Latest EOFire Podcast 169: Checklist: How to create a resilient business

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

resilient business

How do you ensure you’re creating a resilient business?

This is a question that’s been on my mind ever since Sept 27th, when I was having a catch up convo with a friend.

She said to me: it must feel pretty amazing in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and with all the traveling you’ve been doing, to know that your business is still running.

Very true, although this was the first time I had thought about it like that.

It begged the question: how does one create a resilient business?… so that when things do get rough or go a little crazy, you can rest assured that your business isn’t going to crumble.

Can YOUR business take a hit?

We’ve created a resilient business here at Entrepreneurs On Fire.

But have you?

You’re probably wondering how you’d even know the answer to this question, which honestly is in and of itself the problem: you can’t wait for a disaster to hit to know whether your business can handle it.

It could mean the difference between going under or surviving, and my guess is that you don’t want to take that chance.

If my assumption is correct, then I have something for you: a checklist you can use to ensure you ARE creating a resilient business.

Be proactive. Use this checklist.

Checklist: How to create a resilient business

1. Take inventory

Taking inventory is the FIRST step to organizing your time and the tasks and projects you’re working on for your business.

Here’s how to do it…

Time required: 1 week

What you’ll need: a piece of paper + pen (or your favorite note-taking system); I recommend paper + pen

What to do:

  • Start by writing out the day of the week at the top of your paper – the first day, and each day thereafter.
  • Each day, for 1 week straight, let that piece of paper + pen follow you around as you’re working on your business.
  • Each time you work on a certain task or project, simply write it down on your paper under the specific day you worked on it.

No task or project is too big or too small to record.

This is simply an exercise to help you understand what it is you’re spending your time on, PLUS which tasks and projects are repetitive ones.

Examples would be:

  • checked email
  • went on Facebook
  • helped a community member with their password
  • wrote sales page copy
  • designed an opt in page
  • tweaked home page of website

At the end of the week take a look back at the tasks and projects you’re spending your time on.

Now, it’s time to categorize it.

Keeping everything intact from your one week of taking inventory, start with a fresh piece of paper and create 4 columns:

  1. DAILY
  2. WEEKLY
  3. MONTHLY
  4. 1-TIME

Beneath each of these categories place the tasks and projects you recorded in the appropriate column.

Which did you find yourself doing daily? Weekly? Monthly?

And there are probably a fair number of tasks or projects you’re working on that are only 1-time things (like launching a website, creating an online course, etc)

2. Identify actual dependencies

You’ve just discovered A LOT about how you’re spending your time and what tasks and projects you have going on in your business.

Whew!

Now, it’s time to go through your list and mark the tasks or projects that actually DEPEND ON YOU.

If you don’t have any employees or contractors helping you in your business, then initially, it’s going to seem as though everything depends on you.

Everything does not depend on you.

I’m willing to bet there are probably a fair number of projects or tasks you’ve written down over the past week that aren’t necessary at all.

There are also probably a fair number of projects or tasks you’ve written down over the past week that shouldn’t depend on you (i.e. you could either automate or delegate them).

Actual dependencies are projects or tasks that, if you weren’t doing them, would be detrimental to the growth of your business.

In order to legitimately determine actual dependencies, you’re going to have to know what your overall business goals are, and what projects or tasks you’re working on that are directly contributing to you accomplishing those goals.

You can sign up for our Free Goals Course if this is something you haven’t taken the time to establish (and with a new year approaching, now is a perfect time to do it!)

3. Create a system for those dependencies

Now that you have a list of the tasks and projects in your business that require YOU, it’s time to create a system for each of those dependencies.

I’m not talking about a system that will automate them or delegate them.

I’m talking about a system you can use in order to plan out one month – maybe even two months in advance – so that you’re never waiting until something is “due” to get it done.

An example might be that you are the content creator in your business.

Maybe you have a blog, or a podcast that you produce weekly and publish every Monday for your audience.

If this is the case, then instead of waiting until Sunday night every week to create and schedule your content, you could have a system in place that allows you to create and schedule your content out a full month in advance!

How great would it feel to have your content scheduled out a full month in advance?

How much time would you be able to create in your day-to-day if, instead of working on creating content 2 days a week – every week – you were working on creating content 2 days a week – one time per month?

If you’re not really sure how the whole systems thing works, then we have a step-by-step guide for you – both written and audio – right here.

4. Calendar your year

The best way to make sure no surprises come up in your business is to calendar out your year.

  • What major projects will you be working on?
  • What events do you plan to attend?
  • What major vacations do you have planned?

Based on the major projects, events and vacations you have planned, recognize there has to be a buffer for your dependencies.

For example, if you have a major project planned that is estimated to take up the entire month of March, then every other dependency in your business will have to be planned out and completed ahead of time so you don’t fall behind.

This is why #3 is so important; once you have systems in place for your dependencies, it’s going to be that much easier to plan ahead.

5. Review

CONGRATS! You’ve just done a ton of great preparation and planning for your business (and you’ve probably discovered a lot of things you never knew about the time you spend on certain projects and tasks)!

You’ve taken inventory, you’ve identified dependencies, you’ve created systems for those dependencies, and you’ve calendared out your year.

Now, it’s time for a big review.

What projects or tasks can you cut – or set aside – that aren’t contributing to moving your business forward right now?

How can you plan better so the dependencies you’ve identified in your business can be completed most efficiently?

What have you discovered about your projects, tasks, and the time you spend on certain things?

What have you discovered about your business as a whole?

Putting it into practice

One of the most helpful things I’ve heard since becoming an entrepreneur is something Amy Porterfield said on a podcast:

Schedule it to make it real.

I’ll leave you with a challenge

That challenge is to not only thoroughly review and implement the checklist I’ve shared above, but to actually put everything you’ve just learned into practice by scheduling time each day, each week, each month to implement it.

Drop into the comments below and COMMIT to ensuring your business is resilient. It could mean the difference between going under or surviving, and my guess is that you don’t want to take that chance.

The post 169: Checklist: How to create a resilient business appeared first on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas.

       

 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire: November 2017 Income Report

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

November 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for November: $208,971

Total Expenses for November: $54,375

Total Net Profit for November: $154,596

Difference b/t November & October: -$7,339

eofire income report button

Why We Publish An Income Report

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

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

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

Let’s IGNITE!

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

Josh Bauerle’s Monthly Tax Tip

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

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

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

Josh’s November Tax Tip:

One of my favorite benefits of entrepreneurship is the flexibility it offers.

And there’s no time I enjoy that flexibility more than the Holidays!

Back when I was an employee, I was extremely limited with when – and how much time – I could take off for the Holidays.

In some jobs, working at least one of the major Holidays each year was a requirement.

But now that I’m my own boss and set my own rules, I can take as much time off as I want!

Of course, if I want to be successful, the work still needs to get done, but how and when it gets done is up to me now 🙂

But flexibility isn’t the only benefit entrepreneurs can enjoy this time of year. There’s also the opportunity for some unique tax deductions that come up this time of year! And two of them that Kate and I were recently discussing and thought would be relevant to share with Fire Nation are:

1. Buying gifts for clients and/or colleagues, and

2. Throwing business Holiday parties

So, let’s break each of these down!

1. Gift Giving

There are actually some pretty big restrictions when it comes to gift giving.

Generally, the IRS will only allow you to deduct up to $25 per person or company you give to.

This is true whether the gift is for an employee, client or professional associate. So if you send a $50 gift basket to your favorite client (or maybe CPA?!) you will only deduct $25 of that cost on the return.

One major exception would be for actual charitable gifts, meaning they were made to a not for profit organization. The only restriction on deducting these gifts would be that the total amount given for the year can’t be more than 50 percent of your income (and if you are reaching that limit, kudos to you on your extreme generosity!)

2. Holiday Parties

Many business owners, both large and small, will throw some type of Holiday party. Whether it’s for employees, clients, or just people who help you in your business, throwing one of these parties is where you can get a little more creative on the tax deductions.

First, if you’re buying the food/drinks for everyone in attendance, you are no longer limited to the 50 percent limitation on meals and entertainment. You can take the full amount.

This is true whether you hold the event at a restaurant, bar or other outside location (or if it’s at your own home or office).

Second, where you can get really creative is with renting your home to your business to throw the Holiday party.

The general idea here is that your business would pay you rent for the privilege of using your home for the holiday party. And the best part? Because you are renting your home for less than 14 days in the given year, the rent your business pays you is not taxable.

So if your business pays you $500 to rent your home for the party, your business gets a $500 deduction – and you pay no taxes on it!

The key here is to figure out what a reasonable amount of rent is.

My suggestion here would be to call around to some local locations you would rent for something like this – a hotel conference room for example – and document what they quote you.

Then, use the average rate of the quotes you received for the amount of rent you charge your business.

The Holidays are a great time to be an entrepreneur (but really, what time isn’t?!)

We hope these holiday gift and holiday party ideas are helpful in maximizing your tax deductions this season!

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

How to Hire a Lawyer for your Business, Part I

Sooner or later, every business is going to need legal representation. A lawyer can either be an expensive line item or a huge asset for your business.

As an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to make that choice.

If you haven’t hired a business attorney before, the process can be intimidating. I know having been hired by hundreds of clients to represent them over the course of my career.

When the client (that’s you) is informed and knows what they’re looking for, there’s a much greater likelihood of having a positive result for both sides – the lawyer and the client.

Ultimately, we both want the same thing: a mutually beneficial, long-term business relationship.

To help you achieve that result, I’ve put together this list for you!

7 Keys to Choosing the Right Lawyer for Your Business

This is Part 1 – we’ll cover Part 2 in the January 2018 Income Report!

Key 1. Figure out when you need to hire a lawyer

This is going to vary for every client. Generally speaking, the sooner you establish this crucial relationship and start getting good advice, the better off your business is going to be.

However, good legal advice isn’t free. (On the other hand, bad legal advice is easy to find.)

If you’re just starting out, I’d suggest you start contacting business lawyers and asking them what their rates are for basic services like an initial consultation or a business formation.

You can put those numbers into the budget as you get the funds together to start your business – whether it’s a solo, bootstrapped operation, or one where you’re seeking investment capital.

Finally, be sure to hire a lawyer before you do something that’s going to get you into trouble. For example, if you’re forming a partnership, entering into a lease, taking money from investors, or putting a product out there that might create some liability, hiring a lawyer to protect your rights should be a high priority.

Key 2. Focus on the type of lawyer you need

Most business attorneys can handle typical formation needs. This might include creating a corporation or LLC, putting together a partnership agreement, or drafting common business contracts.

  • Tip: With all of these, be sure to ask if the documents are being customized to your specific needs.

It’s OK if the lawyer is starting from a template; sometimes there’s no need to re-invent the wheel.

But your lawyer should be doing more than just pressing Print and handing you a document to sign.

If you just need a trademark, or you have a question about tax law, then you can focus on an attorney who specializes in those areas.

But if you’re looking for general, long-term legal counsel for your business, find a business attorney, and he or she can put you in touch with specialists from time to time as needed – whether they’re in the same firm or outside counsel.

Think of your business lawyer like your general practice doctor: you go to him or her for checkups and your regular medical needs; if and when you need a specialist, your general practice doctor will let you know and make a referral.

Key 3. Find a lawyer who understands – or is willing to learn about – your market or niche

This is a followup to Number 2. Yes, you need a general business attorney. But if that attorney has no clue about your industry or how your business operates, there are bound to be communication challenges.

This doesn’t mean that if your company makes green left-handed back scratchers, you need an attorney who only works in the green left-handed back scratcher industry.

It does mean that your legal counsel should have a willingness to learn and understand what your company does every day and who your main customers and strategic partners are. These points should be factored into your legal strategy.

Of course, in the event you work in an industry that’s specialized and highly regulated, you’re probably going to benefit from the advice of someone who understands those regulations. If you’re opening a nuclear power plant, an attorney who is familiar with the complex web of regulations involved in that type of project is going to be the right fit for you.

For most businesses, however, a basic willingness to learn is enough to meet your needs.

Key 4. Pick a law firm of the right size

There are pros and cons to working with big firms, small firms, and solo practitioners.

If your business grows to be the next Facebook, Amazon, or Tesla, you’ll probably be engaging the services of large law firms from time to time. Of course, by that point, you’ll also have your own in-house legal department.

Sometimes – and this is by no means always the case – startups and small businesses find themselves to be a low priority for larger law firms.

If the law firm is really making its money representing Fortune 500 companies, large government entities, and the like, it can be challenging for the firm to be responsive to the needs of every individual client.

Another potential issue with working with a larger firm is the question of who you’re actually going to be working with. Are they going to assign your work to a new associate attorney fresh out of law school?

Is that associate going to be with the firm for the long-term, or will he or she be looking for a new job just when you get used to working with them?

Will your file get passed from one office to the next?

However, there can be advantages to working with larger firms if your business requires the resources the firm can bring to bear.

Very complex lawsuits, for example, may be better suited for a larger firm than a solo attorney or small firm. Sometimes, clients prefer a blended strategy – working with a solo attorney or small firm on a regular, ongoing basis, and using a big firm (typically at a higher cost) for specific, occasional projects.

If your law firm is not willing to collaborate with outside attorneys, that may be a red flag.

  • Tip: No matter what size the law firm, be sure to understand up front who you’ll be working with. How do you get in touch with your contact? What’s their availability should an urgent issue arise?

Most firms with multiple attorneys have different hourly rates for each attorney, so that’s an important consideration as well.

If a young associate with a low hourly rate will be handling your matter, will the file also be reviewed by a more senior partner? If so, are you going to be paying that partner’s much higher rate for that time?

Working with small firms or sole practitioners can have its advantages, too.

Typically, you’re going to receive more individual attention. And many solo practitioners establish relationships with other attorneys to act as an informal version of a traditional law firm – meaning, your needs will still be covered if that lawyer goes out of town, or if you come up with an issue that’s outside of his or her areas of specialization.

So, if you decide to go with a smaller firm, make sure it’s one that has access to resources that you’ll need as your business grows.

Which leads me to Key #5…

Be sure to tune in to January 2018’s income report to get Key’s 5 – 7!

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 November

Youpreneur Summit, London

When Chris announced his first annual Youpreneur Summit in London and asked John to keynote the event, we jumped on the opportunity to be involved.

We know that Chris and AMAZING events go together because we’ve been a part of two of his previous Tropical Think Tank events in the Philippines – in 2014 and again in 2015.

The time and care that Chris and his team put into creating an experience for those who attend never goes unnoticed.

As you can tell, we had high expectations arriving in London…

Were they met?

Absolutely.

From start to finish…

  • The opportunities to build new relationships – in addition to enhance already-existing ones – were plentiful;
  • The mastermind sessions each day provided FOCUS time for brainstorming and problem-solving;
  • The presentations delivered a mix of inspiration, motivation and down & dirty actionable steps; and
  • The nighttime get-togethers put the icing on the cake.

Top business lessons learned

The recurring theme of the entire event – something mentioned by nearly every speaker who stepped on stage – was this:

The importance of doing things that don’t scale; mainly, having one-on-one conversations with your readers, listeners, prospects and customers.

We all want to automate, scale, grow, gain back time… but we can’t do all of that from the very beginning.

We have to be willing to do things that don’t scale.

Like having one-on-one conversations with your readers, listeners, prospects and customers.

Lessons don’t come up over and over again on accident

If the same message runs through nearly every presentation at an event, then it’s time to listen up.

When’s the last time you had a one-on-one conversation with your readers, listeners, prospects or customers?

I challenge you – today – to put together a schedule that will allow you to spend an afternoon booking these one-on-one calls.

Then, set up a 2-hr block of time where you have 15-minute conversations with individuals in your audience.

You can reach out to them to schedule these conversations via email (anyone who has ever sent you a message telling you they love what you do, or that they enjoyed your last post or podcast episode – that’s a perfect place to start!)

Youpreneur Summit

A few other value bombs dropped from the stage?

Use #journorequest

I’m not a public relations pro by any means, but a great lesson from Janet Murray (who IS a public relations pro) is to leverage the #journorequest, which high-level journalists and PR pros use when looking for relevant news and stories to cover.

We all need to be more self-reliant

“You, where you’re headed, your idea – they are enough.”

This came straight from John Jantsch, who made several excellent, simple points about individuals needing to be more self-reliant.

In other words John said, “All the speakers on stage tell you what you could do, but not necessarily what you should do… what you should do is inside.”

Give yourself a little more credit and trust yourself!

And these are just a few of our top business lessons learned at Youpreneur Summit! To check out the rest be sure to head over to this post and episode from the Entrepreneurs On Fire blog!

A return to Puerto Rico

On Nov 17th we had a one-way plane ticket from London to Puerto Rico.

For almost the entire month of Oct – and all the way up to Nov 17th – we had spent a significant amount of time brainstorming and researching other places we could travel to prior to our return home.

Since Maria hit, we’ve had a combined 4 canceled flights, and after the 4th we were pretty much set on not returning until power and Internet were back.

Come Nov 17th, we made a tough decision: even though we knew power and Internet wasn’t back, we boarded our flight to return home for the first time post-Maria.

We arrived in Puerto Rico the afternoon of the 18th.

Up to that point everything we knew about the impact and devastation on the island was through text messages, broken-up phone calls, and through our Palmas WhatsApp group that we started with our friends here in the community.

Puerto Rico strong

Coming back and actually seeing everything was a whole different experience.

Our drive home and first few days here were interesting – to say the least.

Things that you wouldn’t ever consider on a day-to-day basis suddenly became our reality, and we’re very well aware of the fact that we don’t even have it that bad (some people in the mountains or on the interior of the island still don’t even have running water).

Some examples:

  • Nothing looks the same here; leaves have been ripped from trees (and a lot of trees are completely gone), there are downed power lines everywhere, and you see missing windows and roofs on major structures throughout the island. It’s hard to even ‘place’ yourself sometimes when you’re driving around;
  • No power = no traffic or street lights; we thought driving in PR was bad before…
  • When the sun goes down, it’s DARK; it’s crazy to realize how much light pollution happens without us even realizing it.

It’s heart-breaking to hear that many homes on the island still don’t even have running water, and while there are some restaurants and stores open, many of the places we were used to going to for basic necessities are still closed – and may not ever open again.

Returning to Puerto Rico has brought with it much responsibility:

  • Cleanup and starting to put our house back together is a daily focus;
  • Communication is minute-by-minute; sometimes we can make calls and send text messages, and other times we can’t;
  • Gaining Internet access has not been easy; just last week we drove 1.5 hours to San Juan to find out the co-working space we had rented just lost all power and Internet. Luckily their sister office about 30 minutes away was still up and running.

As you can see, Hurricane Maria has brought us a lot of challenges; but she’s also brought us perspective.

More on that at the end of this post, in our Biggest Lessons Learned section 🙂

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

November 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $116,768

TOTAL Journal sales: 589 Journals for a total of $23,022

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

  • TheFreedomJournal.com: $2,183 (46 Hardcovers & 12 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $11,505 (307 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $13,688

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

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

  • Recurring: $23,955 (240 monthly)
  • New members: $10,980 (50 new members)
  • Total: $34,935

Podcast Sponsorship Income$53,500

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

Skills On Fire: $92

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$168 | eBook: $51

Free Courses that result in the above revenue:

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

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

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

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

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

Affiliate Income: $92,203

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $59,246

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $31,203

Resources for Podcasters: $922

Other Resources: $832

  • Amazon Associates: $549
  • Other: $283

Total Gross Income in November: $208,971

Business Expenses: $51,101

  • Advertising: $2,438
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $3,435
  • Accounting: $350
  • Cost of goods sold: $2,535
  • Design & Branding: $1,980
  • Education: $34
  • Legal & Professional: $630
  • Meals & Entertainment: $1,216
  • Merchant / bank fees: $5,944
  • Amazon fees: $5,764
  • Shopify fees: $49
  • PayPal fees: $199
  • Office expenses: $223
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,581
  • Paradise Refunds: $5,430
  • Total Launch Package fees: $175
  • Sponsorships: $9,750
  • Show notes: $364
  • The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $0
  • Travel: $3,948
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,632
  • Website Fees: $1,424

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $3,274

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Cell Phone: $173
  • Google: $45
  • Internet: $380
  • eVoice: $10
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $396
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $400
  • Manychat: $65
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $3
  • Shopify: $176
  • Stripe: $5
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Workflowy: $5
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Taxes & Licenses: $300
  • Try Interact: $89
  • Zapier: $15
  • Zencastr: $215 (annual fee)
  • Zoom: $15

Total Expenses in November: $54,375

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 November 2017: $154,596

Biggest Lesson Learned

Putting things into perspective

Life isn’t always easy.

Neither is running a business.

Things come up that you didn’t expect; you face financial challenges at the worst possible moments; relationships with your friends and family hit rocky patches.

But I’m sure you can agree: you’re pretty darn lucky to be in a position to create an opportunity out of what might seem, in the moment, like something very annoying and inconvenient.

To be able to:

  • accept challenges – even when you don’t expect them;
  • offer up your services in order to earn money – even when you’re fielding overdraft charges from your bank;
  • simply have relationships with your friends and family – even if they need repairing.

Last week we returned to our home in Puerto Rico for the first time post-Hurricane Maria.

Hurricane Maria has done a lot of damage.

  • She has destroyed entire islands;
  • She has left countless numbers homeless;
  • She has taken the island’s power;
  • She has also taken a lot of lives.
  • Something else Hurricane Maria has done:

She has put things into perspective.

You’ve probably experienced a life event at some point that really put things into perspective for you, too.

Hopefully you carry that lesson with you, and when you think about the fact that life – or running a business – isn’t easy, you’ll be thankful – you’ll feel lucky – that you’re in a position to create an opportunity.

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: November 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/2kvPTac

Latest EOFire Podcast 168: 5 Business lessons from Youpreneur Summit

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

business lessons

Chris Ducker and events – they just go together.

That’s why when Chris announced his first annual Youpreneur Summit in London and asked John to keynote the event, we jumped on the opportunity to be involved.

We know that Chris and events go together because we’ve been a part of two of his previous Tropical Think Tank events in the Philippines – in 2014 and again in 2015.

The time and care that Chris and his team put into creating an experience for those who attend never goes unnoticed.

As you can tell, we had high expectations arriving in London…

Were they met?

Absolutely.

From start to finish…

  • The opportunities to build new relationships – in addition to enhance already-existing ones – were plentiful;
  • The mastermind sessions each day provided FOCUS time for brainstorming and problem-solving;
  • The presentations delivered a mix of inspiration, motivation and down & dirty actionable steps; and
  • The nighttime get-togethers put the icing on the cake.

Top business lessons learned

The recurring theme of the entire event – something mentioned by nearly every speaker who stepped on stage – was this:

The importance of doing things that don’t scale; mainly, having one-on-one conversations with your readers, listeners, prospects and customers.

But before we dive too deep into our #1 business lesson learned, let’s check out the other four…

Lesson #5: Your mission statement is critical…

…and you should be able to express it in a single sentence.

Here’s the structure:

I help [this specific person] do [this specific action].

This in from the man himself, Chris Ducker!

Your mission statement is critical, and not just because you need to be able to communicate clearly and succinctly what you do – and whom you do it for – to others, but also so that YOU have a clear statement you can refer back to to remind yourself of the path you’re on.

Lesson #4: We all need to be more self-reliant

“You, where you’re headed, your idea – they are enough.”

This came straight from John Jantsch, who made several excellent, simple points about individuals needing to be more self-reliant.

In other words John said, “All the speakers on stage tell you what you could do, but not necessarily what you should do… what you should do is inside.”

Give yourself a little more credit and trust yourself!

Lesson #3: Take unusual action

I’ve seen Pat Flynn take the stage many times, but this single sentence rang truer than any other for me:

Nothing will change unless you take unusual action, but more than that, you need to go all the way and commit to entrepreneurship. Then, finally, you’ll learn to believe in yourself.

It rang so true because this has been my experience.

Just five years ago I would beat myself up. I hated making decisions because I felt like no matter what decision I made, it would end up being the wrong one.

And so I made no decisions.

I played the victim, complaining about my situation – the job I didn’t like, living the same evening over and over again – but I never took a single action to change it.

I just kept waiting… thinking that someone else might take the action for me.

Guess what?

NO ONE else is ever going to take unusual action for you.

So what are you waiting for?

Lesson #2: Your business is your funnel

Sound familiar?

That’s because this golden nugget came from our very own JLD.

John walked through the creation of your customer journey; this is what happens from the first time your avatar experiences your brand, all the way until they become a paying customer (or loyal fan).

Funnels have literally lit our business on fire, and they continue to produce recurring revenue for us on a consistent basis.

One example: Free Podcast Course

Our audience kept asking questions about how to podcast – what equipment to use, how to choose a topic, getting great guests on their show – and so we gathered those questions and answered them in a free course.

Those interested in learning more about podcasting hear about Free Podcast Course in the intro and outro of Entrepreneurs On Fire, where John gives a call to action on how people can sign up.

Once registered, that free course is delivered, and throughout the free course we introduce people to our free, Live Podcast Masterclass, which we host every other week.

On that free masterclass we drop value bombs for 1 hour, and then share our premium podcasting community with those in attendance: Podcasters’ Paradise.

So what might that funnel look like for you?

Really think about the very first touch point your avatar has with your brand, and map out a funnel that takes your avatar on a journey.

Lesson #1: The importance of doing things that don’t scale

We all want to automate, scale, grow, gain back time… but we can’t do all of that from the very beginning.

We have to be willing to do things that don’t scale.

Like having one-on-one conversations with your readers, listeners, prospects and customers.

Here’s how the speakers put it…

Pat started his presentation off by saying, It’s not about you. It’s about who you serve.

Mark Asquith started his presentation off by saying, The #1 most important thing you can do is engage in customer conversations.

John started his presentation off by saying, The most important step you can take in your business is to do things that don’t scale.

Matthew Kimberly’s first of 15 Principles of Persuasion was all about qualification: making sure that the person you’re talking to wants, needs, can afford and is allowed to consume what you’re offering and creating.

Russell James stated during his presentation, If you’re feeling like you’re struggling, then you need a reconnection with your craft, your audience.

Lessons don’t come up over and over again on accident

If the same message runs through nearly every presentation at an event, then it’s time to listen up.

When’s the last time you had a one-on-one conversation with your readers, listeners, prospects or customers?

I challenge you – today – to put together a schedule that will allow you to spend an afternoon booking these one-on-one calls.

Then, set up a 2-hr block of time where you have 15-minute conversations with individuals in your audience.

You can reach out to them to schedule these conversations via email (anyone who has ever sent you a message telling you they love what you do, or that they enjoyed your last post or podcast episode – that’s a perfect place to start!)

I’ll leave you with another powerful quote from Pat’s presentation.

He said:

“If an egg is broken from the outside, life ends. If an egg is broken from the inside, life begins.”

Remember, no one else is going to take unusual action for you. So what are you waiting for?

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Latest EOFire Podcast Putting things into perspective

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

Life isn’t always easy.

Neither is running a business.

Things come up that you didn’t expect; you face financial challenges at the worst possible moments; relationships with your friends and family hit rocky patches.

But I’m sure you can agree: you’re pretty darn lucky to be in a position to create an opportunity out of what might seem, in the moment, like something very annoying and inconvenient; to be able to:

  • accept challenges – even when you don’t expect them;
  • offer up your services in order to earn money – even when you’re fielding overdraft charges from your bank;
  • simply have relationships with your friends and family – even if they need repairing.

Perspective

Last week we returned to our home in Puerto Rico for the first time post-Hurricane Maria.

Hurricane Maria has done a lot of damage.

  • She has destroyed entire islands;
  • She has left countless numbers homeless;
  • She has taken the island’s power;
  • She has also taken a lot of lives.

Something else Hurricane Maria has done:

She has put things into perspective.

You’ve probably experienced a life event at some point that really put things into perspective for you, too.

Hopefully you carry that lesson with you, and when you think about the fact that life – or running a business – isn’t easy, you’ll be thankful – you’ll feel lucky – that you’re in a position to create an opportunity.

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Latest EOFire Podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire: October 2017 Income Report

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

October 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for October: $218,762

Total Expenses for October: $56,827

Total Net Profit for October: $161,935

Difference b/t October & September: -$579

eofire income report button

Why We Publish An Income Report

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

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

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

Let’s IGNITE!

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

Josh Bauerle’s Monthly Tax Tip

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

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

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

October’s Tax Tip: Do I need a receipt for that?

If you’re like me, your answer to the question “would you like a receipt?” from a cashier is almost always a resounding “no”!

While some people, like my Dad, continue to stuff their gigantic wallet with the receipt for every purchase they have ever made, most of us despise paper receipts.

But what about for business owners?

What receipts do you need to keep for tax purposes and how long do you need to keep them?

In a world that is becoming more and more digital every day, this is a situation that is constantly changing.

So when Kate asked me for some best practices on keeping receipts for Entrepreneurs On Fire, we thought it’d be a great opportunity to review the current IRS regulations regarding keeping actual receipts in your business and share them with YOU in this month’s income report!

Everything you need to know when it comes to keeping receipts for business expenses

1. Documentation is King

In the world of the IRS, in the unlikely event you are ever audited, documentation is your best friend. And the more documentation you can provide, the safer you are. So on top of everything said after this, whenever you are in doubt, keep the receipt.

2. Cash is the Enemy

If at all possible, always avoid paying in cash. It’s far and away the hardest way to prove an expense.

First, a purchase via a credit card, debit card, PayPal, etc. are going to offer a decent amount of proof on your statements. Even if you don’t have a receipt, you can at least show the IRS exactly when and where the money was spent.

With cash, if you don’t have a receipt, you could very well be out of luck.

So for the few instances cash is the only option, always keep the receipt and make a note on it what the purchase was for if the receipt itself doesn’t give it. But avoid paying expenses with cash any time you can.

3. Under $75 Doesn’t Require a Receipt

If the purchase you make is under $75, the IRS does not require a receipt. This means those $15 lunches are technically receipt proof.

However, keep rules number 1 and 2 in mind here; documentation is king and cash is the enemy. So if you use cash for these smaller expenses, I’d still keep the receipt.

4. Always Go Digital

For both record keeping purposes and longevity, always keep digital receipts.

For online sales this is easy, they will just email the receipt.

For in-store purchases, several places now give you the option to have the receipt emailed to you. Always choose that option.

If a paper receipt is the only option, simply take a quick picture of it on your phone. Then take these receipts and put them in an online folder. There are also tons of apps out there to help with this, including my personal favorite, Shoeboxed.

5. Proper Bookkeeping is Most Important

Far and away the biggest key to surviving an IRS audit is proper bookkeeping, meaning you are using some type of accounting software to track and reconcile all of your income and expenses during the year. With that crucial practice alone, you will be able to at the worst pinpoint any expense in question and know where and when it occurred.

Receipts may still be required, but with proper bookkeeping you will be able to locate the needed receipts much easier.

We say it almost every week, but all these great tax perks offered to entrepreneurs comes with responsibilities. And one of those responsibilities is the need to track and prove the expenses you take.

By following the rules above you will put yourself in great position to survive any questions by the IRS.

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

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

What Went Down In October

Thrive Las Vegas

October started off strong with John speaking at THRIVE: Make Money Matter in Las Vegas.

The event boasted several top-notch speakers and attendees, and as we often repeat, attending conferences and meeting others in person can’t be replaced.

Tune in to our income report recording to hear about John’s biggest takeaways from the event!

Closing Paradise

October was a big travel month for us, and it all started on the 12th with a flight from Houston to New Zealand.

In preparing for our travel, which will continue until November 18th, we made the decision to close the doors to Paradise while we were away.

We made this decision for a few reasons:

  • We weren’t 100% positive what the Internet situation would be like along the way, thus making it difficult to schedule our bi-weekly live Webinars;
  • We’ll never sacrifice customer service, and with the travel we had setup we wanted to ensure we didn’t overload our team; and
  • We have a few improvements we’re excited to be working on behind the scenes!

So on October 7th we closed the doors to Paradise in preparation for our travel and in order to implement the improvements.

How we set up the close

Our closing Webinar on October 4th was BIG. We welcomed over 250 live attendees and throughout that day welcomed 50 new members to Paradise!

We promoted the live Webinar to our podcasting list, had the opt in front and center on PodcastersParadise.com, and we also ran Facebook ads.

This isn’t our first time closing Paradise, but we did take a different approach this time around (to check out how we ran the close last time, you can visit our December 2015 Income Report).

What’d we did differently

This time around we wanted to simplify things, and so instead of doing videos and price increases every day of the close like we did last time, we stuck with the basics:

We did a Live Webinar followed by 3 days of emails announcing the close and the diminishing bonuses.

Day 1: Oct 4 – the live webinar (welcomed 50 new members)

Day 2: Oct 5 – diminishing bonuses (welcomed 6 new members)

Day 3: Oct 6 – diminishing bonuses (welcomed 8 new members)

Day 4: Oct 7 – the close (welcomed 40 new members)

Kind of crazy to see the difference between the number of new members on the first and last day versus the two days in between, right?

While the diminishing bonuses were being sent out each day, the numbers don’t lie: urgency on the live webinar (for people to receive ALL bonuses) and on the last day (to get in before the doors close) was real.

So what were those diminishing bonuses?

Oct 4: One-on-one chat w/ John (plus everything below)

Oct 5: BOTH The Freedom & Mastery Journal (plus everything below)

Oct 6: Your choice of The Freedom OR Mastery Journal (plus everything below)

Oct 7: Access to a private 1-hour hangout with John – only for those who join Podcasters’ Paradise between 10/4 and 10/7

The close was a great success and far exceeded any expectations we had for it.

Again, our main goal was to simply keep our customer service capabilities high and have time to implement some improvements within, all while traveling for most of the month.

Lesson learned: the power behind Live Webinars lives on, and urgency is still a very viable strategy when it comes to marketing your products and services to your audience.

New Zealand + Australia

As mentioned above, it all started October 12th with a flight from Houston to Queenstown, New Zealand. This flight kicked off a 40-day adventure inspired not only by the fact that neither of us have ever traveled to New Zealand or Australia, but also by We Are Podcast.

A peek into our travel diary for October

Queenstown is the first of our stops on a 40-day travel journey through NZ, AUS and the UK, and it all started when we met up with our great friends plus business & travel buddies Jill & Josh Stanton of Screw the Nine to Five.

If you’ve never visited, Queenstown is one of the cutest little village towns I’ve ever seen and has the most beautiful scenery everywhere you look! Esp from our AirBnB:

Queenstown, New Zealand

The location we picked here couldn’t be better: we’re a 10 minute walk to the docks, shops, cafes and restaurants, in addition to a walking path, a garden park and – wait for it – frisbee golf!

(I’ve never played frisbee golf in my life, but it seems like a cool thing to have nearby).

Queenstown Docks

Plus, New Zealand is known as the adventure capital of the world (proven by John and Josh, who did the Nevis bungee jump a few of days ago: 143 meters – 440 ft) > yikes!

See that little house-looking thing in the background below? …that’s where they jumped from (insert wide-eyed face with a lot of fear).

John at Nevis jump

And there is so much to do in Queenstown!

Every time we turn around there’s another amazing opportunity for a beautiful walk, hike, or activity.

Here’s part of the walking path down by the water near our place:

Queenstown walking path

So we haven’t been wasting any time…

First things first: we rented car at the airport, dropped everything off at the AirBnB, and we were off to find a market nearby to stock up on the necessities for yummy breakfasts and delicious dinners.

On the way home from the market is when John and Josh decided they should sign up for the Nevis bungee jump – the highest in the Southern Hemisphere.

That night we made burgers on the grill and called it an early night in an attempt to normalize our internal clocks.

The following morning we slept in, John and I went on a great run, and then we quickly established our “morning routine” with Jill & Josh: 2 of us stay and make breakfast and 2 of us go out to grab coffees, which has been working out quite well (except our AirBnB smells like bacon 24/7, which John sees as a positive).

Our wifi is pretty fabulous here (a major concern after what we’d heard from others who have traveled throughout NZ and AUS). So knock on wood… the few hours each day we’ve set aside for work have been productivity-packed!

An email here and there, a couple checks in Asana, and before we knew it we were headed to the bungee bus.

After a 40 minute beautiful bus ride with the other crazies who decided this would be a good idea, the 4 of us found ourselves in a metal basket attached to a chord with our 2 jump buddies, Scott and Travis (brothers from Ontario), heading to the middle of the line for the jump.

Nevis Jump

Jill and I paid to be able to actually go out to the jump spot with the guys – I knew this was as close as I was willing to get to actually jumping off the thing. Although Jill and Josh told us about a tandem jump you can do off a bridge – not too far from the Nevis jump – but only 34 meters instead of 134… that’s probably more my speed 😉

Such a cool experience to be out there with them when they jumped.

Here’s a video of John’s jump!

After the jump we made our way back to our place, and John and I decided to go on a hike up the hill behind our place, which was highly recommended by a local woman we met along our morning run.

Queenstown Hill Walkway

She was absolutely right about the views at the top:

Queenstown Walkway View

We figure we survived somewhere in the ballpark of 50 mph winds at the top, and luckily the plethora of sports stores around afforded us the perfect jackets for it.

New Zealand weather is no joke – it’s been in the low 40’s each morning, getting up to maybe the mid-50’s in the afternoon. They’re just headed into Spring now.

The following day was an absolutely blast, too! We spent the morning at our place chatting, making breakfast and getting a few work hours in.

Then, at [12:30] we met up with Jill’s parents, who are also here traveling alongside them, + Jill’s sister and husband (Ali & Ken) at the bottom of the gondola.

Yet another amazing thing that’s just a 10 minute walk from our place.

Once at the top, you can have lunch + they have a luge racing course! So cool!

So we went for the whole package: gondola ride + lunch + luge racing = awesome.

Gondola Luge

After lunch and a few times around the luge track, we came back down and enjoyed a few separate activities for the afternoon: frisbee golf for John, Josh, Ali & Ken; a great run in the park for me; and some work for Jill.

Yesterday was a combination of all things amazing: a scenic drive to Wanaka, another one of the cutest towns I’ve ever been to; water sports; and breathtaking views.

Wanaka beach

The drive was really amazing, and during the 1.5 hours it took us to climb up and through the mountains we saw enough sheep to fill approximately 4,376 petting zoos.

And all the little baby sheep!!!… SO CUTE.

We stopped off at a outlook point on the way up, and WOW… once you think you’ve seen all the views, another bright green valley with unbelievable mountains in the background appears.

Wanaka lookout

Upon arrival we walked around a bit and decided that with the beautiful weather and long afternoon ahead we’d make our way out to Ruby Island via Kayaks – doubles, of course.

About 35 minutes later, we arrived here:

Wanaka Ruby Island

There was nothing on the island itself – outside of the breathtaking views.

We walked around the island (yes, it was that small) and then jumped back in our kayaks to even out our 2-hour roundtrip.

Next morning we decided we’d spend our last Queenstown day in a pretty laid back manner, but two things were definitely on our list: a ThunderJet ride on the water, and another round of frisbee golf (now I HAVE officially played!)

I’ll leave my score out of it, but John and Josh gave one another a pretty good run.

Frisbee Golf Queenstown

After frisbee golf we made our way over to the pier to jump on a ThunderJet with our incredible driver Kylie (who happens to be a part of Fire Nation! How cool is that?!)

The ThunderJet ride was INSANE, and Kylie’s driving skills were nothing short of impressive. Seriously… there were at least 5 times I thought we were in trouble.

ThunderJet New Zealand

I so wish I had video to share, but if you follow John on Instastories, then you saw a small portion of our experience.

If you’re from New Zealand and haven’t experienced ThunderJet yet, then it’s a must-do! And if you’re not from New Zealand but find yourself in Queenstown one day, then a ride with ThunderJet will make your trip!

Next morning we were off to Auckland, where we met up with Paul Spain, podcaster and hospitality-pro extraordinaire!

Paul helped us set up a meet up for Fire Nation that evening and was generous enough to help us with our entire stay in Auckland. So from 6-9pm we gathered with about 25 local podcasters / entrepreneurs and had a great time at a local cafe!

Fire Nation meet up

Fire Nation meet up 2

On Friday – our first full day in Auckland – we decided to make the trip to Hamilton on our way to Hobbiton.

We had been planning for Hobbiton because we’ve heard so many great things (that’s the movie set from the movie The Hobbit), but our stop in Hamilton was due an email offer from Dave, a Fire Nation faithful who lives in the area.

Dave was born and raised in Hamilton, had never been to Hobbiton, and assured us he’d be an amazing tour guide for the day. 🙂

So we picked Dave up at his co-working space (about 2/3rd’s of the way to Hobbiton) and made a quick stop at the Hamilton Gardens on his request before making the rest of the trip.

And the gardens were absolutely beautiful!!

Italian Garden

Chinese Garden

We were a bit rushed because our 1:15pm tour was not going to wait for us.

Luckily Dave has a lot more experience driving on the wrong side of the road than I do 😉 He grabbed the keys and we were off on the winding road to Hobbiton.

The drive was beautiful, and Hobbiton: breathtaking.

Hobbiton

During our 2-hr tour of the grounds we learned a lot of fun facts about the movie set, (discovered by “Sir Peter Jackson” during a helicopter ride. He was granted access by the Alexander family who still owns the land today); how The Hobbit was filmed, (none of the Hobbit holes are actually furnished inside – every scene you see inside of one of the holes was done in a studio in Wellington); and were able to see how much detail went into actually putting this set back together, (it was actually taken down after they used it to film in Lord of the Rings, and later reconstructed ‘to stay’ for The Hobbit).

Hobbiton 2

After our tour we decided our 3 hour drive home was better started sooner than later.

Fittingly, we decided to make a dinner at home and watch The Hobbit 🙂

I must say, I’m pretty impressed by my driving skills seeing as how I’ve never driven on this side of the road before, and the following day I continued my 100% record (knock on wood) with a drive to Piha, a local beach that had been recommended by almost everyone we’ve talked to.

And for good reason:

Piha

We spent hours at the beach walking on the black sands and on the several paths carved into the hillsides around it.

Piha hike

About 15,000 steps later we decided to make our way to the Piha Cafe and ended up eating the best pizza EVER.

It was a big risk: it was about 4pm and we had a 7pm dinner back in Glen Eden with Paul and his wife Selina.

But we took that risk. And were really glad for it.

Our dinner with Paul and Selina was amazing. We ate at a local place called Eden (so cute!) and enjoyed lamb and falafel. Delish!

Dinner w Paul and Selina

Our last full day in Auckland we made our way out to Waiheke Island via ferry boat to explore what many had said was a “can’t miss” experience.

Boy, were they right… Waiheke-woahhhhh! (Enter Kate: picks jaw up off from ground; heart shaped eyes in full effect; breath taken away…)

Waiheke Island

Even though it was drizzling and cloudy the entire day, we still managed to make the most of it.

First thing on our agenda: the coastal sea walk, which you can pick up right off the ferry. It’s part of a network of trails that run throughout the entire island – and Waiheke isn’t a small island.

It’s called the Te Ara Hura trail, and if you check out the image below you’ll see the shape of the island, which much of the trails follow.

Te Ara Hura Trail

The coastal trail wasn’t anything like I imagined. First off, the beginning of it was only passable at certain times of the day. 1.5 hours on either side of high tide would make the actual trail impassable (in other words, under water).

While it probably would have stopped me from trekking through, it wasn’t going to stand in John’s way of making this walk our reality (I’m so glad he’s such a risk-taker, cause I can’t imagine our day without this walk).

I wish I had pictures, but that would have required a hands-free go-cam attached to my head because my two hands were occupied with holding onto roots and vegetation to avoid falling down a hill.

It literally felt like you weren’t actually on a trail – the entire way.

We were walking right by what were definitely multi-million dollar estates and we couldn’t have passed more than a handful of people.

You can see how minimal the actual ‘trail’ was in the picture below (see that little strip of dirt by John’s shoes?… that’s what this path was like the entire way)

Waiheke Island Hike

There were loads of other activities we could have signed up for upon arrival on Waiheke – wine tours, zip lining, boat rides – but we’re becoming more and more confident in our ability to let an amazing day unfold without any actual plans in place 🙂

15,000 steps (and 3.5 hours later) were feeling pretty good about making the most of our coastal walk.

We celebrated with an amazing late brunch at a really cute Italian cafe before heading back to our place.

Cafe Waiheke

After brunch we made our way back home and snuck in a laundry mat trip before our departure to Sydney the following morning.

Speaking of the following morning… it came quickly, and before we knew it we were packing our bags and saying goodbye to New Zealand.

Before prior to our airport trip we met up with one of our Puerto Palooza alumni, Travis, and his wife, Jacqueline, for breakfast.

Breakfast w Travis

They had just arrived in New Zealand the night before and made the trip all the way from Los Angeles to attend We Are Podcast in Brisbane, Australia (Nov 2-4… this is the same event John and I are speaking at).

It was perfect timing to meet up with them before their New Zealand adventures began – and before we took off for AUS.

A quick Google search returned a cafe we could meet up at; little did we know it was actually inside of a Home Depot (explains the background of the photo below – LOL) But it was a great breakfast, and even better company.

Our flight to Sydney was uneventful, and by that afternoon we were taking in the view from our beautiful deck in Bronte, right near the famous Bondi Beach.

Bronte

We spent the rest of the evening on the patio, enjoying the beautiful, warmer weather (more like low 70’s vs. low 40’s) and a GREAT takeout dinner from a place right up the street (so many cute cafes and restaurants just a block away!)

Yesterday (Tuesday) being our only real “full day” here in the Sydney area to explore, John and I decided to attempt the impossible: see Sydney in a day.

Jill & Josh had loads of work to do, so being “on our own” for the day we made a last-minute decision to snag an all-day hop-on, hop-off bus pass to help us cover as much ground as possible.

But first, I snuck in a run to explore the beach path right below our place…

Bronte to Bondi

Holy cow – this coast is absolutely beautiful!!

After a quick shower John and I walked right back onto the path and followed it all the way around to Bondi Beach (about a 30 minute walk around the water).

Bondi Beach

A stop in an Internet cafe to print our bus tickets and a short 5 min wait and we were riding top deck, ready to rock!

Hop on Hop off Sydney

There are 2 routes for the hop-on, hop-off bus: Bondi route and Sydney route. So we started on the Bondi route, then jumped over to the Sydney route, and here’s how the day went…

Stop 1 Sydney

Stop 2 Sydney

Stop 3 Sydney

Stop 4 Sydney

Stop 6 Sydney

Stop 8 Sydney

We also spent the following day here in Sydney (Wednesday), but this afternoon we’re headed to Nicole & Omar Zenhom’s place (of the $100 MBA Podcast and Webinar Ninja) for an afternoon tour of their area + dinner out 🙂

Once we arrived, we had an awesome couple of hours to chat at their place, and then we made our way out for a walk. While the rain stopped us from being able to walk around the park by their place (the same park where Nicole and Omar were married), it didn’t stop us from having a great night out.

Sydney dinner

The following day we were packing our bags again, this time headed to the Gold Coast in Australia with Jill & Josh.

After a 1-hr plane ride and a 10-min wait in the rental car line we were headed to our current home in a town called Surfers Paradise.

It’s definitely a fitting name: the beach stretches in either direction for miles with the softest sand I’ve ever felt between my toes. Like, literally so soft it squeaks when you walk in it.

Surfers Paradise

A fun little fact I didn’t even mention from our last stop in Bronte / Sydney: it’s whale watching season here and we’ve been lucky enough to spot probably close to half a dozen whales playing in the ocean as they migrate.

Our last place had binoculars to help us enjoy the scenes, but it seems the lack of them at this place has been made up for by their proximity to the shore. Today we watched one play in the water not too far past some Jetski riders – it seemed so close!!

The weather here is incredible – it’s about 80 degrees and actually feels a lot like Puerto Rico (maybe not THAT hot and humid, but close).

Our first afternoon here (Thursday) was a little different. We got to our place around 2, and by about 4pm the clouds came rolling in and we experienced some legit thunder, lightening and quick rain.

I think travel has been catching up with all of us a bit, and that combined with the weather encouraged a couch and movie night (we watched Hall Pass – pretty funny if you like mindless comedies and Owen Wilson).

The next morning we spent time relaxing on the patio (view from our balcony pictured above), did some work, and then myself, John and Josh were off to Purling Falls – a hiking trail that Josh said was a must-do.

Jill hasn’t been so into the hiking, but I don’t blame her: she’s 6 mos pregnant and her bump is definitely not getting any smaller!

The hike down to the falls was really beautiful, and different from any of the other hikes we’ve been on for a few reasons:

  • It started with Josh warning us of poisonous snakes (and letting us know that it’s mating season for them, so I guess they’re all riled up AND are really good at hiding in the leaves below your feet)
  • It was very wood-sy (no clear-cut cement walking paths, so much more… wood-sy)
  • It led us down into a sub-tropical rain forest and spit us out at a beautiful waterfall, which the guys promptly got into their suits for:

Swimming hole

Purling Falls

The potential to see kuala bears was real, which was pretty cool (although I definitely spent the entire 2+ hours wondering if I was going to get bit by a poisonous snake).

Our reward after 10,000 steps was a stop at the fudge shop – SO YUM – followed by another relaxing evening at home.

…well, that is AFTER we played frisbee – cause how could you NOT play frisbee when you have a wide open beach like this right across the street???…

Surfers Paradise Beach

Post-frisbee we settled into the couch with the most amazing homemade tacos and fudge for dessert.

Our show of choice the past few nights has been LOST; I’m the only one who hasn’t seen it, but everyone else agreed it’d be a great show to re-watch.

Today has been another very relaxing day, which started off with a 2.5 mile walk down the beach to “Broadbeach” (the next beach over) for a great breakfast at a restaurant called Koi. The weather is holding steady and it was a perfect morning (and afternoon) to spend outside.

This afternoon John and I have been catching our breath and relaxing at home while Jill & Josh make the rounds to say goodbye to a lot of their family who they won’t see again before they leave (on Wed, Nov 1 we all head to Brisbane together, and that’s when they fly back to Canada).

For the first time on our trip the days have started to blend together…

Gold Coast has been both relaxing and nostalgic (reminds both myself and John of San Diego / Pacific Beach a lot.)

I’ll pick up where I left off last time:

We didn’t end up doing the Wildlife Sanctuary as planned the day after I sent our last email. Jill & Josh were out meeting up with friends and family, and the day sort of slipped away. Before we knew it, it was 2pm and the Sanctuary closed at 5 – not nearly enough time to do it all.

So John and I ended up spending the morning walking the beach, eating pancakes, playing putt putt golf, and getting some work done.

For the record, I won by 2 🙂

That evening, after Jill & Josh were back, we took advantage of the tennis courts here and jumped in the pool for a nice swim. While swimming, we had a GREAT idea: to head down to the Hotel & Casino in Broadbeach, about 2 miles away. You know, just to check things out… 😉

A few card games and about 2 hours later we hopped in an Uber and made our way to the Casino.

We happened upon a great Asian place for dinner right in the lobby of the hotel, and before Jill and I had even finished our meals the boys were already checking out the tables in the Casino area.

We lost a bit of money, but had a really fun night out 🙂

The following day we decided to make it a chill morning and then me, John and Josh made our way to the Wildlife Sanctuary in Currumbin for the afternoon.

While the Sanctuary had nothing on Sea World or the San Diego Zoo, I must say it was SO COOL to see kuala bears and kangaroos IN PERSON!! Plus, 100% of proceeds go to protect local wildlife both inside and out of the sanctuary.

The “petting zoo” was quite different than what I’m used to seeing (goats, maybe a lamb here and there…)

This one was filled with kangaroos hopping (and sleeping) all over the place. We got to feed some kangaroos, stare down the alpha (he was SO HUGE!), and see a mama carrying a little joey in her front pocket.

Currumbin Wildlife Kangaroo zoo

Sheep sheering (where John made it up on stage to actually help sheer the sheep!), an impressive bird show, and a crocodile or two later we were making our last stop of the afternoon: holding a koala bear 🙂

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

I think I’d have to say that feeding and petting the kangaroos, and seeing the koala bears in person, were my highlights 🙂

We’ve been pretty beat come nighttime with all the running around we’ve been doing, and our Wildlife day was no different. We made our way back to the house and settled in for a homemade dinner and more episodes of LOST.

The following day we were determined to make Byron Bay happen.

Byron Bay was definitely beautiful, and it was really fun to watch the surfers ride “sideways” waves (you get to a point on the beach where it start curving around, and the way the rocks are the waves look as though they’re coming in sideways – pretty cool)

Byron Bay

We also walked out to the most Easterly point in all of Australia, which was cool.

Easterly point Byron Bay

Last night we had 1 last hurrah before Jill & Josh packed it up to head back home bright & early this am. Our wild night out?… Korean BBQ.

It being my first time I had no idea what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. All they had to tell me was that it’s like fondue 😉

This morning we closed down Gold Coast and made our way up to Brisbane. A quick check-in at the hotel, a great gym workout, and an awesome lunch later (we got to meet up with Michael O’Neal of the Solopreneur Hour, and reunite with Nicole & Omar – all from our SD crew – who are also here for the conference), and now we’re just settling in and getting prepped for the conference, which starts tomorrow.

Look out for future updates on the rest of our travels in next month’s income report, plus a full recap of We Are Podcast here on the blog!

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

October 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $148,578

TOTAL Journal sales: 644 Journals for a total of $24,423

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

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

  • TheMasteryJournal.com: $4,012 (103 Hardcovers & 10 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $7,761 (218 Mastery Journals sold!)
  • Total: $11,773

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

  • Recurring: $19,089 (193 monthly)
  • New members: $35,325 (119 new members)
  • Total: $54,414

Podcast Sponsorship Income$64,500

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

Skills On Fire: $0

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$204 | eBook: $37

Free Courses that result in the above revenue:

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

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

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

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

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

Affiliate Income: $70,184

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $49,756

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $16,829

Resources for Podcasters: $1,962

Other Resources: $1,637

  • Amazon Associates: $720
  • Other: $917

Total Gross Income in October: $218,762

Business Expenses: $53,371

  • Advertising: $3,375 (FB ad spend)
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,098
  • Accounting: $2,080
  • Cost of goods sold: $3,995
  • Design & Branding: $1,980
  • Education: $71
  • Legal & Professional: $122
  • Manychat: $78
  • Meals & Entertainment: $1,995
  • Merchant / bank fees: $992
  • Amazon fees: $9,297
  • Shopify fees: $271
  • Stripe fees: $3
  • PayPal fees: $268
  • Office expenses: $381
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,428
  • Paradise Refunds: $1,260
  • Total Launch Package fees: $875
  • Sponsorships: $10,750
  • Show notes (email Mallard Creative!): $364
  • The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $5,000
  • Travel: $2,306
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,973
  • Website Fees: $1,409

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $3,456

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Carbonite: $60 (annual fee)
  • Cell Phone: $197
  • Google: $45
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $10
  • Focus At Will: $45 (annual fee)
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $396
  • Insurance: $551
  • Lastpass: $105 (annual fee)
  • Libsyn: $400
  • Manychat: $64
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $3
  • Shopify: $176
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Workflowy: $5
  • WPEngine: $49
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Taxes & Licenses: $300
  • Try Interact: $89
  • Vimeo Pro: $200 (annual fee)
  • Zapier: $15
  • Zoom: $15

Total Expenses in October: $56,827

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 October 2017: $161,935

Biggest Lesson Learned

How resilient is your business?

The definition of ‘resilient’ according to Google (in reference to a person or animal) is: able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. In reference to a substance or object: able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.

When I was in Austin, TX for Screw U Live in September I was on a catch up call with my good friend Jodi Flynn of Women Taking the Lead. I was telling her about all the traveling John and I had been doing due to Hurricane Maria, and something she said really stuck with me:

It must be a great feeling to know your business is so resilient!

Which got me thinking…

Not only have we proven time and time again that our business is definitely location independent, but our travels throughout hurricane season – starting for me on Sept 5 just before Hurricane Irma passed Puerto Rico, then for John on Sept 26 just before Hurricane Maria – have also proven that our business is incredibly resilient.

Puerto Rico has taken a big hit, John and I have taken a big hit, yet the way we’ve built and set up Entrepreneurs On Fire would make it seem as though nothing has changed in our lives. The business continues to run and generate the same amount of revenue month after month, despite the drastic changes to our daily routine we’ve experienced over the past month plus.

So, I encourage you to think about this: if it came down to it, could your business survive without constant attention? If yes, for how long?

It’s important that you build a strong foundation for your business; it could mean the difference between being able to bounce back and folding should you experience a major, unexpected life event in the future.

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 How to work with your significant other – without ruining your relationship

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

working with your significant other

In January 2013 John and I were walking along the beach in Maine.

There was snow on the sand and a deep chill in the air, but the beautiful scenery made up for any physical discomfort.

We were talking about the podcast, which had launched just about 3 months prior. I had asked him how it was going.

At that point in time I was working my 9 to 5 at a marketing and advertising agency as an account executive, managing the agencies largest client. For years, that had been my dream job.

John seemed pretty fired up about the growth and potential of what he was creating with Entrepreneurs On Fire.

He told me about how he was starting to receive requests from some of his listeners, who were seeking one-on-one coaching from him; how his network was quickly growing with each new guest who came on the show; and how he had started testing out something that he felt had the potential to be a huge revenue stream: individual sponsorships.

The big question

After he finished describing these very different aspects of the business that were organically coming to life thanks to the audience and platform he had been building for about 6 months, he popped a question that I wasn’t expecting:

What do you think about coming on the team and helping me out with the podcast and growing the business?

Woah.

I was fired up for John, very excited about the podcast overall, and super passionate about his mission of inspiring millions.

But one thing I wasn’t: prepared to take my 2nd leap into entrepreneurship – this time with my significant other.

I wasn’t really sure how to respond, and if I remember that day accurately I sort of fumbled around with my words for a minute or two.

Honestly, the first thought that came to my mind was, “How would this affect our personal relationship?”

Admittedly, I didn’t know too much about entrepreneurship – or partnerships – at the time; but one thing I did know was that a lot of relationships had crumbled due to miscommunication and disagreements between couples that had gone into business together.

So, not knowing what working together would do to our relationship was my first block.

My second block: I didn’t understand, and I couldn’t immediately see, how I fit into the business.

The absolute last thing I wanted to happen was to become a back office assistant to my boyfriend.

Our conversation around how the podcast was doing on the beach that day ended with John saying, “Why don’t you think about it, and we can talk about it again in a couple of weeks.”

My big decision

A couple of weeks passed, and I had definitely thought about what John had asked me on the beach that day – a lot.

While my job was exciting, challenging and exactly what I had wanted for years, it was starting to wear on me.

Late nights (or early mornings, depending on how you look at it) were becoming the norm, and the pressure to please the biggest client our agency had was causing an unhealthy amount of stress in my life.

I’m not sure if John’s question – and subsequently the idea of working together being on my mind – prompted this realization, or if it was simply time for me to find a new path.

Either way, I had a big decision to make: stay in my 9 to 5 “dream job”, join John at Entrepreneurs On Fire, or give my own entrepreneurial venture another go.

I have to admit, something about John and I sharing a vision, making a huge impact in others’ lives, and learning how to navigate completely unchartered waters together was definitely appealing.

We talked about me joining the team a couple of weeks later, and a couple of weeks later, and a couple of weeks later.

It wasn’t until early March that my big decision to join John at Entrepreneurs On Fire was official.

That decision has paid off in numerous ways throughout the years, and looking back I now know why it was such a tough decision: I’ve never been so uncomfortable about taking a new path in my entire life.

How it all started

I made the decision to join John at Entrepreneurs On Fire around March 2013, two months after he had initially asked me if I was interested.

During those two months I had done a legitimate amount of brainstorming and thinking.

Here’s how it all started…

Between the first time John asked me if I’d join the Entrepreneurs On Fire team and us making the joint decision to actually make it happen, I had two major questions to answer.

1. What would happen to our personal relationship?

In order to answer this question I felt I had to come up with solutions to the things that scared me the most about us working together.

Mainly, I wondered how we would separate our working relationship and our personal relationship.

I also wondered how we would handle, and hopefully in large part prevent, major confrontations or disagreements related to the business.

Solutions to these fears:

1. Setting very strict boundaries, and both committing to holding one another accountable to those boundaries.

2. Promising that open and honest communication will never be compromised due to “feeling bad” or “not wanting to hurt the other’s feelings”.

2. How do I fit in to this business?

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t want to risk becoming a back office assistant in the business.

But how could I ensure that wouldn’t happen?

First thing John and I did was each take a strengths assessment to find out what each of our strengths – and weaknesses – were.

This allowed us to immediately and visually see that a lot of our strengths and weaknesses were opposites, confirming that if we could successfully split our tasks so that each of us were working on the things we’re best at, we could really make some big things happen together.

On the heels of discovering our biggest strengths and weaknesses – and overall that we are very different people when it comes to what we’re best (and worst) at – I decided to write out what exactly I wanted to do in the business (what I enjoy and get excited about), and also what I’m best at (these were the skills my previous jobs hired me for).

After adding to each of these lists over several days – editing, revisiting, brainstorming – I shared it with John.

Then, he provided feedback on both parts: what I wanted to do, plus what I knew I could do well.

Knowing that what we had planned, and what actually ended up happening would vary, we both committed to each other, and to the business, that we would be all in, and all in this together.

So being able to answer these two questions has made all the difference, and anyone who is considering partnering with their significant other shouldn’t take another step until they’re both able to answer these questions.

And feel comfortable with those answers.

What’s changed over the years

One thing I’m most grateful for when it comes to working with my significant other is that it has brought us closer together than ever would have been possible otherwise.

Having a shared vision has allowed us to stay in synch.

There has rarely – if ever – been a question in either of our minds about where we’re headed with the business (even if that direction is greatly unknown to us both, we agree on it).

Also, having an incredibly deep understanding of the struggles and wins we’ve both hit along the way has allowed us to support one another, and lift one another up, countless times.

These are my favorite things about working together.

But over the years a lot has changed and evolved, including:

  • Our roles in the business
  • How we work together (and apart)
  • Our communication style
  • Our lifestyle

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Because that’s what relationships – and entrepreneurship – are all about.

We make sacrifices, we meet in the middle, we support and lift one another up, we’re willing to be flexible, and above all else, we love one another – and what we do.

Biggest lessons learned

I’ve given a background on how John and I started working together, and also shared what I believe are the two most important questions anyone considering working with their significant other should answer.

But what are some things we’ve learned along the way that we wish we would have known at the start?

Here are our top 5 lessons learned

1. Set boundaries – and stick to them

When you love what you do, it can be tough to turn it off, and when you’re working with your significant other that means business can take over quickly – sometimes without either of you realizing it.

Over the years we’ve continued to set – and reflect – on boundaries to make sure we’re both still happy with the balance we’re giving our personal relationship and our business relationship.

One example is that dinnertime has become an important boundary for us, and a turn off trigger for me.

Once I start cooking dinner, work is done for the day. And once we sit down to eat, it’s time to check out of being ‘at work’ and into being ‘at home’.

We’re also conscious of making time on the weekends to unplug and do things outside of work. Whether that be a hike, a mini road trip, or a night out, we always make time for it.

And remember: setting the boundary isn’t enough. You have to agree on whatever you’ve set and commit to holding one another accountable to it. Otherwise, getting into routines that will eventually make either – or both of you – unhappy is a slippery slope.

2. Be willing to step aside for the expert

Compromise is important in personal relationships and in business relationships. I can assure you, you won’t always agree on the same path, the same strategy or share a vision for the same outcome, and so it’s important that you’re willing to step aside.

The best way we’ve done this is by stepping aside for each other based on who has expertise in that particular area.

For example, John is much more the expert when it comes to how to podcast is produced, published and marketed. If he feels it should be done a certain way, I’m not going to try and tell him otherwise. That’s his area of expertise.

However, when it comes to managing the team who helps us with the show notes, running our social media strategy, and going back and forth with sponsors for talking points and agreements, that’s where I run point. John isn’t going to tell me how I should manage that.

This is why understanding one another’s roles and what each of you is best at is so critical to establish before diving in together. When you know who is taking the lead on what it’s much easier to avoid potential disagreements or arguments over how something should play out.

3. Nothing is set in stone

When I first joined John at Entrepreneurs On Fire, I was so nervous about making decisions or diving head first into projects.

It seemed like such a huge deal to determine how something might run, or who should handle what.

But it’s important to remember that nothing is set in stone.

Entrepreneurship happens one step at a time, so if you’re not sure who is best at something, or how a particular project should run, just test it out and see what happens.

You can make changes along the way.

4. Support one another – always

Mistakes will happen, and you’ll work on projects and tasks where neither of you have experience nor knowledge in how it should be done.

Figuring it out, and getting to where you want to go, requires support.

Sometimes that means verbal encouragement.

Sometimes that means respecting the other person’s time and bandwidth, and not involving them at all if it’s not required.

And sometimes that means stepping in to brainstorm and handle the tougher situations together.

5. Enjoy the journey

Working with your significant other is such a treat, but you’re missing out on a huge part of the experience if you can’t take time out to enjoy the journey you’re on together.

There will be tough times, happy times, down times, and up times; the fact that you have someone to share that all with is pretty special.

So be sure to take time to celebrate your wins together and reflect on lessons learned together. If you do, it’ll not only be great for your relationship, but for the business, too.

How to work with your significant other

This post barely scratches the surface of what it means to be partners in both business and in life, and I’d love to share more after hearing from you!

Post your questions about diving into business with your significant other in the comments below, and I’d love to answer them.

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Latest EOFire Podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire: September 2017 Income Report

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

September 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for September: $207,349

Total Expenses for September: $44,835

Total Net Profit for September: $162,514

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

eofire income report button

Why We Publish An Income Report

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

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

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

Let’s IGNITE!

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

Josh Bauerle’s Monthly Tax Tip

How to deduct medical related expenses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leveraging HSA’s

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

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

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

The benefit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Lizerbram’s Legal Tip

Best Practices for Online Brands

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

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

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

Do Your Due Diligence

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

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

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

Protect Your Brand

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

What now?

There are four steps you should take:

1. Get your brand out there!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Get as many domain names as you can.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Went Down In September

Entrepreneurs On Fire Celebrates 5 Years!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John and I were both SO SHOCKED!

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

Entrepreneurs On Fire anniversary

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

Palmas Del Mar

Palmas Del Mar

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

Hurricane Irma misses; Maria hits Puerto Rico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Hurricane Irma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hurricane Maria was starting to get VERY real.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hurricane Maria hit within 10 miles of Palmas Del Mar.

Hurricane Maria

The next 72 hours were terrible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beach Bohio

Photo credit, Travis Chappell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screw U Live 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How does a company like that look and act?

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

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

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

4 Lessons in 4 Years

1. Surround yourself with people who get it

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

2. Invest in yourself

Invest in yourself and others will invest in you.

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

3. Comparison is a killer

Compare yourself to others and they will compare you.

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

Be unique.

4. Momentum is the lifeblood of entrepreneurs

Momentum breeds invention!

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

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

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

September 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $121,907

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcast Sponsorship Income$64,000

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

Skills On Fire: $62

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$268 | eBook: $44

Free Courses that result in the above revenue:

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

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

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

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

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

Affiliate Income: $85,442

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $57,041

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $25,672

Resources for Podcasters: $1,965

Other Resources: $764

  • Amazon Associates: $674
  • Other: $90

Total Gross Income in September: $207,349

Business Expenses: $40,461

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

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $4,374

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

Total Expenses in September: $44,835

Payroll to John & Kate: $15,900

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

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

Total Net Profit for September 2017: $162,514

Biggest Lesson Learned

This too shall pass

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

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

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

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

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

What is going great in your life Fire Nation?

ENJOY that.

What is going poorly?

Don’t DWELL on that.

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

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

Remember, This Too Shall Pass.

Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!

EntrepreneurOnFire

Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!

~ Kate & John

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

Click here for all of EOFire’s Income Reports

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

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Latest EOFire Podcast S7E9: Setting and Accomplishing Your Biggest Goals

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

set and accomplish goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to set and accomplish your biggest goals

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

5 Steps of reflection

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

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

Make your goal SMART

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

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time-bound

Set micro-goals

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

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

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

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

Set review periods

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

In The Freedom Journal, this happens every 25 days.

This is a time to pause and look at:

What’s working

What’s not working

Do you need to correct course?

How are you doing time-wise?

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

Hold yourself accountable

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

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

The Freedom Journal

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

Cheers to setting and accomplishing your biggest goals!

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

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

lessons learned

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

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

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

8 Lessons Learned from launching The Freedom Journal

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

1. Enjoy the Journey

Launching is just the beginning 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

4. Not every idea will work

And that’s ok!

5. Building relationships of trust and value is powerful

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

6. We missed – A LOT

But we also learned a lot after the fact!

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

 

7. Celebrate the wins along the way

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

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

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

The Freedom Journal

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

Taxes? Who said anything about taxes?

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

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

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

CPA On Fire Josh Bauerle

Legal Expert David Lizerbram

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Latest EOFire Podcast S7E7: The Launch Phase

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

The Launch Phase

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

Congratulations!

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

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

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

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

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

What happened on launch day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How we leverage our launch party

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

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

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

The benefit of doing so?

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

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

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

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

Other marketing strategies we used throughout the campaign

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

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

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

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

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