friends and past interviewees on Entrepreneurs On Fire. It’s important to consider the time that goes into building a foundation that can steadily support your campaign.

6. We missed – A LOT

But we also learned a lot after the fact!

Be open to learning new lessons and don’t forget to take that knowledge onto the next project with you!

 

7. Celebrate the wins along the way

Like many of our Freedom Lovers who are on their 100 day journey, we know how important it is to celebrate the wins along the way. Not only to give yourself well deserved props, but also so you can prove to yourself you ARE making progress!

There may be a lot of hiccups along the way – roadblocks and major pivot points – and that’s why celebrating the wins when they come can make all the difference.

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

8. There is A LOT involved with selling a physical product

Taxes? Who said anything about taxes?

We did a pretty incredible job of preparing for this launch; however, one thing we weren’t prepared for was the work involved – and steps required – once we started distributing and selling The Freedom Journal outside of Kickstarter.

Here’s a resource that will help if you’re interested in learning more about selling on Amazon (see links at the bottom of the page.)

And if you’re interested in connecting with an incredible CPA and Lawyer to help on your journey, we have two of the best in the biz on our team:

CPA On Fire Josh Bauerle

Legal Expert David Lizerbram

The post S7E8: Biggest Lessons Learned from Idea to Launch appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2hqT3dU

Latest EOFire Podcast S7E7: The Launch Phase

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

The Launch Phase

You’ve put months into getting to this point on your journey from idea to launch, and now, it’s time to do just that: LAUNCH!

Congratulations!

You and I both know that to get to this point you’ve invested A LOT of time, energy, effort, frustrations… and when launch day hits, it’s go time.

But for us, launch day wasn’t a single event.

Starting way back in the Brainstorming and Planning phase, and throughout the Marketing phase, we always had in the back of our minds that launch day would last for 33 days: the same number of days as our Kickstarter campaign.

In order to make that happen – to leverage the Kickstarter platform, to keep our audience engaged, to continue the momentum we were able to spark before the campaign even launched – we had to do a lot of preparation and planning.

Good news is, because you’ve been on this journey with us throughout Season 7, you already know every step we took – and the timeline we followed.

What happened on launch day

When January 4, 2016 arrived, we pulled out all the stops.

John woke up at 3:30am Pacific time to hit publish on a campaign that we’d be preparing over a year for. Within just four hours we had hit our first funding goal of $25k, which assured us we were off to an incredibly strong start!

That day the first Freedom-focused episode went live on Entrepreneurs On Fire and on The Freedom Journal podcast: it was an interview I hosted with John as my guest.

That day we also were able to watch as dozens of emails went out and hundreds of social media posts were shared by our supporters – remember, these are the friends who we made ‘the ask’ to (discussed in our Marketing phase).

Guest posts were going live, our press release was picked up, and news stations were featuring The Freedom Journal campaign throughout the day.

All the time, energy and effort spent preparing for this day was paying off – BIG TIME!

Not only were all of our marketing efforts coming together beautifully, but we were receiving dozens of emails from Fire Nation and other Freedom Journal supporters expressing their excitement for The Freedom Journal and the campaign as a whole.

So it turned out it wasn’t just us pulling out all the stops on launch day; Fire Nation did, too!

How we leverage our launch party

We closed out launch day strong with a launch party at a local co-working space, Co-mmunity, right near our home in San Diego.

This allowed us to invite our local supporters to help celebrate in person, and it also gave us some pretty cool marketing opportunities…

For example, anyone who attended the launch party was given the opportunity to either ‘up’ their pledge, or make a pledge for the first time right then and there.

The benefit of doing so?

Anyone who pledge at the 4-pack level or higher would receive a hardcover copy of The Freedom Journal right then and there. Those who took advantage were among the first to hold The Freedom Journal in their hands!

But like I said earlier, launch day wasn’t the only day we pulled out all the stops.

We continued pulling out all the stops for the entire 33 days.

Most of this is evidenced through studying our marketing campaign, which was carefully crafted for maximum impact throughout the 33 days of the Kickstarter campaign.

Other marketing strategies we used throughout the campaign

But a few strategies we used that weren’t necessarily planned are as follows:

  • Consistent updates being sent out to backers via the Kickstarter platform
  • The Up-pledge strategy (which I review in detail in this episode)
  • Consistent updates on the podcast

Launch day should be a huge event, but all the hard work you’ve put in up to this point should be leveraged throughout your entire launch campaign.

Whether that’s a few days, a couple of weeks, or 33 days, remember to be creative and test different things out! You never know what’s going to stick with YOUR audience.

The post S7E7: The Launch Phase appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2hc0YrN

Latest EOFire Podcast Biggest Takeaways from Podcast Movement 2017

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Podcast Movement 2017

For the fourth year in a row Podcast Movement brought podcasters from around the world together to learn, share and experience what it means to say the words “I am a podcaster”.

While not everyone at the conference identified as a podcaster, including Payne Lindsey from the hit true crime show Up and Vanished, along with the trio behind Undisclosed, the vast majority celebrated the fact that with a voice, a microphone, and value to share, you can make a huge impact.

But unlike previous years, it wasn’t all about the numbers in Anaheim, CA.

If you’re a podcaster, then you know what it’s like to sign into Libsyn, and then proceed to hit refresh on your stats over,

and over,

and over.

But this year’s focus didn’t have anything to do with refreshing your stats.

As Dan Carlin put it in his keynote Wednesday afternoon, “It’s not about how many people are listening, but about who is listening.”

This is a quote that stuck with me, and even today I continue to remind myself of this fact.

Without the connections we have with our audience – those who are actually tuning in to listen – what else do we have?

Podcast Movement 2017

What went down at Podcast Movement 2017

To help set the tone for what we knew would be an incredible three days, we hosted a pre-conference workshop sponsored by the #1 online community for podcasters, Podcasters’ Paradise, called From Idea to Launch, and Beyond.

Podcast Movement Workshop

During the 8 hour workshop we shared actionable steps plus proven strategies to help the 60 podcasters who signed up to spend the day with us how to do just that: go from idea to launch, and beyond.

But way before we created the workshop outline, John and I knew that with the help of other podcasters – those who are currently in the trenches and have great experiences and lessons to share – we could deliver tenfold on the value.

And so we invited five other podcasters to help us cover different topics within each of the four sessions in our Workshop: The Idea, The How, The Launch, and Beyond.

Podcast Workshop

Weeks of preparation, three group calls, and a lot of worksheets later, we took the stage to share every last detail for podcasters both old and new.

Some of the biggest takeaways for the attendees included the importance of having a launch strategy, how easy it is to get setup with the right equipment, and why building a funnel for your business is critical to its success.

Here’s JLD’s Funnel Formula he shared during the Workshop:

JLD's Funnel Formula

The morning and afternoon came and went, and before we knew it we were headed to the hotel restaurant and bar to host our annual Podcasters’ Paradise meet up!

With about 100 podcasters from the Paradise community in attendance, we were able to meet a lot of members who we’d previously only communicated with online.

Podcast Movement 2017

After the Paradise meet up we made our way over to one of the event rooms to catch a screening of The Messengers Documentary, which went live on iTunes at midnight that night!

The Messengers Docu

The Messengers Docu

Big shout out to Chris Krimitsos and his crew for delivering a very important message: podcasting is a medium unlike any other; one that will allow you to share your message with the world and impact millions in the process.

Our last stop of the night: Bowlmor, and bowling alley just a few blocks from where we were staying.

This is where the Podcast Websites meet up was hosted, and we closed the night out strong wearing stripped shoes and knockin’ over pins. 🙂

Wednesday at Podcast Movement

Wednesday started off with a huge bang: Amy Porterfield, Pat Flynn and yours truly, JLD, took the stage together to chat about what’s hot in podcasting right now.

Podcast Movement Business Track

Amy chatted about the importance of batching and how that has helped her not only stay on schedule and consistent, but also how it has helped her grow her audience and brand.

One of my favorite tips from Amy: every single time she sits down with her team to create episodes outlines, they run each of them through a checklist to guarantee what she’s about to create will be a high level of greatness.

Pat chatted about standout episodes – the best and the worst – and it was cool to hear from each of the panelists what they thought was their best / worst.

Amy shared a 2-part series as her best: the first episode was a mini-training (how to), and the second episode was with one of her actual students who had put into practice what she had just covered.

You can check this 2-part series out on Amy’s podcast, which focuses on her pre-sale strategy: episode 149 and episode 150.

A really cool idea for anyone thinking about leveraging a 2-part episode series to help promote a product or community!

Pat focused on his top-downloaded episode, an interview with LeadPages founder Clay Collins. Clay talked about “laddering up” and shared some incredible insights on how he built a 7-figure business, step by step.

JLD chatted about funnels and the importance of taking your avatar – your ideal listener – on a journey. You can check out the JLD Funnel Formula above 🙂

Next up on stage? Me! And I received one heck of an intro from Shey Harms, founder of Lake Zen.

Podcast Movement 2017

Incredibly nervous and standing in front of a crowd with standing room only, I clicked ‘right’ on a brand new presentation: Audience Growth and Meaningful Monetization with Podcasting Systems.

Through covering the 3 things every podcast needs to achieve this, I gifted 3 very different systems, each of which consist of 5 simple steps.

Those 3 things:

1. Valuable Content

2. Consistent Content

3. Purposeful Content

The most important thing to consider when it comes to implementing any – or all – of these 3 systems is COMMITMENT.

If you can commit to doing the 5 steps listed below under any given system – making these a habit for you and your podcast creation – then you will make progress when it comes to audience growth and meaningful monetization.

Valuable Content

Step 1: Define avatar – your one perfect listener

Step 2: Identify niche – niche till it hurts

Step 3: Go find them – online communities, events, conferences

Step 4: Ask them – Skype chat, SpeakPipe, email, comments

Step 5: Listen – what are the recurring struggles & questions?

Consistent Content

Step 1: Plan it – theming vs. batching; 1 month ahead

Step 2: Schedule it – take out your calendar

Step 3: Record it – plug in your mic – it’s go time!

Step 4: Edit it – my fav editing hack

Step 5: Publish it – upload & schedule to go live

Purposeful Content

Step 1: What should they do? – rotate 5 CTA’s in your eps

Step 2: Map out your ladder – what happens next?

Step 3: Create a series – content outline + a plan

Step 4: Create the funnel – email campaign with content + offer

Step 5: Create the next step – proof of concept, then create

That afternoon I hopped around to a few different presentations, but mostly focused on spending some time at our booth in the main hall and meeting others who were also sponsoring the event.

Podcasters' Paradise Booth

The biggest difference between this year and last was that our booth was actually a booth that sat front and center by the main entrance.

We were also very lucky to have 3 sets of helping hands this year:

Knowing there was great representation sharing The Freedom and Mastery Journals with attendees took a ton of stress away and allowed us to make the most of our conference time.

By 3pm that afternoon we were settling in for the first two keynotes of the event: the trio behind Undisclosed, and then, Dan Carlin from Hardcore History.

While it was interesting to hear how Undisclosed got started, I can’t say there was a ton of value being shared through the presentation. At one point, there was even confusion around where everyone actually lived – something you’d think you would know about your co-hosts.

Dan Carlin on the other hand was very high up on my short list of favorites, which I have to assume was in part due to his amazing stage partner, Andrew Warner of Mixergy, who was leading the conversation.

Value bombs from Dan included:

“It’s not about how many people are listening, it’s about who is listening.”

“If it’s not for the listeners, it’s for no one.”

And something along the lines of “don’t cheat your listeners out of receiving great content. The quality of your content is so important.”

We capped Wednesday ON FIRE with a dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and an after party put on by iHeartRadio at The Fifth, a roof deck bar overlooking Disney Land.

While I was incredibly tempted to head back to the hotel around 11pm, I found myself on the roof deck until close to 1am catching up with friends both old and new and enjoying being outdoors for the first time all day.

Thursday at Podcast Movement

Luckily, I don’t have trouble sleeping, because Thursday morning brought another full day!

To start the morning off, I attended a session by Jodi Flynn of Women Taking the Lead. Her talk was all about how to avoid “podfading”.

Podcast Movement 2017

Just in case you haven’t heard the term before, podfading refers to those who launch a podcast, then within a few weeks or months drop off the face of the earth with no explanation.

Jodi put together an easy-to-follow and super smart plan for making sure this doesn’t happen to you.

It included 3 checkpoints you can review if – or when – you start to wonder whether or not you can continue on with your podcast.

Those 3 checkpoints:

1. Your Why

2. Your Community

3. Your Goals

After Jodi’s talk I hooked up with 3 incredible podcasters who I’d be sharing the stage with for a panel later that day called Cashing in on Content: How to Leverage Your Niche Audience.

The trio of greatness:

We ducked into the speakers lounge to review the flow, and by 1pm I found myself on stage for the third time in 3 days!

This awesome pic is compliments of the PM17 App newsfeed:

cashing in on content with your podcast

The theme we stuck with throughout the panel is the idea that niching down allows you to stand out.

With a laser focus on providing the most amount of value possible, the panel shared what they’ve learned post-launch about the importance of niching down and engaging with your audience to help your show grow.

And because each of these podcasters has monetized their show in very different ways, it was incredibly valuable to hear how they each got there.

For Josh, his podcast has helped him bring in at least 23 new clients for his business, Indy Franchise Law.

For Vanessa, her podcast has given her the opportunity to bring on sponsors that have relevant offerings for her niche audience: pregnant women.

And for Kara, her podcast audience asked, and she listened! Just this year Kara created The Wedding Planning Video Vault, a video series to help newly engaged couples navigate every step of their journey to wedding day.

After the panel I couldn’t help but be drawn to Payne Lindsey’s room – the guy I mentioned earlier who doesn’t identify as a podcaster (even though he has a hit podcast that actually helped solve an 11-year-old cold case of a girl gone missing in Georgia).

Because I had just recently binged the entire podcast it was really cool to see him on stage and hear him talk about the process he followed in order to create and produce such an intense, high-quality and engaging show.

However, I couldn’t help but challenge him on the fact that he didn’t identify as a podcaster – he was on stage talking about the success and impact of the podcast with a t-shirt that read: “I am not a podcaster”.

While I didn’t get a straight answer from him, I guess I can’t argue how someone else feels.

Although it would be great if those who were leveraging the medium to create such amazing content – content that is having a huge impact on the real world – would proudly identify with being a podcaster. The medium and industry could certainly use the good press! Spreading the word about podcasting is the only way it grows.

Friday at Podcast Movement

Bright and early Friday morning I was front and center to see our Podcast Websites partner, Mark Asquith, present!

Podcast Movement 2017

Mark talked about dominating your niche with series podcasting, which was extra appealing to me since a couple of years ago I moved to seasons on my podcast, Kate’s Take.

Mark brought out a ton of great points regarding how your podcast is published depending on whether it’s a series podcast or just an ongoing one.

For example, he recommended pushing your season to its own feed once published (while also keeping it live on your “main feed”).

This gives those who might just be searching podcasts for a specific topic an opportunity to find targeted, focused episodes on exactly what they’re interested in.

Mark also mentioned the sponsorship opportunities for a podcast that has focused seasons on niche content, which is something I hadn’t really thought about before.

After Mark it was on to the final two keynotes of the event – the first one by Aaron Mahnke of the hit podcast Lore.

Podcast Movement 2017

I’ve heard a ton about this podcast – it’s always at the top of the iTunes charts and it comes highly recommended. But for whatever reason I haven’t tuned in yet – until just a few days ago.

Not only was he an amazing speaker on stage, but he had so much passion and feeling around the topic of podcasting and how to do it right. It was an amazing way to wrap up the event.

Aaron talked about there being 5 things every podcaster should focus on, and those 5 things are:

1. Be consistent

  • Set listener expectations
  • If you want podcasting to be your full time job, act like it
  • Don’t disappoint your listeners with your schedule, format, frequency, or quality

2. Be prepared

  • You’re taking people on a journey, and you have to be prepared in order to do that
  • Everyone is a storyteller behind the mic – no matter what their podcast is

3. Be respectful

  • Time, money and attention are our most valued and limited resources
  • Your listeners are tuning in for a reason; deliver it already!
  • If you have a sponsor, be respectful of them

4. Be original

  • Don’t copy – be unique!

5. Be focused

  • Your job is to make a damn good show, not to find out how to make money

Podcasting is like flying a kite. If you build a crappy kite, it won’t fly.

To close it out strong Podcast Movement brought back Shannon Cason of Homemade Stories.

Podcast Movement 2017

Shannon focused on WHY people podcast.

Throughout his presentation he had audio clips from other speakers and attendees who were at Podcast Movement.

He asked them: “Why do you podcast?”

The range was wide – everything from “Because I like to hear my own voice” to “Because I have a message to share and an impact to make”.

I guess it goes to show that everyone podcasts for a different reason, and it’s important to remember why we do what we do.

Biggest Takeaways from Podcast Movement

After Podcast Movement I reached out to our podcasting community who attended and asked them:

What was YOUR biggest takeaway from Podcast Movement?

Here’s what they had to say…

My name is Jaime Jay and I host a podcast called Stop Riding the Pine.

My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that I really need to be open to new ideas.

I met so many awesome people that are doing great things in the podcast world. Just when I think I’m getting ahead, I learn more new things that keep challenging me to get better.

This event served as a great reminder that I need to keep pushing forward. It was a blast seeing old friends and making new friends. I loved this event and am very happy to have attended!

My name is Josh Brown and I host the podcast Franchise Euphoria.

My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that my podcast needs to now become the Hub from which all my digital and social media efforts spoke off from.

It became abundantly clear at PM17 that rather than having a social media campaign that includes just sending out my Podcast as part of my marketing efforts, I should make my Podcast the central hub from which all of my social media content flows in terms of topic, focus, etc.

As an example, if my next episode on my Podcast regards franchising a restaurant, then all of my social media marketing should revolve around that focused topic.

This may seem obvious to a lot of people, but it was certainly an “ah ha” moment for me at PM17.

My name is Mary Albee and I host the podcast Pure Dog Talk.

My #1 takeaway from PM17 was the smart tech opportunities coming with Alexa, Apple Homepod and Google adding optimized podcasts to voice searchable content.

My name is John Lee Dumas and I host the podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire.

My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that everyone needs to be Podcasting with a purpose.

Just turning on a mic and talking is not a winning strategy.

Your Podcast should have a funnel, which is the journey you take your listener on that ends with some kind of product, service, community, or VALUE BOMB.

Strategic planning wins.

My name is Mark Asquith and I host the podcast The 7 Minute Mentor.

My #1 takeaway from PM17 was to be a story teller!

It doesn’t matter your niche or focus, you have to captivate people with stories that MATTER!

My name is Shawn Park and I host the podcast Be Your Own Nerd.

My #1 takeaway from PM17 was to “Just Launch” my podcast.

I need to stop over planning, overthinking, and need to stop making sure everything is perfect because it will never be.

My name is H. Guthrie Chamberlain, III and I host the podcast Wisdom-Trek

My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that it was a privilege to speak on the PMx stage and get to meet 11 other excellent speakers and hear their presentations.

It will help to improve my speaking opportunities in the future. Also, the networking and connections made are invaluable.

My name is Paula Chamberlain and I will host the podcast A Quilter’s Life.

My #1 takeaway from PM17 was that there was strong support for my soon-to-be-released podcast A Quilter’s Life, where I’ll be interviewing quilters and sharing their stories on why they quilt and how that passion integrates into their overall life stories.

If you attended Podcast Movement 2017 we hope you enjoyed it!

If not, there’s always next year! Podcast Movement 2018 will be in Philly, and we can’t wait to see you there!

The post Biggest Takeaways from Podcast Movement 2017 appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2f9KDUc

Latest EOFire Podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire: August 2017 Income Report

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

August 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for August: $237,193

Total Expenses for August: $67,662

Total Net Profit for August: $169,531

Difference b/t August & July: +$32,337

eofire income report button

Why We Publish An Income Report

This monthly income report is created for you, Fire Nation!

By documenting the struggles we encounter and the successes we celebrate as entrepreneurs every single month, we’re able to provide you with support – and a single resource – where we share what’s working, what’s not, and what’s possible.

There’s a lot of hard work that goes into learning and growing as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re just starting out. The most important part of the equation is that you’re able to pass on what you learn to others through teaching, which is what we aim to do here.

Let’s IGNITE!

**We’ll receive a commission on the affiliate links below.

Josh Bauerle’s Monthly Tax Tip

What’s up Fire Nation, my name is Josh Bauerle. I’m a CPA and the Founder of CPA On Fire, where we specialize in working with entrepreneurs to minimize their tax liability while keeping them in line with the ever-changing tax laws.

I’ve been working with JLD & Kate at Entrepreneurs On Fire for years now, and they’ve included me in these monthly income reports with unlimited access to all their accounts so I can verify that what they report here is complete and accurate.

And because they believe in delivering an insane amount of value to you, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level; I also provide a new tax and accounting tip every month!

Can I deduct health care related costs?

One question I get all the time is “Can I deduct health care related costs?”

We all know health issues are no fun. At least the IRS steps up to give you a nice deduction on those outrageous health care costs… right? Right?!?

Well, the unfortunate answer is: kind of.

But not near as much as you are probably being led to believe.

First of all, lets talk about what can potentially be deducted with health care costs.

The basics of it are you can deduct any “qualified” medical costs paid for you or any of your dependents in a given year.

Essentially this comes down to medical related costs paid to doctors, dentists, surgeons, hospitals, chiropractors, etc.

It also could include lodging when you have to stay in hotels for medical procedures, travel costs and health insurance costs, assuming you don’t have it taken out pre-tax through your job or business.

You can find a large list of approved medical expenses here.

Doesn’t sound too bad, right?

Those medical expenses can add up quickly, especially if you have young kids, but at least you get a nice break on your taxes for them.

I wish it were that easy…

Now we have to talk about the restrictions of deducting these medical expenses.

You Have to Itemize

The IRS gives what they call a “standard deduction” each year. This is just a tax deduction they give you out of the kindness of their hearts (aren’t they sweet?!)

In 2017, the standard deduction for a single taxpayer is $6,350.

For married taxpayers it’s $12,700.

But the IRS also gives you the option to itemize your deductions if you can beat that standard deduction with certain expenses. Itemized deductions consists of many expenses, but the main ones are mortgage interest, property taxes, state taxes, charitable contributions and medical expenses.

So if you add up all of those expenses, plus a few others, and they are more than your standard deduction, the IRS allows you to take the higher itemized deduction, which includes the medical expenses.

For most people, they likely won’t itemize unless they own a home or pay a very high amount of state taxes.

There is a 10 percent of Income Reduction

“Great” you may be saying to yourself.

You own a home and you live in California. Plenty of mortgage interest and state taxes mean you will definitely itemize and now you can deduct all those pesky medical costs, right?

Unfortunately there’s one more restriction, and this is the big one. The IRS is going to reduce those medical expenses by ten percent of your adjusted gross income.

This means if you made $100,000 last year, the IRS is going to limit your medical Cost deduction by a whopping $10,000. So if you had $11,000 in medical costs, the IRS says go ahead and deduct $1,000.

The unfortunate truth here is that unless you have very low income or very, very high medical costs, the tax code provides you almost no relief for medical costs.

So when your doctors or hospitals try and tell you not to worry too much about their crazy high costs because you will be able to deduct them on taxes, take that advice with a giant grain of salt.

Next month, we will go over a few ways that being self-employed can offer you a few better options in deducting these medical costs.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss what would be best for YOUR business. I LOVE chatting with Fire Nation!

*Bonus* Claim your spot in Josh’s FREE Course on Business Entities!

What Went Down In August

Podcast Movement in Anaheim, CA

Podcast Movement is one of our favorite events.

Not only do they bring together hundreds of individuals who all have one thing in common (a love for podcasting), but they also make sure those individuals learn a lot, have an experience to remember, and leave even more inspired than when they arrived.

Podcast Movement 2017 in Anaheim was no exception.

From the opening keynote by Dan Carlin, (which was led by our good friend Andrew Warner of Mixergy), to stage appearances by Pat Flynn, Amy Porterfield, Cliff Ravenscraft, our partner Mark Asquith, and many more, PM kept us busy.

It actually all started the day before Podcast Movement when we hosted an all day Workshop called From Idea to Launch and Beyond.

With a packed house (60 podcasters ready to dive into the details) and 5 workshop leaders to help us through eight hours of content, we left no stone unturned!

Podcast Workshop

The Workshop was an absolute blast and we received rave reviews from those who attended.

A huge thank you to our Workshop leaders Alissa Daire Nelson, Jodi Flynn, Kara Lamerato, Vanessa Merten and Nick Loper!

We followed our all-day workshop up with our annual Podcasters’ Paradise meet up, a pre-screening of a documentary we were a part of: The Messengers, and an after-party put on Podcast Websites at the local bowling alley!

Podcasters' Paradise Meet Up

And this was all before the event had even started!

Wednesday morning our focus turned to our sponsorship booth, where we were selling The Freedom and Mastery Journal. This year was extra fun because we were also doing a drawing for those who invested in a Journal with a first place prize of a 30-minute call with JLD!

Podcasters' Paradise Booth

Congrats to Andy Storch for winning first place!

Luckily we had Zach Hesterberg and Travis Chappell holding down the fort for us at the booth, because first thing Wednesday morning John was taking the stage with Pat Flynn and Amy Porterfield.

Podcast Movement Business Track

We won’t get into too many details about the talks here because we’ll be diving deep in our Podcast Movement 2017 Recap post – going live soon!

Next up on stage: me!

In front of a standing room only audience I presented Audience Growth and Meaningful Monetization with Podcasting Systems.

While I was pretty nervous to present, the feedback I received was really amazing.

The next day I hosted a panel on Niche podcasting, and I was honored to share the stage with 3 other incredible podcasters:

cashing in on content with your podcast

With a laser focus on providing the most amount of value possible the panel shared what they’ve learned post-launch about the importance of niching down and engaging with your audience to help your show grow.

And because each of these podcasters has monetized their show in very different ways, it was incredibly valuable to hear how they got to that stage.

Again, for all the details on our experience at Podcast Movement, be sure to check out our recap, which is going live very soon 🙂

A trip to Vancouver

Immediately following our four days of fun and conferencing at Podcast Movement we jumped on a plane from LAX > Vancouver to visit our great friends Jill & Josh Stanton from Screw the Nine to Five.

After a three hour delay at LAX, we didn’t end up arriving in Vancouver until midnight, so our first night in town was a hug hello – and a goodnight 🙂

But don’t let that fool you… even though we had zero plans upon arrival, the next day we wasted no time diving right in to everything Vancouver has to offer.

If you’ve never been, we HIGHLY recommend it!

It started with a walk around Stanley Park, which lasted about three hours and was absolutely gorgeous.

Online Business

We stopped off for lunch, had an awesome stroll back, and then enjoyed the patio and ocean breeze before heading to dinner.

The next day we enjoyed another epic walk – this time down to Sunset Beach Park for some coffee and frisbee, which ultimately resulted in a visit to Granville Island.

Online business

What?! If I were ever in proximity to a public market like that one – I’d be in trouble! With what seemed like hundreds of vendors with the yummiest and most unique things to sell, we spent a good amount of time walking around.

After the market we had an amazing lunch, then headed back towards Sunset Beach Park and walked on to Yaletown and into Gastown.

That evening we had the pleasure of bbq-ing with our friends Greg and Veronica from Thinkific (based in Vancouver) along with a few other friends from Jill & Josh’s neighborhood.

I know I said we went into this with no plans, but it sounding like a pretty packed schedule, right?!

Just the way we like it 🙂

The next day we rented an 18′ boat and spent the day on the water – starting in Vancouver Harbor and then going over to Deep Cove where we stopped for lunch.

Online Business

We couldn’t have asked for a better day – the water was like glass and the weather was perfect.

Our last day was spent hiking – all the way to Garibaldi Lake. Now this hike is no joke. We drove about an hour and half to get to the start of it, then hiked 5.5 miles to get to one of the most incredible scenes ever.

Online business

Online business

An 11 mile roundtrip hike left us spent, but luckily we had just enough time to stop back at the Stanton’s for a quick shower before our redeye back to Puerto Rico.

Trips like this really get you thinking…

Not only did we have the time freedom to choose to do this after Podcast Movement, but we had the financial freedom to make it happen, too.

Hiking all weekend, and spending the day on the water on a Monday?

We stopped multiple times throughout this trip to really take in how incredibly lucky and grateful we are for the life we’ve created.

Season 7 of Kate’s Take: How to go From Idea to Launch

It’s been well over a year in the making, but it’s finally here!

After we launched The Freedom Journal on Kickstarter I thought it would be a crime to not share that experience with Fire Nation.

All the time, effort and energy that went into figuring out how that whole process was supposed to work had to be shared.

And so pretty much immediately after our campaign on Kickstarter wrapped, I published a post (or what some might consider, a book), to share our experience and the exact steps we took to crush it on Kickstarter.

While I was creating that post, I thought: what about an audio version?

There were so many amazing team members involved in this process, and I knew if I could get them on the line for even just 20 minutes each that I would have loads of priceless advice to share with Fire Nation.

And so I did.

But those audio files and my idea to create the audio version of that post continued to get pushed to the back burner. No excuses here: I simply wasn’t making it a priority.

And so when Season 7 came up for Kate’s Take, I thought about the themes and struggles I’d been hearing from a lot of our audience, and specifically, those who tuned in to Kate’s Take.

A lot of the struggle was around taking an idea and turning that idea into something – something that could help generate revenue.

Ah-ha!

So I went back to our experience with The Freedom Journal, brought up those audio files, and I stretched myself really far to put together a season on Kate’s Take like no other.

If you want to know How to go from Idea to Launch, then this Season is for you. It’s a step-by-step guide to everything you need to consider, know and research in order to make it happen.

How to go From Idea to Launch on Kickstarter

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $142,981

TOTAL Journal sales: 899 Journals for a total of $36,651

The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!

  • TheFreedomJournal.com: $5,577 (130 Hardcovers & 28 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $14,937 (383 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $20,514

The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!

  • TheMasteryJournal.com: $4,320 (83 Hardcovers & 22 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $11,817 (303 Mastery Journals sold!)
  • Total: $16,137

Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!

  • Recurring: $18,054 (183 monthly)
  • New members: $13,500 (42 new members)
  • Total: $31,554

Podcast Sponsorship Income$69,500

Podcast Websites: $5,000 Your all-in-one podcast website peace of mind

Skills On Fire: $33

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$208 | eBook: $35

Free Courses that result in the above revenue:

Free Podcast Course: A free 15-day course on Podcasting

Free Webinar Course: A free 10-day course on Webinars

Free Goals Course: A free 8-day course on Setting & Accomplishing Goals

Funnel On Fire: A free 8-day course on Creating a Funnel that Converts!

Affiliate Income: $94,212

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $50,055

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $42,685

Resources for Podcasters: $536

Other Resources: $936

  • Amazon Associates: $504
  • Other: $432

Total Gross Income in August: $237,193

Business Expenses: $63,922

  • Advertising: $10,444
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,760
  • Accounting: $350
  • Cost of goods sold: $3,810
  • Design & Branding: $1,980
  • Education: $121
  • Legal & Professional: $507
  • Marketing: $320
  • Meals & Entertainment: $1,479
  • Merchant / bank fees: $2,925
  • Amazon fees: $8,818
  • Shopify fees: $219
  • Stripe fees: $5
  • PayPal fees: $267
  • Office expenses: $1,287
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,624
  • Paradise Refunds: $1,755
  • Total Launch Package fees: $875
  • Promotional: $59
  • Sponsorships: $12,750
  • Show notes (email Mallard Creative!): $360
  • The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $5,021
  • Travel: $11 + $1,560
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $4,055
  • Website Fees: $1,571

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $3,740

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Cell Phone: $107 (Thank you, ShrinkABill!)
  • Google: $45
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $10
  • FB Messenger Bots: $1,000 (1-time fee)
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $396
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $229
  • Manychat: $64
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $3
  • Shopify: $235
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Workflowy: $5
  • WPEngine: $49
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Taxes & Licenses: $300
  • Zoom: $15

Total Expenses in August: $67,662

Payroll to John & Kate: $15,900

In our May 2014 Income Report and our June 2016 Income Report, Josh focuses on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check them out!

Wondering what we do with all of our net revenue? We share all in our April 2017 Income Report 🙂

Total Net Profit for August 2017: $169,531

Biggest Lesson Learned

Your life is a series of choices that YOU make; the consequences of which will tell the story of your life. ~ Franz (Pencils of Promise)

You Aren’t Superwo(man)

After our travels in August, John and I returned to Puerto Rico absolutely spent.

Podcast Movement was a lot of work. Not just while we were there running the workshop, speaking on stage, and running a sponsorship booth, but all the time leading up to it, too.

The planning, the coordinating, the double and triple checking…

Not to mention the parties and meet ups and dozens upon dozens of conversations you’re having throughout the day.

It’s all amazing, but sometimes, I don’t think we realize the toll it’s taking on our bodies.

And even though we had a very relaxing trip to Vancouver immediately following Podcast Movement, it still took nearly four days to “recover” from our travels.

It got me thinking… our bodies – and our minds – are not made to ALWAYS be on. If that were the case, we wouldn’t require sleep, or water, or food.

Our bodies and our minds are meant to rest, and in order to perform at our best consistently, we have to remember to give ourselves that time.

It’s nice to think that we’re superwo(man), but it’s also okay to admit that we’re not.

Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!

EntrepreneurOnFire

Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!

~ Kate & John

Note: we report our income figures as accurately as possible, but in using reports from a combo of Infusionsoft & Xero to track our product and total income / expenses, they suggest the possibility of a 3 – 5% margin of error. 

Click here for all of EOFire’s Income Reports

This post was written by Kate Erickson, Content Creator and Implementer at EOFire. Follow Kate on Social:

Facebook FollowGoogle Plus FollowLinkedIn FollowTwitter Follow

The post Entrepreneurs On Fire: August 2017 Income Report appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2vLMQiQ

Latest EOFire Podcast S7E5: The Marketing Phase

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

The Marketing Phase

The Marketing phase of your project is when A LOT of moving pieces will all start coming together.

But by “start coming together” I really mean: they’ll all be happening at once!

During our Marketing phase for The Freedom Journal there were a lot of things happening simultaneously, including the actual creation of The Freedom Journal in China, plus a lot of preparation to make sure the five key marketing tactics we wanted to use would actually work.

Here’s a look at The Freedom Journal being printed, bound and shipped from China!

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

This is an important phase in the process. Be sure to take a step back and think ahead.

What type of production or preparation should be happening right now in order for you to hit your launch date?

Are there moving pieces that should be in motion, but that aren’t yet?

Sit down with a team member, an accountability partner, or a friend and talk through some of the things you have going on at this stage. Then ask: “Are there obvious things I might be missing at this stage in the game?”

Our 5 Key Marketing Tactics

Marketing Tactic 1: The Ask

If you’ve been practicing Gary V’s “Jab, jab, jab – right hook” gig, then now is the time to throw the right hook.

Tune in this episode to hear me dive deep on this topic with our launch team.

The Ask was probably the most impactful of all of our marketing tactics, and it’s important to understand how to do it right – especially the follow up piece.

Here are a few stats to show you how much went into this single marketing tactic:

making The Ask for The Freedom Journal

And here’s the email Tom and his team sent out to all of our previous Entrepreneurs On Fire guests to ask if they’d help support The Freedom Journal launch:

The Freedom Journal

And here are the swipe files I mentioned in this episode so you can check those out.

Marketing Tactic 2: 33 Days of Content Marketing

Our 33 days of content marketing was HUGE.

It included:

  • 33 days on Entrepreneurs On Fire
  • 33 days on The Freedom Journal podcast
  • 33 days on Kate’s Take
  • 33 days on Kickstarter

And this is not to mention any of the promotional content we had scheduled to go live throughout these 33 days, like guest posts, guest podcasts, and emails and support from “The Ask”.

Our 33 days of Content Marketing made sure we were top of mind and expanding our reach as wide as possible.

Marketing Tactic 3: Involving Fire Nation

Not only did we have an interest campaign we’d been running for months, we also took the month or so before our launch to really get Fire Nation involved.

Remember, we weren’t just asking Fire Nation to sign up to hear when we went live; we were offering an experience – for them to come along with us on this journey.

So every step of the way – from hiring Richie, Brandon, Brandy, Tom… all the way to printing, receiving our first copy of the journal, and prepping for our launch on Kickstarter – Fire Nation was a part of it.

Marketing Tactic 4: A Partnership with Pencils of Promise

Our partnership with Pencils of Promise allowed us to not only continue to support a cause we believe in, but it also allowed those who were supporting The Freedom Journal campaign to do the same.

Through our partnership we were able to fund the creation of 2 schools in developing countries, and for backers to have a hand in that not only made it really special for us and for Pencils of Promise, but for each individual backer as well.

Not only were those supporting The Freedom Journal campaign giving themselves the gift of freedom, they were also giving the gift of education to those less fortunate.

For every funding goal we hit on Kickstarter, John and I personally donated $25,000 to Pencils of Promise.

Marketing Tactic 5: Social Media and Paid Advertising

Social media and paid advertising was also a huge contributor to the success of our campaign. Our Facebook ads far outperformed our YouTube ads, but every post – paid or not – made a different.

I’ll be diving into the stats and ROI in our next post: The Launch Phase!

The post S7E5: The Marketing Phase appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2gxcSMb

Latest EOFire Podcast S7E4: The Hiring Phase

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

The Hiring Phase

Next step in going from idea to launch is the hiring phase.

This is where you continuing putting one foot in front of the other, and taking your massively awesome (and literally massive) project ONE step at a time.

By continuing to take one step at a time, you will be revealing the steps that, right now, might seem like “unknowns”, or that you’re not super clear on.

This was certainly the case for us with The Freedom Journal: we didn’t know we’d need an editor, an illustrator, a book launch manager… we discovered these needs through taking one step forward every single day.

Our hiring journey is detailed out in the audio version of this post, but to share a few images and a video with you of the process we were going through at this point in our journey from idea to launch, I’ve included our timeline and other visual evidence that proves we were everything BUT all-knowing when it came to our next step…

Just a reminder that our Hiring Phase really spanned May… to about September.

The Freedom Journal Project Timeline

TMJ Project Timeline

The Freedom Journal Editing process

This was Whitney’s “first pass” at The Freedom Journal digital file, and keep in mind, this is just 4 pages of hundreds…

The Freedom Journal

Our design brief for The Freedom Journal

My email to Brandy detailing out our design and illustrations request for The Freedom Journal wasn’t short.

Little did I know at the time that it would only be the tip of the iceberg in terms of how much work Brandy would end up doing for The Freedom Journal launch.

project planning for The Freedom Journal

A behind-the-scenes of our Kickstarter video creation

Caleb Wojcik and his team helped us not only take incredible lifestyle photos with The Freedom Journal, which would end up being our main collateral for our marketing, but also create the Kickstarter video.

The video on your Kickstarter page is arguably the most important piece. It’s the first thing people see when they land on your Kickstarter page, and if it doesn’t grab their attention or engage them to the point they’re willing to scroll the page, you’ve just lost a potential backer.

Here’s the video that Caleb created of a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of our Kickstarter video for The Freedom Journal…

Richie Norton on the ground in China for The Freedom Journal

Richie provided us so many incredible touch points with China. Each time he visited he would send us pictures of the entire process that was going on – in real time – and that was really special for us to be a part of.

He even caught us on FaceTime during one of his visits, and he walked us around the factory as The Freedom Journal was being printed and collated. Check it out!

Here’s a shot of Richie on the ground in China with The Freedom Journal as it was being printed. Now THAT is a lot of pages!

The Freedom Journal printing

The Hiring Phase of going from Idea to Launch

The Hiring Phase is all about trusting that if you continue taking one step towards accomplishing your BIG goal every single day, that subsequent steps WILL reveal themselves.

Oftentimes that in the form of a task or step you may not be familiar with, in which case you have 3 options:

1. Hire an expert to manage that task or step

2. Research – Google and ask others who have already been there before to help guide you

3. Barter with someone who can help you accomplish that task or step

You’ve got this!

The post S7E4: The Hiring Phase appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2vCkLWj

Latest EOFire Podcast S7E3: The Brainstorming and Planning Phase

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

The Brainstorming and Planning Phase

Brainstorming and Planning might seem like obviously steps to take when going from idea to launch. Unfortunately, many people skip over these steps because:

  • They’re too anxious and have to start
  • They feel like they’re behind schedule
  • They don’t want to face the fact that they have no idea how they’re going to turn their idea into reality

The reasons why people skip over these steps should clearly reveal just how important they are.

Being anxious or feeling like you’re behind schedule is only going to result in sub-par work.

And not wanting to face the fact that you have no idea how you’re going to turn your idea into reality is simply insane: at this phase, you’re not supposed to know!

That’s exactly why this phase exists: so you can write out the steps you need to take and the milestones you need to hit in order to accomplish your goal.

3 Steps to getting your plan started

There are 3 steps to successfully completing the Brainstorming portion of this phase, and those are:

1. Writing out what you already know

2. Doing research

3. Asking others who have already done what you want to do

Once you’ve completed your Brainstorming, it’s time to take the information you’ve gathered and put it into a plan. This means specific steps – in order – with due dates in place.

Be sure to tune in to this episode to get details on each of these steps, along with other critical tips for successfully completing the Brainstorming and Planning phase of your journey form idea to launch!

The post S7E3: The Brainstorming and Planning Phase appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2iizbJT

Latest EOFire Podcast S7E2: The Idea Phase

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

The Idea Phase

Ideas are plentiful when you’re an entrepreneur.

But how many of these ideas are ones you take action on?

How many of these ideas are ones you get proof of concept for?

In this episode I talk about the most important thing John did after having his idea for The Freedom Journal: talk to others about it.

By talking to others about his idea, John made his idea REAL.

In addition, he gained invaluable feedback from his mastermind, his accountability group, and his friends.

He was able to get a lot of his questions answered, and in doing so was able to take his first step to turning his idea into reality.

That first step?

Getting proof of concept

Typically getting proof of concept comes in the form of asking your audience to pay you money for an idea.

This saves you time and a lot of potential frustration – plus, it guarantees that whatever you’re creating is actually something your audience wants and needs.

Perhaps our strongest example of proof of concept here at Entrepreneurs On Fire is Podcasters’ Paradise.

When we had the idea to create an online community and membership site to help teach others how to create, grow and monetize their own podcast, we did NOT start building it.

Instead, we shared our idea with our audience.

We shared our idea with our audience via email, on the podcast, and through live trainings.

On those live trainings we asked our audience to take out their wallet and pay us money for idea. If they agreed, THEN we would build Podcasters’ Paradise.

We were fully transparent with exactly what we were doing: no one was giving us money expecting to have immediate access to an online community and member site. And because they were investing in our idea, we gave them an “early bird” special.

One hundred of our founding members and a few weeks later, Podcasters’ Paradise launched.

But with The Freedom Journal, things were a bit different.

We didn’t follow this same proof of concept process.

Tune in to this episode to hear why – and how – we got proof of concept for The Freedom Journal.

Next time we’ll be talking about The Brainstorming and Planning Phase for how to go from idea to launch!

The post S7E2: The Idea Phase appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2v4TVWE