My Monthly Income Report — July 2013

Photo Credit: Images of Money

Photo Credit: Images of Money

In last month’s income report I said that June was a “pretty pivotal month.”

Well, July took pivotal and slapped it in the face. Not since I woke up one morning in May 2011 and decided that I simply had to quit my job have I experienced such potentially life-changing thoughts as I have through the past month.

Those radical thoughts have already been documented in a couple of posts I have published in the past few weeks: How I Plan to Revolutionize My Online Business and My Thoughts on the Future of Leaving Work Behind (And Blogging in General). But in the context of this post, I suppose the pertinent question is, “How have these thoughts affected my income?”

As always, you can expect full disclosure from me.

What Happened in July?

At the beginning of the month I took a vacation to Turkey with my girlfriend. When I wasn’t pulling a stupid face for the camera…

Tom Ewer Stupid Face

…I was chilling out on the beach…

Tom Ewer on the beach

…Enjoying a glass of red (while pulling a bit of a stupid face)…

Tom Ewer with wine

…Or, you know, pulling other stupid faces.

Tom Ewer Stupid Face

What can I say — I can’t take myself seriously.

The long and short of it is that I had an awesome time. But perhaps even more importantly, I used the chill-out vacation as an opportunity to read some books and gain some extreme clarity on the past, present and future of my business. By the time I got home, I was ready to make some major changes.

Rather fittingly, the thinking behind those changes was based upon the very essence of what Leaving Work Behind means to me. Although there were (and are still) lots of thoughts rolling around in my head, all of the planned change came down to priorities:

  1. Reducing my direct involvement in the ongoing administration of my business so that I have more flexibility to work (or not) as I please
  2. Doing only work that I find enjoyable and rewarding

Priority number one is met (in theory) by the optimize/eliminate/automate process I outlined in this post, and priority number two is met (in part) by my radical new approach to blogging on LWB as outlined in this post.

In a nutshell, July was spent assessing the very foundations of my business and initiating an enormous seismic shift in terms of the future of everything that I do.

Obviously my plans will play out over the coming weeks and months — July was more about thinking than it was about action. With that in mind, how did my earnings fare?

Monthly Income Report — July 2013

  1. Freelance writing:
    • Income: $3,755.42
    • Expenditure: $291.75
    • Profit: $3,463.67
  2. Websites:
    • Income: $148.56
    • Expenditure: $0
    • Profit: $148.56
  3. Affiliate Marketing (Leaving Work Behind):
  4. Information Products:
    • Income: $1,413.08
    • Expenditure: $75.34
    • Profit: $1,337.74
  5. eBooks:
    • Income: $44.61
    • Expenditure: $0
    • Profit: $44.61

Total profit for July 2013: $6,150.24

Holy crap — a drop in income of nearly $3,000! My lowest earning month in 2013! Sound the alarm!

Looks bad on the face of it, doesn’t it? But I’m not worried in the slightest. In fact, I feel better than ever about (a) my current situation and (b) my future prospects.

Breaking Down My Income Breakdown

It doesn’t take much investigation to see the “deficiency” in this month’s income numbers: Freelancing.

In June I earned $5,790, whereas this month I earned just $3,464. That’s well over two grand — or nearly all of the shortfall between the two months — accounted for. While affiliate marketing and information product earnings were also down a little, I don’t consider that to be anything more than the natural ebb and flow of things at play.

So what happened with the freelancing? Well, it was a bit of a perfect storm of circumstances. First of all, I did a bunch of work in the last week of June because I was on holiday in the first week of July. That meant that I invoiced an extra chunk of work in June, and conversely didn’t invoice a chunk of work in July.

Furthermore, no “one-off” work materialised in July. I usually get random bits and bobs coming through from my non-ongoing clients, but that wasn’t the case in July. That just left me with the core of my ongoing client work, which was weakened somewhat by the aforementioned lack of work in the first week of the month.

So What Next?

It’s important to bring perspective into play at moments like this.

I made a lot less money in June. But I still made over six thousand dollars — equivalent to $72,000 p.a. That’s not so bad. On the contrary; it’s enough to pay my bills and give me plenty of pocket change.

That aside, I recognize the month for what it was — a catalyst for major change. I expected the huge shift in my way of thinking to clip my earnings in the short term. After all, I am completely changing my business model from that of a freelancer to a “true” business owner. Furthermore, I am moving away from the income-focused method of blogging and relying instead upon an instinctive approach that feels right to me. An approach that I think will give me the greatest chance of helping my readers. Basically, in every aspect of my business I am making decisions that will make me happy and rewarded by my actions.

In the past few months I had got into this ridiculous game of financial oneupmanship with myself. For four months running I managed to achieve record earning months, but for what? All I was doing was stretching the freelancing business model as far as it would go with little regard for the long term prospects.

Now I am in a far better situation. I have the beginnings of a content marketing business that has the potential to make far more than my freelancing ever did and I feel like I am ready to take LWB to an entirely new level. I made less money in July, but I know that when I look back in six months from now, this month will be seen far more as the point at which everything changed as opposed to the point at which I made less money.

What’s In Store for August?

I’ve got a lot to be getting on with.

First there is the ongoing development of Clear Blogging Solutions. I am getting a steady stream of referrals and I intend for my earnings on this front to exceed my May record of $6,206 within the next two to three months. Whether I achieve that goal remains to be seen.

Next there is Leaving Work Behind. I haven’t given this blog enough respect over the past few months, nor have I given it enough time. I have major plans in place to turn it into something far greater than it currently is. I’m extremely excited about what I have in store but I’m not ready yet to reveal all just yet.

Finally, my team will continue working on Free Online Dating Advice — I have decided to extend the previous plug-pulling deadline date for it through to September. That’s almost entirely a hands off project for me now so it becomes a business decision rather than an emotional one.

At this point I honestly don’t know what my earnings will be like in August. I am 90% certain that I won’t have a record month, but I would be extremely surprised if I don’t have a considerably better month than I did in July.

It feels like I’ve hit a reset button, and in doing so have washed out all of the things that I didn’t like about my business. I have created a framework for the foreseeable future that allows me to do things that I find truly rewarding. In terms of reaching the pinnacle of what it means to truly Leave Work Behind, I feel like I’ve taken a huge step closer.

Comments

  1. says

    I just like hearing this: “even more importantly, I used the chill-out vacation as an opportunity to read some books and gain some extreme clarity on the past, present and future of my business. By the time I got home, I was ready to make some major changes.”

    Clarity. That is such a refreshing word for so many reasons. As small business owners, entrepreneurs we all need to step back, aside, away so that clarity can show up.

    And it does.

    thanks for the share as always and look forward to seeing your plan unfold;)

    Lisa

  2. says

    Pretty impressive words! Glad you had a good time in Turkey and was able to reassess the situation.

    Look forward to hearing your plans for the future.

    Are you taking applications for writers for Clear Blogging Solutions?

    Joe

  3. says

    Hey Tom,

    Still looking good (the figures, not the gurning). I’m intrigued to see how your next few months pan out with your new venture and if you fall on hard times you can do a few freelance Marmite adverts.

    Best Wishes

    Jackson

  4. says

    Hey Tom,

    If it’s one thing that I’ve picked up over this time of freelancing is that, such as you’re moving toward, it’s about being flexible. I took a HUGE hit to my monthly income by dropping a client but it also happened to free up nearly 40 – 50 hours of my week to work on my projects which were going to neglect.

    Gotta keep in mind that you’re doing wellll beyond the average so even a dip like $3k shouldn’t signal that the sky falling. What you’re doing, as per pictures, is where it’s at; no need to break your spirit from doing work, work, work, and forget the enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    Keep at it!

    • says

      Awesome words Murray — thanks! By the way, 40-50 hours on a single client? Ouch! I’m bet you’re glad you got out of that one ;-)

      The sky is most certainly not falling — I feel better about my business than ever :-)

  5. says

    Hi Tom, Revisiting your goals and business plan and constantly changing your path is critical to developing your business. You can always work longer hours for more income but that kind of defeats the purpose. We should limit the hours worked but make each hour the most effective we can. Why be the same as the others, with a bit of effort we can be unique. Nice approach. Cheers, Jim

  6. says

    Sounds to me like you’re on track! Most business owners will tell you that moving away from a “job” to a “business” will cause a short-term dip in earnings, but that it’s all about the long-term profit. As someone who aspires to do very similar things, I can’t wait to see how it all plays out for you!

  7. says

    Hey Tom,
    I have not commented here before. And I like what I see !

    A few thousand a month drop in income is no biggie considering you got to have a good dose of personal reflection along with a quality spent vacation ! ( btw, like the pics ;)

    There is nothing wrong ( actually it’s beneficial) with recharging the boosters by sitting back and really assessing the current situation of your Life. Whether it be personal or business.

    Personally, I do it a number of times during the year, and I find that it gets me back on track to do bigger and better things down the road. :)

    Keep up the great work.
    Robert

  8. says

    hey Tom

    I’ve heard Capadoccia is an interesting destination, been there yet?

    Anyway, it’s not easy to find enjoyable and rewarding work in running a business, as we’re still dealing with clients, who sometimes (or most of the times?) are a pain in the ass… LOL

    It looks like I’ve missed this article

    “How I Plan to Revolutionize My Online Business [In 3 Steps]” – reading it next…

    Best!

  9. says

    Hey Tom, it’s great to see that you’re not too much worried about the future, even though you’re planning to make some huge changes. And by the way, I’m sure you agree that even if your income will take a little dip it will be worth it if you can do jobs that you find rewarding and fulfilling. And even then, I’m sure that your income will only rise thanks to your content marketing agency; you already have some loyal customers! :)

    • says

      Hey Steven,

      That’s right! I’m not worried about my income as I think it will take care of itself — I would be highly surprised if I wasn’t topping the $10,000 per month before the end of the year. Like you say, what’s far more important to me is doing what I find rewarding and fulfilling. That’s what Leaving Work Behind is all about!

      Cheers,

      Tom

  10. says

    Keep it rocking Tom! You seem to probably know that you income would have been a little lower do to doing the work in June. $6k is nothing to laugh at especially when you are still able to have a nice vacation, drink and make funny faces. I like the plan to automate and eliminate. The more you can get on auto the better.

  11. says

    Haha, you’re an inspiration and hilarious. I love your images – I wouldn’t have the guts to post them online xD.

    I love your way of thinking also. I tend to always see the negative side of things when stuff isn’t working, so naturally, nothing has ever worked. I’m working on my negativity though, and I hope to be as successful as you some day!

    • says

      I’ve posted all sorts of stuff online Jay ;-) (no nothing like that!)

      A positive outlook makes a huge difference. Working on that as a big priority will do you a lot of good in my opinion :-)

  12. says

    Lol! Great pics, Tom. I like the positive vibe in this post – it’s not about money. It’s about progress! Looking forward to see where your new direction takes you. =)

  13. says

    It would have been pretty tough to keep your monthly income at a steady level when you’re spending time launching a new business and making such fundamental changes. July looks like a massive success to my eyes Tom. Good stuff – I’m excited for you!

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