Latest EOFire Podcast S7E1: The Four Phases from Idea to Launch

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

How to go From Idea to Launch on Kickstarter

Everything starts with an idea.

Yet typically we feel like we’re “behind schedule”, or “moving too slow” if we aren’t already creating something.

As with every project – in both business and life – there are steps or phases you need to go through in order to get from where you are right now to where you want to go.

You don’t just have an idea, and then suddenly have that idea turn into reality.

It takes work.

Throughout Season 7 we’ll be walking through, in-depth, the four phases required to go from idea to launch.

After this season, you’ll have one thing left to do: TAKE ACTION!

Tune in to this episode to hear what the 4 phases are that will help you go from idea to launch, and how we’ll be moving through each of them this season on Kate’s Take.

The 4 Phases from Idea to Launch

  1. The Idea
  2. Brainstorming & Planning
  3. Hiring
  4. Marketing & Launch

In this episode you’ll also get to meet the team who will be joining us this season – the same team who helped us go from idea to launch on Kickstarter with The Freedom Journal back in 2015 and 2016.

This season you can look forward to a behind-the-scenes look from me, plus, insights and expertise from five industry leaders, including our very own JLD!

The Freedom Journal Launch Team

Tom Morkes, Insurgent Publishing

Tom is our book launch manager, and he was responsible for igniting well over one thousand engagements leading up to, and throughout, our launch.

Why was our marketing so powerful? Because of Tom and his team.

Richie Norton, Prouduct

Richie is responsible for the physical creation of The Freedom Journal. We’ll dive into more details about the specific role he played, and why we couldn’t have done this without him.

Brandy Shea, Mile One Creative

Brandy is responsible for almost every visual you see related to The Freedom Journal. She designed our entire Kickstarter page, and she had a big hand in the overall branding for The Freedom Journal.

Brandon T. Adams, Keys to the Crowd

Brandon is our Kickstarter expert, and he helped us ensure that every step of the way we were doing what was best for the campaign and our visibility and performance on Kickstarter.

The set up, the pace, the actions we took leading up to the launch, and a lot of what we did during our launch is thanks to Brandon’s guidance.

John Lee Dumas, Creator of The Freedom Journal

You didn’t think I’d leave this guy out, did you?

Me, your host! Kate Erickson, Project Manager

I’ve always got questions, I’m always thinking about “what’s next”, and I have a knack for avoiding potential disasters when it comes to bigger projects because I’m obsessed with the details.

I was all over quality control every step of the way and because I thrive on project management, this was a great challenge for me!

Be sure you subscribe to the podcast (in both iTunes and Stitcher) so you won’t miss a single episode.

Ready to dive DEEP into what it takes to crush Kickstarter? Then this guide is for you.

The post S7E1: The Four Phases 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/2vwLU07

Latest EOFire Podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire: July 2017 Income Report

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

July 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for July: $197,911

Total Expenses for July: $60,717

Total Net Profit for July: $137,194

Difference b/t July & June: +$1,893

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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!

A business, or a hobby

Last month we discussed the startup phase of a business and how the potential losses in those first few years can offer a tax advantage.

To recap, lets look at an example.

Let’s say your first year in business you lose $5,000, meaning you spent $5,000 more than you brought in. And let’s also say you made $100,000 as an employee that year.

In this scenario, the IRS will allow you to take the $5,000 loss in your business to reduce your $100k income from your employer, making your total taxable income $95,000.

This is a great advantage that can allow you to recoup some of your loss in tax savings.

Business vs. Hobby

But what happens if you continue to show a loss in year two, or three, or even beyond?

Will the IRS allow you to deduct that loss against ordinary income indefinitely?

In these situations, the IRS makes a clear distinction between a business and a hobby.

A business is allowed to deduct losses against ordinary income, a hobby is not.

So where does the IRS distinguish between a business and hobby?

Well first, the goal of a business is to make money. The goal of a hobby is not.

If you are in “business” simply to create a tax loss for yourself, the IRS is going to put you into the hobby category and take away those losses.

After that, the IRS draws a line at the number of years you show a loss.

Generally speaking, they want a business to show a profit 3 out of every 5 years.

Show a loss in those first 2 years, and the IRS expects the next 3 after to show a profit.

How to Protect Yourself

Let’s say you do everything right.

You have clear intentions to make a profit, you actively work towards that, and yet you still show a loss in more than 2 out of 5 years.

Is your business doomed to be labeled a hobby, losing all the tax benefits that come with a business loss?

Not necessarily…

If you take the proper steps, you could protect yourself in the event this happens. Those steps are…

Create a Business Plan

A solid business plan is a great idea for a multitude of reasons. One of them being it could serve as proof to the IRS that although your business is still losing money, you are clearly treating it as a business with the intent of making money.

Show Adjustments

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. It could also be what the IRS uses to label your business a hobby. Show them that you are making attempts to change things to turn your losses into profits.

Do the Right Thing

Most IRS agents are reasonable. They aren’t looking to limit the ability of an actual business to deduct losses.

They are also very good at sniffing out people using their hobby to create a tax deduction. Just do the right thing. Treat your business as a business with the intent to make money and not as a way to reduce taxes. If you do, the IRS is far more likely to rule in your favor.

As we always mention, the IRS gives a very favorable tax code to entrepreneurs.

One of the benefits is the ability to use business losses to reduce taxable income.

But you want to make sure you aren’t taking advantage of these rules. Follow the tips above, do everything you can to turn a profit 3 out of every 5 years, and use common sense.

If you do, your business will stay out of the dreaded hobby designation.

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: Rules for Influencers

Every day I see posts on Instagram and other sites that are in violation of the legal rules for social media influencers.

“Influencers” are, typically, people who are either well-known celebrities or people who may not be known to the general public, but who have a significant online following related to a certain topic.

Common examples include fitness, fashion, and consumer goods.

Sometimes they are referred to as “Brand Ambassadors” or something other than “Influencers,” but the effect is the same. They often receive money or free/discounted goods in exchange for posting about the goods in their online feeds. And very often they don’t properly disclose the nature of the relationship with whoever supplied those goods.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently signaled that they are prepared to go after people who don’t properly disclose when a post is an advertisement. They’ve also clarified how those rules apply to Instagram.

An FTC press release stated that they have recently “sent out more than 90 letters reminding influencers and marketers that influencers should clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media.”

So What Are the Rules for Social Media Influencers?

To keep it simple, I’m going to use the word “endorsement” to include any type of endorsement, testimonial, or affiliate arrangement.

The FTC has the power to investigate and prevent deceptive trade practices.

The FTC regulates advertising, so they set the rules that apply to online influencers and brands that work with them.

What if you don’t have a formal written contract?

If an influencer receives something for free – or at a discount – in exchange for a review or endorsement, they need to disclose that information. Even if it’s not a straight up quid pro quo, these rules apply.

The FTC Guides

Influencers and those who work with them regularly should take the time to read the rules and guidelines published by the FTC:

The current (as of this writing) version of the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising can be found here.

The FTC’s ebook .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising can be found here.

Finally, the FTC also has an FAQ page called Endorsement Guides.

5 Simple Rules

For those who just want a quick reminder, here are some basic guidelines you want to follow. And by “you,” I mean either the influencer or the brand that’s working with the influencer.

1. Be Honest

2. If You Claim to Be an Expert, Actually Be an Expert

3. It’s About the Relationship (Between the Celebrity Endorser and the Company)

4. You Can’t Hide or Bury the Disclosure

5. Fancy Legal Jargon is Not Your Friend

The bottom line is that someone who’s endorsing a product, whether they received it for free, at a discount, or via some other sort of contract, must disclose the nature of that relationship.

What are the consequences of not disclosing?

“Once the Commission has promulgated a trade regulation rule, anyone who violates the rule ‘with actual knowledge or knowledge fairly implied on the basis of objective circumstances that such act is unfair or deceptive and is prohibited by such rule’ is liable for civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.”

No More “More”

The FTC clarified its position regarding some aspects of Instagram endorsements. They noted that…

“…consumers viewing Instagram posts on mobile devices typically see only the first three lines of a longer post unless they click “more,” which many may not do. The staff’s letters informed recipients that when making endorsements on Instagram, they should disclose any material connection above the “more” button.

The letters also noted that when multiple tags, hashtags, or links are used, readers may just skip over them, especially when they appear at the end of a long post – meaning that a disclosure placed in such a string is not likely to be conspicuous.

Some of the letters addressed particular disclosures that are not sufficiently clear, pointing out that many consumers will not understand a disclosure like “#sp,” “Thanks [Brand],” or “#partner” in an Instagram post to mean that the post is sponsored.”

What to Do

Whether you’re an influencer, always include words like “#Ad,” “Sponsored,” “Promotion,” or “Paid ad” in the post. Every time. On every platform. And do so in a way that stands out, #notinthemiddle #ofalong #seriesofhashtags #ad #thatnobody #actuallyreads.

Also, as the FTC indicated, saying “Thanks, Nike” when you post about your cool new sneakers doesn’t cut it.

These disclosures should be clear and conspicuous – which means they have to appear early in the text so someone who’s viewing the post on mobile will see the disclosure before the “… more” pops up. For Instagram that means the disclosure must appear within about the first 120 characters. For other social media platforms, this will vary.

What If It’s Not a Text-Based Platform?

I’m Looking At You, Snapchat.

The same basic guidelines must apply – the disclosure must be clear and conspicuous. You’ll have to adapt your practices to whatever channel you’re posting in.

The Bottom Line

Disclose that it’s an ad or a sponsored post. Do it early. Make sure it’s clear and unambiguous.

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 July

 

The new Free Webinar Course

Checks and balances are important to have, especially when it comes to running your own business.

We love talking about systems and automation; these are two things that have helped us scale and grow our business beyond our imagination.

However, just “setting it and forgetting it” is not an option when you’re an entrepreneur, because as we’ve expressed many times in these income reports: NO ONE cares about your business as much as you do.

For this reason (and many others), it’s integral that you continue checking up on the systems and automation you’ve implemented. What works right now isn’t necessarily going to work in six months. (And even if it does still work, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best use of your resources.)

We came to realize this about Webinar On Fire in early 2017.

Looking at the numbers, comparing sales reports, and ‘listening to the market’, we came to the conclusion that, while Webinar On Fire is still a rockin’ membership, our focus and energy is better spent elsewhere in our business.

As a result, we started brainstorming ways we could still help those in our audience who are interested in running webinars – without continuing to promote Webinar On Fire.

So, we revamped our Free Webinar Course and partnered up with the great Amy Porterfield to share her Webinar course: Webinars that Convert.

Through creating an affiliate relationship with Amy, we’re now able to continue to help our own audience through sharing Free Webinar Course and also direct those who are interested in that “next step” to Amy’s course.

If you want to check out the all new Free Webinar Course, come join us! Free Webinar Course!

You can join JLD and Amy on a free workshop all about how to create webinars that convert! Register here!

 

A visit to Pencils of Promise, Guatemala

In July we were lucky enough to embark on our first #PoPFieldTrip to Guatemala!

If you’re a supporter of The Freedom & Mastery Journal, then you may already know about our partnership with Pencils Of Promise: a portion of all sales goes directly to PoP (now over $85,000 and counting!)

We’ve been supporting PoP since 2015, and so to have the opportunity to be on the ground in Guatemala was definitely something we were anxiously anticipating.

The field trip went a little something like this…

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and pretty much immediately started our 4+ hour trek to the hotel (transportation compliments of Santos and Elisa who are part of the “in-country” team in Guatemala).

The 4+ hours in the car was definitely well-spent: we were able to get to know our fellow field trippers, Sterling, Mike, and our trip director, Susie, (in addition to getting to know Santos and Elisa).

Once at the hotel we were introduced to the rest of the in-country team who would be showing us the ropes over the next few days.

This included:

  • Franz, the lead for community programs in Guatemala;
  • Jorge, the PoP direction in Guatemala; and
  • Cesar, who works closely with Elisa to plan and manage these trips (among MANY other things).

Now I have to admit, before coming on this trip I saw PoP only for what I knew about it: an organization that built schools in developing countries with the help of donors. PoP is in 3 countries: Guatemala, Ghana, and Laos.

But what we learned from the incredible in-country team in Guatemala tells a much deeper story – one that goes way beyond constructing a school.

Our PoP orientation

During our 2-hour PoP orientation the following morning, we learned a lot about the “behind the scenes” stuff.

For example, Jorge talked about the process PoP follows and how they actually determine where they’re going to build schools; Franz talked about the programs PoP has initiated within the past couple of years, to include the WASH program and the Teacher Support program; and Susie talked about the overall setup and structure of PoP in all 4 countries (to include the US team).

How does PoP decide where they’re going to build?

We had been taught through the presentation the more remote and detached a community is, the more likely PoP is to go there and research whether or not a build can successfully happen.

And remote is the perfect way to describe the communities we visited.

There are so many incredible facts, checks, and hoops that the entire team has to go through in order to make a build happen, which made the numbers (PoP has now built over 550 schools in 3 countries) that much more incredible.

For example, the government has to approve every community PoP is going to build in. In addition, the community itself has to guarantee and dedicate 20% of the resources to that build.

I had no idea there was such strong involvement from the government, and PoP has entire teams of people who are solely responsible for building these relationships.

I also had no idea that the community had to dedicate its resources and labor before PoP would build anything, which makes perfect sense. If the community isn’t on board, the chances of a school being a success are incredibly slim.

Our school visits

At the first school we visited we learned about WASH: a program PoP has brought into their schools to prevent health issues, and therefore make it more likely that kids will be in school (instead of home sick).

Toilets, tooth brushes, and a faucet to wash their hands are 3 things these kids literally didn’t even know existed.

The WASH program not only builds the proper facilities for this to happen in – they actually teach the kids how – and why – personal hygiene is so important.

During our time there, the kids showed us how they’ve learned to wash their hands:

Pencils of Promise Field Trip

They gave us a few lessons on painting:

Pencils of Promise Field Trip

And they showed us their soccer skills:

Pencils of Promise Field Trip

After saying goodbye it was back on the road to grab lunch, and then we were headed to our second school of the day. It was there that we got to see the Teacher Support program in action.

Remember when I said there are a ton of hoops to jump through to even get to the point where everyone involved (PoP, the government and the community) agrees that a PoP school should be built?

The Teacher Support program brings that to a new level, because simultaneous to the build happening, the government is hand-selecting the principal and teachers who will lead these schools.

If they can’t find teachers to select (who are then paid by the government), then the build doesn’t happen.

So PoP put together the Teacher Support program so that local Guatemalans – who are a part of the PoP team, called “Technicians” – visit 1 time per week to run through a training program with the teachers:

  • Week 1: they co-create a curriculum that’s based on government standards
  • Week 2: they co-teach the class together
  • Week 3: the technician observes the teacher
  • Week 4: they meet to review what’s working and what’s not

This 4 week cycle repeats itself 7 times throughout a school year, each 4-week session focusing on a new part of the overall education to ensure the teachers both understand, and are able to communicate, the lessons.

Interesting fact: Guatemala is home to more than 20 different languages, many of them Mayan. However, the national language in Guatemala is Spanish. So in these schools teachers are not only educating students with basic reading and writing skills, but also teaching them a whole new language that 9 times out of 10 isn’t spoken in their home: Spanish.

Bright and early the next morning we were headed to our 3rd school visit – this time for an inauguration.

It was Sunday afternoon and we were headed towards a PoP school that would open its doors for the first time that very next day.

Pencils of Promise Field Trip

Upon arrival, it was impossible to miss the beautiful, hand-crafted sign they had hanging on the front of the school. It read:

The first seed for abundance is gratitude.

Being a part of the inauguration was our favorite part of the trip. About 100 community members were waiting for us to arrive with fireworks, balloons and a lot of clapping and cheering.

It was a pretty indescribable experience to not only show up to a school with a lot of happy children, but one that was also filled with the support of the community as well.

Pencils of Promise Field Trip

Pencils of Promise

That morning we had packed up our stuff – our 3rd and final night was in Antigua, so after the tape was cut, we were headed for the city.

We had some downtime before our farewell dinner, so John and I decided to explore the city. During our walk we talked a lot about our experiences over the past few days.

It actually reminded us A LOT of Puerto Rico – specifically Old San Juan – with the cobblestone streets, unique doors and old buildings.

But our main goal of our walk was to make it to top of a hill that had a cross on it – one that John had visited with his family when they were in Antigua before.

Even though it was rainy, and I definitely had no clue where we were headed, we set off in search of the cross…

Pencils of Promise Field Trip

Pencils of Promise Field Trip

Lo and behold, mission accomplished!

While I’m the most directionally-challenged person you’ll ever meet, JLD is like a compass.

Our last night with the in-country team and our fellow PoP Field Trippers included a great dinner out in Antigua and good company. It was the prefect ending to a very special 4 days.

Pencils of Promise

It’s really hard to put into words what it felt like to be on the ground in Guatemala.

To see the lack of opportunity, the lack of resources, and the lack of support was really eye-opening. And of course, it felt great to visibly see the impact PoP is making in these communities.

Thank you to our leader, Susie, and the entire in-country team for making this an experience we’ll never forget!

 

Prepping for an upgrade in Paradise

We’ve been working on this upgrade for quite some time now…

In fact, it started back in December 2016 with a lot of research.

This research phase had really been a long time in the making, but it wasn’t until recently we started discovering platforms that could actually offer us what wanted:

  • Flexibility,
  • Customization, and
  • The ability to layout the content in a better way

When we first launched Paradise in October 2013, that platform didn’t exist. We chose Customerhub because, well, we really didn’t have many other choices.

Luckily, now we do have other choices, and for the past seven months we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure we not only chose the right platform, but that the transition to it would be as smooth as possible.

Transitional success!

In late July we officially brought all of our existing Paradise members onto the upgraded platform and we couldn’t be more fired up about the feedback!

We owe a massive thank you to Thinkific and their team for helping us immensely with this transition, in addition to Rob over at Themeific who helped us customize the heck out of new Podcasting home!

Want to check out the upgraded Paradise? Join us on our next live Masterclass!

 

Our 1-yr anniversary in Palmas Del Mar

In July we celebrated our 1-year anniversary in Palmas Del Mar in style. It was a month filled with events and celebrations to say the least!

In the first 15 days of July alone, we rocked…

  • The Rock fest (July 1)
  • A 4th of July party
  • Celebrating launch w/ ILSA (July 6)
  • The Corona Music Festival (July 8)
  • Krista’s Pink Party (July 15)

Talk about a party!

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year, and we’re incredibly grateful for the amazing community we’ve connected with here in Puerto Rico.

This year has been a huge reminder that who you surround yourself with makes all the difference.

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

July 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $115,913

TOTAL Journal sales: 770 Journals for a total of $30,860

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

  • TheFreedomJournal.com: $3,965 (76 Hardcovers & 35 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $13,771 (364 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $17,736

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

  • TheMasteryJournal.com: $2,087 (40 Hardcovers & 19 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $11,037 (290 Mastery Journals sold!)
  • Total: $13,124

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

  • Recurring: $20,849 (4 annual, 195 monthly)
  • New members: $11,400 (30 new members)
  • Total: $32,249

Podcast Sponsorship Income$47,500

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

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!

Skills On Fire: $92

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$192 | eBook: $20

Affiliate Income: $81,998

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $39,755

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $37,286

Resources for Podcasters: $1,567

Other Resources: $3,390

  • Amazon Associates: $687
  • Other: $2,703

Total Gross Income in July: $197,911

Business Expenses: $57,731

  • Advertising: $10,815 (includes FB ads)
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $791
  • Accounting: $816
  • Cost of goods sold: $3,300
  • Design & Branding: $2,021
  • Education: $354
  • Legal & Professional: $1,686
  • Marketing: $1,500
  • Meals & Entertainment: $651
  • Merchant / bank fees: $1,261
  • Amazon fees: $8,606
  • Shopify fees: $90
  • Stripe fees: $19
  • PayPal fees: $618
  • Office expenses: $461
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,422
  • Paradise Refunds: $1,305
  • Promotional: $2,525
  • Sponsorships: $8,375
  • Show notes (email Mallard Creative!): $468
  • The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $5,019
  • Travel: $736
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,268
  • Website Fees: $1,624

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,986

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Cell Phone: $130 (Thank you, ShrinkABill!)
  • Google: $45
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $10
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $396
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $207
  • Manychat: $25
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $3
  • Shopify: $169
  • TaxJar: $19
  • TypeForm: $350 (annual fee)
  • Workflowy: $5
  • WPEngine: $49
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Taxes & Licenses: $300
  • Zoom: $15

Total Expenses in June: $60,717

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 July 2017: $137,194

 

Biggest Lesson Learned

The first seed for abundance is gratitude

Our Pencils of Promise field trip taught me a lot – both personally (by way of showing me that you can make a difference), and professionally (there is so much that goes on behind the scenes of a successful operation that we never give credit for).

But it also taught me a strong lesson about gratitude.

I’m already a very strong believer in the importance of gratitude, but like many of us, I can sometimes forget that the garbage man not showing up on time, or the fact that some of the gas stations make you go inside to pay, doesn’t signify the end of the world.

The gratitude we were shown in Guatemala was a shining example of how powerful it really is. Families with close to nothing went out and bought us bottles of water while we were visiting the schools; the teachers had coffee mugs made for us; and one principal made keychains for us.

With close to nothing, they’re giving us gifts.

Seeing the sign at the last school we visited with the words “The first seed for abundance is gratitude” was a perfect reminder.

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:

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The post Entrepreneurs On Fire: July 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/2wECPjk

Latest EOFire Podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire: June 2017 Income Report

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

June 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for June: $178,750

Total Expenses for June: $43,449

Total Net Profit for June: $135,301

Difference b/t June & May: +$20,182

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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!

CPA On Fire’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’ll also be providing tax and accounting tips to you along the way!

Josh’s June Tax Tip: Spending money in the startup phase

The startup phase of a business is an exciting time. It’s filled with hope and possibilities of what the future will hold for your brand new business.

But it’s also likely a time of spending money.

From office equipment, to software, to mentors and everything in between, before you are bringing in money you are likely spending a decent chunk of it.

And that’s fine – most businesses have to spend a little money on the essentials before they can start making money. However, when it comes to taxes there are some rules to be mindful of when it comes to spending money in the startup phase.

First, let’s define the startup phase

In the eyes of the IRS, the startup phase lasts until you are open for business and ready to start accepting money from paying customers.

This doesn’t mean you have to have your first sale to be out of startup phase, you just have to be open and ready for business.

Why does it matter what the IRS considers the startup phase of your business?

Because the amount of deductions you can write-off during the startup phase may be limited.

Basically, the IRS will only allow you to write off up to $5,000 of startup expenses in the year they were incurred. The remaining amount will have to be amortized over 15 years.

Let’s look at an example and see how this plays out in real life.

Lets say you started a new business around a podcast.

And lets say that between your equipment, education (including Podcasters’ Paradise, of course!), mentors, etc. you racked up $20,000 in expenses before your business was officially ready to take on sponsors and start making money.

In that case, the first $5,000 of the $20,000 total will be immediately deductible on that years taxes.

The remaining $15,000 will have to be amortized over 15 years – meaning you can only deduct $1,000 per year over the next 15 years.

That’s quite a bite out of what seemed like a huge tax deduction!…

When you’re just getting started with a new business, it’s easy to get carried away in the excitement and start spending more money than you need to, and a lot of people use the idea that the money being spent is a tax deduction as justification for spending it.

That’s why it’s important to understand the tax rules around startup expenses.

If it’s something you truly need, the deduction is just an added bonus. Otherwise, it’s always best to start out lean and stick to the necessities. The IRS rules around startup expenses are just one more reason to do so.

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* If you haven’t checked out Josh’s FREE course on business entities yet, you can get it here!

What Went Down In June

JLD’s Providence College 15-yr Reunion

JLD's Providence College Reunion

It’s always tough for me (JLD) to come to terms with the fact that College only lasted for four years, because the impact it had and the memories made seem to outweigh that reality by a long shot.

To think I have been OUT of college 4 times longer than I was IN college is mind-blowing, but all we can do is try to enjoy the moment and treasure the memories.

Memories were made on my 15-year Providence College reunion, which happened to coincide with PC’s 100 year anniversary.

It was a weekend of fun, sun, and friends. I hope your summers are filled with the same Fire Nation!

3 Weeks in Maine & Cali

Once the reunion weekend was over, John and I met up in Maine for a week filled with more sunshine, docks, lakes and family time.

It’s pretty amazing what we were able to fit into a single week, including seeing Mamma Mia at the Ogunquit Playhouse and getting tickets to see The Moth podcast LIVE at the State Theater in Portland!

The Moth Podcast

With beautiful weather, great company and a ton of games and laughs, Maine proves once again it’s The Way Life Should Be.

The end of week one sent me packing to Las Vegas to meet up with my family for four days, followed by a 3 day camping trip in Carlsbad, and then a fun-filled week of water parks and bbq’s in San Diego!

John stayed put in Maine to speak at Maine’s Startup & Create Week in Portland, check out the American Ninja Warrior gym, meet up with Puerto Palooza Alum Steve Cabral, and spend some great QT with his family ==>

Working on the road continues to get easier as we learn how to prepare better and how to best set aside specific focus time for work.

A Farewell to FireUP

A couple of months ago we announced a new project in one of our income reports: FireUP.

FireUP was a suite of website apps we were creating with a partner, JC, to help improve email optin conversions and turn your website visitors into leads and sales.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?!

Unfortunately, our MVP didn’t make it.

With low interest and a lot of time invested, we chatted with JC and made the tough decision to shut it down.

Fire Nation, proof of concept is SO important; otherwise you could end up spending a lot of time and money creating something that doesn’t stick. Fortunately, with several checkpoints we were able to recognize the early signs and cut our losses.

We’re so grateful for the partnership and friendship we’ve solidified through this experience. JC and his team are absolute rockstars, and we’ve really enjoyed this experience working with them.

Never be afraid to say good-bye to a project or something else in your business that you know isn’t working. Be sure you have the analytics and data in place to backup your decision, as this can make a really tough decision at least a little bit easier to make.

A Merchant Roadblock

Turns out moving ourselves and the business to Puerto Rico involves way more moving pieces than we had originally anticipated…

While we knew the move wouldn’t be easy, there were a lot of unknowns that, one year later, we’re still running into.

One of the bigger roadblocks we’ve faced has to do with our merchant account, which is the service that pays us after our customer’s credit card has been successfully charged.

This has always been so confusing to me… but essentially how it works when you own an online business and accept online payments is:

  • Your customer pays for a product / service via an online form
  • That payment is ‘processed’ by a payment processor
  • The payment processor sends an approval code to your merchant
  • Your merchant charges the customer
  • Upon a successful charge, your merchant then sends you the money

There are a lot of providers that make this process super simple so you’re not having to involve multiple companies. A few of those easy-to-use payment systems are Shopify, Amazon, Stripe and PayPal.

When you use one of these services as your gateway to selling products, the processor and the merchant are bundled up.

However, with the requirements of our business being here in Puerto Rico, it’s been tough to find a simple solution because a lot of these ‘all-in-one’ services don’t support Puerto Rico.

So about a year ago, as we were getting things set up after our move, we were contacted by someone who told us that Heartland, a merchant provider, was definitely the merchant for us – they could support Puerto Rico and we’d be in great hands.

Of course, the honeymoon phase of our relationship with Heartland was incredible, but one year later I found myself wishing we’d never been introduced.

It’s all part of being an entrepreneur and running your own business, right?

In the moment, that reminder doesn’t always make you feel better. This is one of the toughest, most challenging situations I’ve dealt with in my 4+ years as an entrepreneur.

What it came down

Heartland couldn’t handle Puerto Rico, and so they passed us off to another merchant company called Global about one year after taking us on as a client.

Once we were transferred over to Global, everything fell apart:

  • Insanely poor communication on Heartland’s part
  • AMEX transactions weren’t being settled
  • Discover cards were all being declined
  • Our payment processor was actually shut down at one point, causing EVERY online payment to be declined
  • 2 merchant accounts were opened simultaneously…

…the list goes on.

The worst part about our merchant situation…

NONE of this was brought to our attention by Heartland or Global – we caught all of it ourselves.

This alone proves how insanely important it is to take 100% ownership and responsibility for your business. This could have happened to anyone – whether you’re in Alabama, California, the UK, or anywhere else in the world, having your finger on the pulse is a HUGE deal.

After about 20 hours of customer service calls and reaching out to anyone and everyone I could think of, it turns out Global won’t process AMEX payments for Puerto Rico.

Seems like something that should have been communicated at the very beginning, right?

This meant we not only had to have our merchant account open with Global, but we now had to open a completely independent merchant account with AMEX (and in the end, we opted to no longer accept Discover cards because we would have had to go through the same process there).

I could go on, but I won’t.

Roadblocks are inevitable – it’s how you handle them that determines your success.

The bottom line here is that there are going to be roadblocks you’ll face on your journey that will make you feel like giving up.

They don’t make any sense.

They are frustrating and feel like a huge waste of time.

And it can feel like NO ONE else cares.

Over the past several months I’ve felt completely helpless, angry, upset, and everything in between. But it is this type of challenge that sets successful entrepreneurs apart: we don’t give up.

Never forget that you, as a business owner, must take 100% ownership and responsibility for what’s happening (or not happening) in and to your business.

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

June 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $117,198

TOTAL Journal sales: 732 Journals for a total of $28,801

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

  • TheFreedomJournal.com: $3,697 (76 Hardcovers & 25 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $11,417 (279 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $15,114

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

  • TheMasteryJournal.com: $3,783 (78 Hardcovers & 25 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $9,904 (249 Mastery Journals sold!)
  • Total: $13,687

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

  • Recurring: $21,669 (5 annual, 207 monthly)
  • New members: $8,925 (31 new members)
  • Total: $30,594

Podcast Sponsorship Income$51,500

Podcast Websites: $5,700 Your all-in-one podcast website peace of mind

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!

Skills On Fire: $452

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$128 | eBook: $23

Affiliate Income: $61,552

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $53,936

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $5,942

Resources for Podcasters: $974

Other Resources: $700

  • Amazon Associates: $632
  • Other: $68

Total Gross Income in June: $178,750

Business Expenses: $40,036

  • Advertising: $1,620
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,007
  • Accounting: $350
  • Cost of goods sold: $3,491
  • Design & Branding: $1,980
  • Education: $230
  • Legal & Professional: $1,357
  • Meals & Entertainment: $1,341
  • Merchant / bank fees: $1,419
  • Amazon fees: $8,502
  • Shopify fees: $169
  • Stripe fees: $9
  • PayPal fees: $302
  • Office expenses: $922
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,422
  • Paradise Refunds: $870
  • Sponsorships: $7,750
  • Show notes: $372
  • Travel: $2,143
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,295
  • Website Fees: $1,485

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $3,413

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Cell Phone: $200
  • Dropbox: $100 (annual)
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $10
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $396
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $207
  • Manychat: $30
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $3
  • Shopify: $190
  • TaxJar: $19
  • ThriveCart: $690 (1-time fee)
  • Workflowy: $5
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Taxes & Licenses: $300

Total Expenses in June: $43,449

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 June 2017: $135,301

Biggest Lesson Learned

Don’t rush; practice patience

I’ve realized over the past several months that patience comes in a lot of shapes and sizes and is used in many different situations:

  • In line at the grocery store,
  • When we’re driving in traffic,
  • As we’re setting up our first funnel,
  • During a product launch,
  • Every time our friend or partner ‘does that thing’

What I’ve learned from this realization is that life is so much better when we’re able to separate ourselves from whatever frustration or anger might come as a result of the waiting game.

When I saw this quote from Joyce Meyer, it felt like it came at the perfect time:

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.

Just the same way you can’t move the line at the grocery store, or dictate traffic, or know how to set up a funnel before you’ve actually set one up, you can’t rush your business journey.

Take a step back and appreciate what it is you’re creating.

Work hard, power through the tough roadblocks, get back up after you’ve been knocked down – but never let a lack of patience be the reason you quit.

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:

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

       

 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast EOFire’s May 2017 Income Report

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

May 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for May: $196,304

Total Expenses for May: $81,185

Total Net Profit for May: $115,119

Difference b/t May & April: -$15,126

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 at EOFire.

Let’s IGNITE!

CPA On Fire’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 EOFire for years now, and John and Kate have 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’ll also be providing tax and accounting tips to you along the way!

Josh’s May Tax Tip: Charitable Donations

Charitable donations are an item I get a ton of questions on, and it’s top of mind for me right now, as this past weekend I was in Texas representing a client in an audit that mainly centered around a large amount of charitable donations claimed on their 2015 tax return.

Luckily, the client had done everything by the book, and we came out of the audit without a scratch.

So this month, I’m going to tell you how you can do the same.

First, let’s talk about what a charitable donation is…

To qualify as a tax deductible donation, the money and/or property must have been donated to an IRS-approved nonprofit organization. That would include most churches, schools and places like Goodwill and Salvation Army.

What it does not include is donations to friends in need, donations at fundraisers that go directly to individuals, and even most of the Go Fund Me campaigns for people in need. If it’s not an IRS-approved nonprofit, it’s off the table for a tax deduction.

Next, let’s talk about what records you need to keep to protect yourself.

In the event you are like my client and the IRS comes calling, they classify donations in two categories: cash and non-cash.

Here’s a run down on both.

Cash Donations

This is the easiest one to show proof of.

First, make sure you record exact dates, amounts and who they went to for each donation. If you can make the donation via check, even better.

Second, make sure the organization you donate to issues you a tax receipt. Do these things and you’re fire-proof against the IRS.

Non-Cash Donations

This is where things can get tricky; non-cash donations consist of any type of property donated to a nonprofit.

For most people, it will be clothing, furniture, toys and other household items given to places like Goodwill and Salvation Army.

If your total non-cash donations are under $500, there’s not much you need to do. Simply ask the organization to give you a receipt and you’re clear.

But if it’s more than $500, the level of proof you’ll need to provide is higher.

First, you’ll want to record exactly what you donated, the estimated date you purchased it, the estimated price you paid for it and the current value of it.

So if you donate a couch to Goodwill, you’ll record you bought it on April 3, 2012 for $2,000 and the current value is $600.

Second, you’ll want to be even more sure the organization gives you a receipt with the donation value on it. This will be huge.

Finally, if your non-cash donations are unusually high that year – say over $10,000 – I would even go so far as taking a picture of each item you donate. Example: for your couch, take a quick pic of it and store with your records.

And one more note here: if you have a non-cash item you donated worth more than $5,000 that you’ve owned for more than one year, the IRS requires you get a third party appraisal to determine the exact value. This typically comes into play for people who donate vehicles.

Charitable donations are an awesome way to lower your tax liability and help those less fortunate – a true win/win.

But it’s also an area that is frequently abused on tax returns, and the IRS watches carefully. Follow the rules above and you’ll be in the clear in the unlikely event they do decide to take a closer look.

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* If you haven’t checked out Josh’s FREE course on business entities yet, you can get it here!

David’s May Legal Tip: Copyright & Trademark

What Can I Do When Someone Takes My Logo or Image?

This question came from EOFire listener Lori Eisenstadt: What can you do when someone takes your logo or image and uses it online?

First let’s separate logos and images.

Images

If you create an image, you own the copyright. This doesn’t apply to online memes where you just add some words – I’m talking about an image you created yourself or that an employee created for your company.

If you find that someone has taken your image and used it online, there are a few things you can do.

1. Of course, you can contact the person who’s using your content and nicely ask them to take it down.

They may or may not comply. If not, you can hire a lawyer and sue them, but that’s a bit of an extreme – and very costly – step.

2. Fortunately, there’s a simpler option: if the website, app, or service is located in the U.S. or does business in the U.S., they’re required to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).

The DMCA has what’s called a “safe harbor” provision for online service providers.

Websites that host user-created content – for example, every social media site – can’t be sued when infringing material appears on the site, as long as they comply with “takedown notices.”

These are notices provided by copyright holders that a piece of infringing content has appeared on the site.

If you go to any website or app that has user-generated content and search around a bit, you’ll find a section called “Copyright” or “DMCA” or “legal” – something like that.

They will have either a form you can fill out or an email address to which you can send the notice. In most cases, the content will be taken down quickly at that point.

Often the site will then initiate a process to ensure that the notice was valid.

Be sure to keep good records of images and other content that you create, so if you ever have to prove that you actually created it, you’ll be able to show that you’re the rightful owner.

Use caution, because some people abuse the DMCA takedown process – see this blog post for some examples.

Logos

The same info that applies to images also applies to logos (since a logo is a type of image), but logos are also trademarks.

A trademark is anything that identifies your company as the source of goods or services.

If someone is using your logo without permission – and they’re using it to market competing goods or services – they may be liable for trademark infringement and unfair competition. This is the type of situation where you’re definitely going to want to bring a trademark lawyer in to advise you.

Trademark law is complex, and there may be valid reasons for someone else to use your logo – for example, if they’re doing a “taste test” to see if consumers prefer your goods or theirs, or if they’re reporting factual information about your product or service.

If you’re not ready to hire a lawyer, and your trademark is being used online in a manner that you think is violating your rights, you may be able to take advantage of a takedown procedure similar to the one described above in the “Images” section.

Again, search the website or app for instructions on how to do so.

Wrapping It Up

It’s important to make sure that your valuable intellectual property is not being used against your wishes. Be sure to search for your brand name regularly on Google and your preferred social media networks. And, of course, always contact a legal professional if you run into a potentially serious issue.

Thanks, Lori, for submitting this question!

If you have a legal question that you’d like me to cover on a future EOFire Income Report, click here to email me and I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out when I join John and Kate to talk about your legal questions!

Want to stay on top of how intellectual property issues like trademarks and copyrights affect your business? Download my free Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs Checklist!

What Went Down In May

The Mastery Journal 1-day

Following suit with The Freedom Journal Kickstarter campaign, The Mastery Journal Kickstarter campaign offered a pretty special pledge level: a full day with JLD in Puerto Rico.

The investment was not insignificant: $10,000, not including travel.

Because we know pricing is a tough thing to wrap your head around, we want to breakdown how we came up with this number, and why it’s worth every penny.

How’d we come up with 10k?

Charging what you’re worth is a known struggle for most entrepreneurs, especially when you’re first starting out.

Has John always charged $10k for his time?

Not even close. There was a definite progression up to this number, which developed in line with the following factors:

  • John’s desire to do one-on-one coaching;
  • Other revenue streams; and
  • Our bigger vision.

When you’re first starting out, you likely don’t have multiple income streams. While this should be your goal, you have to build up to it one step at a time.

So when coaching was the only income stream we had, and EOFire and JLD were still proving themselves as a great brand and a credible leader, the investment matched that.

As the brand and JLD became more widely known and trusted, so did our diversification. With other income streams coming into play like Fire Nation Elite and Podcasters’ Paradise, we were able to start weighing our time investments in different areas.

The scales started to tip, and one-on-one coaching was no longer the only way we were generating revenue.

Because of this, John was able to increase the investment for one-on-one time with him.

And when we talk about the bigger vision, this is for the business as a whole. If John were to spend all of his time doing one-on-one coaching, we never would have been able to do things like create Podcasters’ Paradise, or launch The Freedom and Mastery Journals.

If your goal is to grow a coaching business, then that’s one thing; however, if your goal is to create products and other types of services, then there has to be a point where you start doing less coaching and more implementation.

How do we know it’s worth it?

Investing $10k is a big deal, and with it comes pressure and expectations. But as we’ve grown EOFire and JLD has proven his expertise and knowledge time and time again, we have proof that the one-on-one investment is worth it.

Plus, John now has the confidence of nearly 1,700 conversations with today’s most inspiring entrepreneurs, and real relationships with master minds like David Siteman Garland, Pat Flynn, Amy Porterfield, Russell Brunson, and Tim Ferriss – just to name a few.

YOU believing that you’re worth every penny and that you will deliver on the expectations you’ve set is key to not only knowing that you’ve priced your product or service correctly, but also knowing that whoever makes that investment will also walk away knowing it was worth every penny.

Saul, welcome to Puerto Rico!

Now that we’ve given some background, let’s have a peek at John’s first 10k Day for 2017!

From JLD:

In 2016, I hosted two $10k days, and in 2017 I’ll be doing the same 🙂

The first person to rock the $10k day this year was Saul Marquez.

It started out with Saul and I jumping on a 30-minute strategy call the week before he came down to Puerto Rico so I could get a solid sense of where he was at with his business, where he wanted to go, and what he wanted most out of his ‘Day with JLD‘.

After our chat, I was FIRED up because I knew Saul was in the perfect place in his life and business to spend a day under The JLD Microscope.

Saul rolled into Puerto Rico Friday evening and I took him out on the town to meet a few friends and have a fun first night. We limited ourselves to one drink each, as we wanted to be 100% for Saturday’s 12-hour strategy session.

Early Saturday morning, we both awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed, prepared to IGNITE the day.

Without going into too much detail of what Saul and I accomplished, I’ll share that by the end of the first hour I had identified a MAJOR hole in Saul’s business model:

He had no FUNNEL.

In my words, a FUNNEL is the journey you take your Avatar on from the moment they are introduced to your brand to the moment you make a high-level offer.

There needs to be a LOT of value and know/like/trust at each level in your funnel, which in my opinion needs to be a minimum of six levels. I call this The JLD Method.

We built Saul’s ENTIRE funnel, and now Saul has EXACTLY what he needs to pour IGNITER fluid on the top of his funnel, and watch revenue drip (and eventually pour) out the bottom.

Saul (like my other 1 day peeps) has become a friend, and I know our paths will cross many times and that I will take pride in the success that awaits him.

And thanks to Saul, I now drink Matcha Tea!

Puerto Palooza

Saul’s 1-day in PR wasn’t the only deep-dive we did during the month of May…

Right before we launched The Mastery Journal on Kickstarter we had an idea: what if one of the pledge levels for the campaign included a 3-day mastermind here in Puerto Rico?

We’ve certainly gotten the request for an in-person mastermind or an event more than a few times from Fire Nation, so we figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a go.

Not knowing what to expect, we added a $6,500 pledge level to our campaign, which included a 3-day mastermind here in Puerto Rico, a signed Mastery Journal, and a spot on EOFire.

Five weeks later we had five attendees locked in and the planning was in full swing.

Even though we’d never hosted an intimate mastermind like this before we knew our experience with participating in masterminds and leading what we like to call a “hot seat” would play a huge role.

With a lot of logistical planning around travel and accommodations and a few strategy sessions between the two of us, we came up with a solid plan for the weekend.

We decided to host the mastermind at our home here in Palmas Del Mar; we knew this would add a personal and intimate touch that we’d never be able to create at a hotel or event center.

Puerto Palooza Mastermind

The first two days (Friday and Saturday) were the business-focused days.

Throughout these two days we crushed all five hot seats, which ran two hours each; we made sure all questions were answered with a shorter, wrap up hot seat; and we even had time to spare for some roundtable discussions.

Puerto Palooza Mastermind

All-in-all, the business-focused days were a perfect 10!

Then, the third day was reserved as our “Palooza Day”: a day to kick back and enjoy Puerto Rico, which we took full advantage of aboard a 40 person catamaran!

Puerto Palooza Mastermind

Island hopping, snorkeling and relaxing were all on the agenda, and we finished the day back at our home in Palmas with a BBQ pool party.

Puerto Palooza Mastermind

Image credit: Travis Chappell

While we don’t have Puerto Palooza II planned just yet, there’s a good chance it’ll be coming up soon, so stay tuned!

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

May 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $131,158

TOTAL Journal sales: 963 Journals for a total of $37,750

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

  • TheFreedomJournal.com: $5,646 (103 Hardcovers & 32 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $14,070 (402 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $19,716

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

  • TheMasteryJournal.com: $5,889 (111 Hardcovers & 36 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $12,145 (347 Mastery Journals sold!)
  • Total: $18,034

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

  • Recurring: $20,327 (4 annual, 203 monthly)
  • New members: $5,325 (26 new members)
  • Total: $25,652

Podcast Sponsorship Income$62,500

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

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!

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$164 | eBook: $92

Affiliate Income: $65,146

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $56,039

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $7,359

Resources for Podcasters: $914

Other Resources: $834

  • Amazon Associates: $741
  • Other: $93

Total Gross Income in May: $196,304

Business Expenses: $78,613

  • Advertising: $7,727
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,970
  • Accounting: $350
  • Cost of goods sold: $6,607
  • Design & Branding: $1,980
  • Education: $144
  • Legal & Professional: $740
  • Meals & Entertainment: $1,517
  • Merchant / bank fees: $1,061
  • Amazon fees: $12,676
  • Shopify fees: $208
  • Stripe fees: $5
  • PayPal fees: $336
  • Office expenses: $1,284
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,422
  • Promotional / events: $1,323
  • Property Tax: $807
  • Paradise Refunds: $2,000
  • Sponsorships: $13,750
  • Show notes: $215
  • Travel: $2,296
  • The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $15,079
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,295
  • Website Fees: $1,821

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,572

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Cell Phone: $216
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $9.95
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $396
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $203
  • Manychat: $10
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $2.99
  • Shopify: $147
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Workflowy: $4.99
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Taxes & Licenses: $300

Total Expenses in May: $81,185

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 May 2017: $115,119

Biggest Lesson Learned

Engaging with your audience

May was the start of Season 6 on my podcast Kate’s Take, and throughout this season I focused on a single topic: project management.

I learned a lot through creating the posts and episodes for this season, especially when it came to hearing straight from my listeners about the specific struggles they’re currently facing in their business.

Which got me thinking…

I wonder if others are leveraging tools like Google Forms and SpeakPipe to engage with their audience?

These are probably two of the simplest tools when it comes to collecting information, which is why I love them so much.  Plus, this engagement one-on-one with your audience is GOLD when it comes to understanding their biggest pain points and coming up with new ideas for what you can create for them that will be of value (i.e. what they’ll actually pay for!)

So I thought I’d go through a specific example of exactly how I’ve used these tools to gain feedback from my listeners.

Step 1: Set up the page

Once I have my goal in mind (in this case, to collect input for my next season on the podcast directly from my listeners) I’m going to set up the page I’ll be directing listeners to.

For this, I simply login to our site and add a new page.

Once I give the page a title and write a line or two about the purpose of the page, I’m ready to move on to step 2.

Step 2: Create the Google Form & SpeakPipe box

Because I’ll be asking my listeners to visit the page I created and either fill out a Google Form or leave me a SpeakPipe message, my next step is to create those two things.

The Google Form will simply ask which topic they’d like to hear about most (with an option for ‘other’ so they can write anything in that space), plus some other general info about how long they’ve been listening, how they found out about the podcast, etc.

You can check out my Google Form for Season 7 here.

Then, creating my SpeakPipe message box is just a matter of logging in to create the widget, and then pasting the code on the page like I’ve done here: EOFire.com/season7

Step 3: Create the call to action

Now that I have my page set up and my form and message box ready for input, I need to figure out what I’m going to say to actually get people to the page.

My call to action is typically in the intro and outro of at least 3 – 4 episodes: 1 of those episodes being the final episode of the previous season, and then 2-3 of them in the episodes I publish in between seasons.

Step 4: Encourage engagement

Don’t think that just asking for input one time is enough; you have to really encourage engagement, especially if your call to action is reaching people via a podcast.

If you think about it, podcast listeners are typically doing some other type of activity when they’re listening to your podcast, so the chances of them remembering something you only say 1 time is very unlikely.

There you have it. Now that you know how simple it is to request engagement and feedback from your audience, it’s time to put it to action!

Bonus step: if you want to take your engagement to a whole new level, also add a scheduler link on the page where people can sign up for a one-on-one chat with you via Skype or Zoom. Any time you can spend with your ideal audience one-on-one will equal massive results, because when you listen to the questions, struggles and pain points revealed, each one is a potential product, service or resource you can offer your audience.

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:

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Latest EOFire Podcast S6E9: A finale on project management

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

Project Management

Throughout Season 6 we’ve covered a lot of material on project management.

What is project management, how to get started, top tools you can leverage, what to do when something goes wrong with your project, and some specific examples of how to manage things like mindset, your side hustle, growing a team and overwhelm.

I want to wrap up with giving you full permission to step into the project manager role in your business. You don’t always have to be the project manager, but in order to make progress and grow your business in an efficient way, you have to be willing to roll your sleeves up and get to work.

So as we close out Season 6, let’s package everything up so you know exactly what to do next.

You role as project manager

Before we get into the individual steps required to start your project, let’s recap what your role is as project manager.

As project manager you’re responsible for:

  • Making sure the project has a clear vision / goal,
  • Identifying the deliverables and steps required to accomplish that goal,
  • Hiring help where necessary,
  • Setting and managing deadlines with potential team members, and
  • Overseeing all the moving pieces to ensure things are getting done on time.

Not a super easy role, right?

But it is a fun one once you realize that this responsibility equals progress and forward movement for you and for your business.

Starting your project

Now that we’re clear on your responsibilities, let’s start an actual project.

Evaluation Phase

You might remember this step from Season 6 Episode 3, where we talked about the importance of only taking on projects that are meaningful to you and your business.

Sometimes we jump into projects without really thinking about the time commitment or the outcome. So make sure before diving into a project that you know it fits in with:

  • Your overall business goals,
  • Your current available bandwidth, and
  • The priority you’re willing to give your idea.

Brainstorming Phase

Now, it’s time to brainstorm your project.

Take out a piece of paper or open up Workflowy or a Google Doc – it’s time to let it all out!

During your project brainstorming session you want to get as much down on paper as possible. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is my desired outcome or goal?
  • What are some of the major deliverables?
  • What steps will I need help with?
  • What timeline will I gives myself and my team for this project?

Planning Phase

Next comes your planning phase, and this is when it’s time to start organizing everything and diving into way more detail.

Take everything you wrote out during your brainstorming phase and start organizing it:

  • What are each of the deliverables?
  • What are the individual steps required to make those deliverables happen?
  • Given my goal date, when will each of the deliverables have to be accomplished to stay on track?
  • Given the help I need, where / when / how will I find that help?

During your planning phase it will be incredibly helpful to use a tool like Asana to document everything. When you start logging everything into Asana, you can assign due dates, reminders, and even assign specific tasks and deliverables to other team members.

Managing Phase

Now that you have your plan in place – meaning your deliverables and due dates are clearly defined, and you’ve hired the help you need to accomplish your goal – it’s time to manage it all.

Make sure you’re checking in on things like due dates and recognizing when a dependency might be holding things up.

And be resourceful. If something goes wrong – you miss a deadline or you’re having trouble finding the right help – don’t get discouraged. Keep your focus ahead and try to find other areas in the project where you can make up for lost time.

Completion Phase

If each of the phases above go well, you’ll make it to your completion phase: congratulations!

This phase feels AMAZING, and I can’t wait to hear that you’ve successfully managed your first project from idea to finish.

But before you go celebrating and sprinting off to the next project, make sure you take time to reflect.

  • What are some lessons learned from this project?
  • How can you use those lessons to avoid future setbacks?
  • What are some things that worked really well you can duplicate in the future?

Hiring a project manager

You might be finished up this episode and all of Season 6 thinking, WOAH. I definitely need a project manager! I don’t blame you 🙂

If you do feel like hiring a project manager is the right move for you and your business, and you’re in a place where that’s actually doable, then go for it! Hiring a project manager will be what finally frees up the time you’re spending working IN your business instead of ON your business.

But make sure the project management position is right given the workload you’ll be delegating. You might find that a virtual assistant is better suited for the job.

I recently tuned in to one of Amy Porterfield’s episodes on this exact topic, and she explained it beautifully: typically, a virtual assistant follows direction and works on individual tasks in order to help with the day-to-day operations of your business, while a project manager executes all the planning and implementation in order to deliver an outcome.

She probably said it much better than me, but hopefully you get the point.

Before I officially say good-bye to Season 6, I want to share with you the #1 tool I use for managing my time most efficiently so that when I’m working on projects, I know I’m going to stay on schedule.

It’s The Mastery Journal, and I use The Mastery Journal every single day to help me stay focused and make real progress on the projects that matter most in my business.

If you feel like you could use a little help with mastering productivity, discipline and focus, then head over and check out The Mastery Journal today: it is definitely for you!

Until next season!

The post S6E9: A finale on project management appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast S6E8: Spotlight: How to avoid burnout: Managing overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome

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

Avoiding Burnout

First, a shout out to Cloris for her voice message that inspired today’s episode.

Meet Cloris, a performance coach and online trainer specialized in branding and lead generation. Cloris helps authors, coaches, speakers, trainers and consultants expand their reach and client base so they make a great living doing what they love.

How do I know so much about Cloris?

She’s on episode 1222 of EOFire, so make sure you check that out!

Cloris also sent me voice message between Season 5 and Season 6 on the topic of burnout. As she explains, she recently published this post on her site around the topic and it received a lot of attention.

And I agree with Cloris: burnout is likely the result of there just being too much information out there – information you for some reason feel like you have to consume and learn.

How on earth are you supposed to do it all?

You don’t have to do it all

Hopefully this comes as a relief to you: you’re not supposed to do it all.

In her post Cloris reviews five signs you’re burnt out, and she also shares a 3-step process for overcoming burnout. But my hope is that you’re not currently burnt out, rather you’re looking for ways to avoid this looming experience oh-so-many entrepreneurs have described to you.

That’s what I want to focus on today.

How to avoid burnout

It seems easy enough to say that in order to manage overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome, you should just stay focused on the task at hand, right?

But I know it’s not that easy.

There is a lot of noise in the online world, and sometimes keeping focus and not letting the best new platform or the coolest new social media tool derail you is tough.

But if you can get on board with the 5 recommendations below, I know you’ll have an easier time focusing on your current goals and understanding that your priority is in place for a reason: it’s the only thing you need to be concerned with.

1. Prioritize

I have a lot going on, you have a lot going on – everyone has a lot going on.

The trick is being able to prioritize so that you know – and everyone around you knows – what your priority at any given time is. Right now, it might be work, and at 3pm it might be playing with your kids.

Only you can set your priority, and only you can ensure that everyone around you is on board and understands. Take the added stress and pressure of being pulled in several different directions away and simply set your priority for times throughout the day.

2. Schedule

Now that you know exactly what your priority is for times throughout the day it’s time to set up a schedule – and stick to it.

I’m a huge fan of theming your days. This means you set aside entire days to work on specific projects or tasks, or that you might even set aside as a family day.

Whether your theme is writing, podcasting, webinars, community management, catching up, hanging out with family or any other number of things, knowing ahead of time that is where your focus will be can be incredibly helpful.

Since I started theming my days, my productivity has skyrocketed. I’m no longer jumping from task to task in a haphazard or frantic way. When I know I have an entire Monday to work on writing, I’m not distracted by any other tasks.

The same goes for family and personal time. If you know that every Thursday morning you wake up with your kids, cook them breakfast, and help them get ready for school, then you’re setting yourself up for success by making that a part of your schedule.

3. Health and wellness

Living healthy and well is about giving your body the energy it deserves through working out and eating right.

For me, that means working out first thing in the morning to help me start my day off right, and then feeding my body the types of foods I know make me feel good.

Because let’s be real: if you’re not feeling great on the inside, how do you expect to feel great on the outside?

4. Just say no

There comes a time when you have to start saying no.

Don’t feel bad about it; instead, let it empower you to actually create the day to day that YOU want to live. Isn’t that why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?

Every time you’re presented with an opportunity, a new tool, a better way of doing something… there are two questions you should be asking yourself:

  • What will I get rid of in order to accept the opportunity being presented?
  • Will this opportunity help me take one step closer to accomplishing my goals?

If you can’t find something to get rid of (remember: every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else), and whatever is being presented to you isn’t going to help you get one step closer to accomplishing your goals, then how could you say yes?!

Stop living according to others’ schedules, and start living according to your own. I can assure you that overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome will quickly become a thing of the past if you can just crush this one recommendation.

5. Don’t forget to turn off

When you’re working from home and loving what you do, it’s tough to turn off.

I recently realized that it’s up to me to take control of when I do what, and so every night at 5:30pm I know it’s time to turn off. For me, that transition or trigger is dinner time. I love to cook – it’s relaxing, it’s somewhat mindless, and I enjoy creating amazing meals.

Every night, I know that once I’ve started dinner, it’s time to check out of work and into just being home. So, what will your trigger to turn off be?

Avoiding burnout

Project management requires focus and you being on top of the many moving pieces and deliverables you’ve committed to. If you’re allowing distractions and shiny objects to derail you, then your project isn’t going to make it anywhere.

Remember, you don’t have to do it all – in fact, you shouldn’t even be trying. Follow the advice above from both myself and Cloris and keep your focus on the things you say are most important to you.

Next up in Season 6

Next up is our Season 6 finale on project management!

The post S6E8: Spotlight: How to avoid burnout: Managing overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast S6E7: Spotlight: How to manage growing a team in-office and virtually

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

Managing a Team

First, a shout out to Gerjo for his voice message that inspired today’s episode.

Meet Gerjo, an entrepreneur who is currently focused on growing his team both in-office and virtually.

Only trouble is, he’s finding it challenging to make sure he incorporates his virtual assistants into the team. Sometimes he fears they don’t feel a part of it.

Gerjo also struggles with delegating – not so much in that he’s afraid to let go of tasks, but from a time-management perspective. You see, it takes time to write out instructions for how to do a task, especially when you consider everything else Gerjo has going on – like running his business.

As a result of Gerjo not being able to get the instructions together for his team members, they become frustrated because they’re waiting on him.

How to create a plan to help grow your team

I bet you can guess what Gerjo needs help with…

How do I deal with this in a better way?

Gerjo, I’m glad you asked, because as you noted in your voice message, growing a team is a HUGE project, but not one that’s impossible to create a plan for.

Gerjo, let’s going on a journey together…

Your team

Imagine each of your team members – both in-house and virtually – having a very detailed and specific schedule, so that when they start work all they have to do is go to their list and start taking action.

Removing the question “What’s next?” goes a long way when it comes to productivity and focus.

Each of your team members should have a daily, weekly and monthly task list.

Recommended resource: Google Spreadsheets

Now, imagine your team members – both in-house and virtually – having a single platform they can go to in order to look up instructions on how to do any task that isn’t familiar to them.

Recommended resource: Process.st

What happens when each of your team members – both in-house and virtually – has a schedule that doesn’t make them guess at what’s next on their to-do list, and also a place to go to look up instructions without ever having to interrupt your workflow?

Sounds like perfect harmony, doesn’t it?

How to create the plan

You know just as well as I do right now that Gerjo would love to have the scenario above. He can picture it so clearly, but his current struggle of not having the time to write out the instructions is holding him back.

But that’s not Gerjo’s only struggle; he also struggles with making his team feel, well, like a team, and he fears that his virtual assistants feel disconnected.

Gerjo, your first step is…

To schedule a weekly, recurring team meeting where every employee – both in-house and virtually – comes together online to prepare for the week ahead. This includes YOU.

Recommended resource: Zoom.us

During this meeting you’re reviewing the projects in progress for that week, and the role each individual team member is playing in those projects.

You’re offering up your time and giving your team your full focus for, say 30 minutes, to answer any questions, and to make sure you’re nurturing them. This is what will make them feel like a team.

Your second step is…

To create that daily, weekly and monthly schedule for each of your team members.

Don’t worry – this isn’t going to be all on you to create. Send each of your team members an email that says “Your #1 focus for today is to send me a list of everything you work on daily, weekly and monthly.”

This will not only help you recognize what each of your team members is working on, but also identify gaps. You might realize there is a significant task or project that no one is managing.

Your final steps is…

Once each individual team member has that daily, weekly and monthly schedule in place that details out how often they’ll perform their tasks, it’s time to document.

Together with your team start creating a list of the tasks and projects that are unclear. Whether they’re individual steps or entire chunks of a process, it’s time to get a list going of exactly what needs to be documented.

Now you have two parts:

  • Tasks and projects that are clear and that your team understands and is currently working on, and
  • Tasks and projects that are unclear and that your team needs you to help them with by creating instructions.

For the tasks and projects that are clear, but that don’t have a process or documentation on how to do them, have the team member responsible create the process.

For the tasks and projects that are not clear, reorder the list by priority, and start scheduling your Focus Sessions.

These Focus Sessions aren’t going to be you writing anything down. They will be you recording via voice and video how to accomplish each task or project.

Recommended resource: ScreenFlow

From those videos, your team will be responsible for actually documenting the process.

Growing a team and creating freedom

Gerjo, once you’re able to clearly define the roles of each of your team members – both in-house and virtually – the sky is the limit.

These are simple steps in a process, not a totally unmanageable beast that you’re never going to be able to tame.

Schedule your weekly meetings. Record your employees’ tasks. Document your systems.

It’s going to take time, but be patient – because what waits on the other side of this project – you providing your team with a schedule and specific direction – is growth, scalability, and freedom.

Next up in Season 6

Next up: another spotlight! This time our spotlight will be focused on how to manage overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome.

The post S6E7: Spotlight: How to manage growing a team in-office and virtually appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast S6E6: Spotlight: How to manage your side hustle so that it becomes your main hustle

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

side hustle

First, a shout out to Martin for his voice message that inspired today’s episode.

Meet Martin, a hard-working 9 – 5 employee who struggles to find the time and energy he wishes he had to work on his side hustle.

What’s his side hustle all about?

I’m glad you asked…

Martin hosts his own podcast and has a film-making company. He loves writing and scripting and is desperately looking for ways to find more time so he can make the transition from full-time job to full-time entrepreneur.

Martin’s greatest struggle

In addition to lacking the time and energy to make the switch, Martin also fears the financial changes ahead… Going from a regular pay schedule to not knowing if or when money will come in isn’t very comforting.

I’m willing to bet you can relate to Martin.

I know I can.

It wasn’t more than a few years ago that I was in the exact same position as Martin: working a 9-5, wishing I could quit and go full-time with my side hustle (Kate’s Copy), but knowing that I couldn’t support myself financially without a reliable income.

What I ended up doing is different from what I’ll recommend for Martin.

I spent six months paying off debt and saving up $5,000, and then I quit my job.

I want Martin to spend six months implementing a plan that will grow his side hustle into his main hustle.

Martin, let’s go on a journey together…

Your vision

First things first: step one is to sit down and write out your vision.

  • What does your life look like when your side hustle becomes your main hustle?
  • What does your day-to-day look like when you’re not going into your 9-5, but instead working on the things you love most?
  • What are you creating?
  • Why are you creating it? (What’s the purpose?)
  • Who are you creating it for?

Once you have a solid vision for what your life will look like once your goal of moving from side hustle to main hustle is accomplished, you can start to put a plan in place to help get you there.

It is only after you know exactly what you’re going to create, why you’re creating it (what’s its purpose?), and who you’re creating it for that you can start to implement.

Once you have your vision, it’s time to start managing your project.

Go time

Imagine you wake up tomorrow morning, and even though you aren’t excited about going into your 9-5 job, you still have a smile on your face knowing that during your commute you’ll be listening to inspiring stories from others who are on the same path as you.

Recommendation: The Side Hustle Show with Nick Loper

You get to work, get out of your car, and you’re walking into your office.

Your attitude is focused on crushing it until lunch, at which point you’ll get to take out your iPhone and jot down some of the ideas you had while driving into work that morning.

Recommendation: Workflowy

After a solid afternoon of work, you’re getting ready to head home.

During your commute back to the house you’re getting pretty fired up about the next couple of hours – today is your podcast recording day, and so once you get home and settled into your recording studio (aka your closet, kitchen table, or wherever you record your episodes), you’re going to be rockin’ the mic talking about topics you’re passionate about.

After a solid couple of hours recording, you’re definitely looking forward to a great dinner and then spending some time with your family or friends before winding down your night.

Some good old R&R on the couch (or patio, depending on the weather) will result in you cracking open your current favorite read, Essentialism, to soak up all kinds of inspiration from Greg McKeown around time management and how saying NO to things can be a game-changer for both your energy and your available time.

How is all of this possible?

Well, since Martin knows the power of productivity, his Focus Sessions will help guide him through the different phases of his day.

While most people waste time context switching and getting lost in distractions, Martin knows the power of Parkinson’s Law and using a timer to hold himself accountable. During his Focus Sessions, he is all in and dedicated to removing distractions so he can make progress on the tasks that really matter.

Recommendation: The Mastery Journal

The sky is the limit

Martin, how do you feel after this day?

You should feel amazing, because you’ve not only just earned an honest paycheck, but you also crushed your available side hustle hours, and through maximizing the time you spend going to and from work with inspirational and uplifting input you’ve also increased your energy and desire to get home and get to work on the things you love.

Best part is, this is just a single example of what one of your five weekdays might look like.

Imagine taking this plan and applying it to all five days – and then realizing, you still have two FULL days during the weekend to dedicate to your side hustle, to your family, or to yourself!

With the batching method and using The Mastery Journal for your Focus Sessions, one weekday evening might be dedicated to recording, another might be dedicated to writing and scripting, another to editing and scheduling… Matin, the sky is truly the limit.

Turn your side hustle into your main hustle by putting together a plan, and then managing that plan like a pro. One step at a time.

Next up in Season 6

Next up: another spotlight! This time our spotlight will be focused on a plan for managing and growing a team both in-office and virtually.

The post S6E6: Spotlight: How to manage your side hustle so that it becomes your main hustle appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2rTLld4

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E5: Spotlight: How to manage mindset and stay motivated w/ Meghan Alonso

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

Staying motivated

In today’s episode I chat with Meghan Alonso, founder of Imua Services.

Between Season 5 and Season 6 Meghan sent me a voice message about some struggles she was facing given a recent move from California to Virginia.

We all know moving isn’t easy, but throw in the fact that a major project you’re working on hit a few snags, you’re feeling totally unmotivated, and you don’t have a community of like-minded people to surround yourself with for support.

I knew I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to chat with Meghan about how she overcame this funk in her business – and her life.

Managing mindset and how to stay motivated

Tune in to listen as Meghan and I chat about:

  • How to stay motivated – both personally and professionally
  • Why it’s so important to surround yourself with other entrepreneurs / like-minded people
  • Ways to manage mindset
  • Ideas for connecting with others when you work at home
  • And how a book she received from a friend 12 years ago turned everything around for her.

Mentioned during this episode

Simon Sinek’s TedX: Start with Why

A Purpose Driven Life

Meghan’s episode on EOFire (1567)

Meghan’s Idea Validation Quiz for medical device creators

Next up in Season 6

Next up in Season 6 we’ll be talking about how to create a project plan you can manage that will turn your side hustle into your main hustle.

The post S6E5: Spotlight: How to manage mindset and stay motivated w/ Meghan Alonso appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

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

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E4: What to do when something goes wrong with your project

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

project management

Whether it’s a single task you’re responsible for, an entire chunk of the project you’ve delegated to someone else, or a bump in the road you didn’t see coming, something going wrong with your project can result in a serious setback.

You don’t want to experience a serious setback – and neither do I – but I will say it’d be pretty impressive to manage an entire project without running into any problems along the way.

Today, I’ll try my best to prepare you for what could go wrong and also how you can fix it without losing too much time.

Is wrong really wrong in project management?

But before I get into the specifics of what to do when something goes wrong with your project, let’s get one thing straight: something going wrong, experiencing a setback, or encountering a problem during your project isn’t always a terrible thing.

Sometimes we experience bumps in the road for a reason; maybe they’ve been placed there to help you realize that a pivot is necessary, or an adjustment is required.

So let’s not automatically assume that something going wrong means our project is a complete failure and we’ll never recover from it.

Now that we’re on the same page with that, let’s talk about some of the potential setbacks you’ll experience as a project manager and how you might handle each of them without losing too much time or completely sinking your project’s ship.

Potential setbacks for project managers (and the solution)

1. You can’t find help

Project management is, by definition, taking control of several moving pieces and making sure they’re all working together in order to create a finished product or reach a certain goal.

Not having the right help can certainly be a huge setback in accomplishing this.

If you’re in this situation, the best solution is to talk to others about it.

I don’t mean in a therapeutical type of way; I mean in a “I’m reaching out for help” type of way.

When I say talk to others about it, I mean reach out to those in:

  • Your existing network,
  • The same Facebook groups as you,
  • The same online courses as you,
  • A mastermind with you, or
  • Your extended network – who might be a friend of a friend.

Anyone you can talk to about the help you’re looking for is going to be a win, because the more you talk about it and put it out there, the more opportunities you’re creating for finding the help you need.

Ask for recommendations, referrals, introductions or resources others have used to find help for their projects. If you’re willing to be brave and put it out there, then you will find the help you’re looking for.

2. You didn’t know you needed help

Perhaps you’re 3 or 4 steps into your project, and you’re just now realizing that the scope, the individual steps, the deliverables, the requirements – some or all of them are requiring that you have a different skill set in order to accomplish them.

Well, at least you know how to find help now! (See 1 above)

Once you get to the step or part of your project where you realize you need help, the next step is not to agonize over it or beat yourself up for not having seen this coming. The next step is to logically write out exactly what it is you need help with, and then go out and find it.

3. You hired someone unreliable

Whether you knew you needed them or not, what happens when you hire someone and they aren’t carrying their weight?

If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve hired someone unreliable (or straight up someone who can’t get the job done), you have to be upfront and honest with that person. This isn’t a game of giving people five chances to prove themselves.

You are a project manager, and you’re on a schedule.

Take responsibility and hold yourself accountable to that schedule. If the person you hired isn’t able to perform the job, send them on their way and find someone who can.

4. You dropped the ball

You’re only human, and humans make mistakes!

As the project manager, of course the hope is that you won’t drop the ball. However, if you do (and I’ve certainly dropped the ball several times myself), your best course of action is to get back up and figure out how to fix it.

Take it on as a challenge: how can you turn this situation into a positive one as quickly and efficiently as possible?

I look at myself dropping the ball as an amazing opportunity to 1) learn from my mistake, and 2) figure out how to fix it without losing a ton of time or screwing other things in my project up.

So whether it’s a missed deadline, you forgetting to hold one of your team members accountable, or maybe you simple chose the wrong path to take for a certain part of your project, there is always time for you to make it right and get back on track.

5. Something broke

In an online business world, you simply have to be prepared for things to break. Technology is amazing, but it’s nowhere near perfect, and let me tell you: it breaks often.

So 1) expect that things will break, and 2) given that expectation be prepared to troubleshoot accordingly.

Sometimes it might a simple break in html code on your site, which is pretty easy to fix with website maintenance help; or it might be a bigger break, like with a piece of software you’re using, in which case a fix might not be so easy.

If it is a break with a piece of software, and you’re having to wait for their development team to fix it, try to find other steps on your project plan you can still work on that don’t require whatever is broken while you’re waiting. Chances are you can still make progress – just not in the particular order you had planned, and that’s okay.

If you’ve lost a ton of time as a result of having to wait for a fix, try and figure out where along your project plan you might be able to make that time up.

6. You’re frustrated… and spiraling

Project management is a challenge, which is why I love it so much. But like most things that are challenging, it brings with it frustrations. And with frustrations, at least 50% of the time, we experience some type of spiral effect – meaning, we just can’t get over it.

You’re going to get frustrated at some point during your project – accept that.

Now that you’ve accepted that, keep yourself in check. When you do get frustrated, recognize it and admit it to yourself: literally say, “I’m frustrated right now.”

Once you own it, you can now start taking steps that will help you get over it versus let it affect the rest of your day (or worse, your entire week).

You might not be able to control every single thing that happens within your project management framework, but you can control how you react to it. Don’t let frustration get the best of you – or your project.

Take a time out, breathe deep, and get back up so you can start crushing this project like I know you can!

7. You didn’t account for any mistakes

Now that we’re on the topic of things going wrong and potential setbacks, the last tip I want to share is this: while you’re creating your project plan, expect that there will be things that go wrong during the course of your project.

Whether they’re unexpected or you see them coming from a dozen miles away, mistake will happen. Account for those mistakes – maybe give yourself an extra day for a deadline even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

It’s going to be a lot easier to recover from a mistake or setback if you build in time for it versus struggling to make up time if you don’t.

Next up in Season 6

Next up I’ve got a special episode for you on how to manage mindset and stay motivated when working on big projects with our special guest, Meghan Alonso!

The post S6E4: What to do when something goes wrong with your project appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

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