May was a special month for me as I celebrated two years since I started my journey in Leaving Work Behind. It has certainly been a roller coaster twenty-four months!
But in many ways I feel like my journey is only just starting. While my freelance writing is going beautifully, I feel like there is a lot for me to do in terms of developing passive income streams. I can’t envisage my freelance writing income continuing to increase at it has, which highlights its (relative) lack of potential — the earnings are directly related to the number of hours I work.
Having said that, freelancing has been the cornerstone of my business since I quit my job and it will probably remain that way for many months to come. But what else can I do to grow my income? Read on to find out!
What Happened in May?
For the most part, May was about adjusting. I started the P90X Program at the end of April (check out my progress here!) and quickly found out that it was going to take a lot of my time up. That meant cutting back a bit on work, which took a bit of adjusting.
I also started work on the book that I mentioned in last month’s income report. I intend for it to be an invaluable guide for people who want to quit their jobs and build a successful online business. In short, it’s a big project and one that could potentially be a huge boost for this blog! Stay tuned because I’m going to be writing more about this soon.
Finally, I decided to resurrect my authority site and recruit one of you to help me build it into a profitable asset for my business! I’ve received a bunch of applications for the role so far and can’t wait to get started.
If I’m honest I didn’t expect anything too spectacular from May in terms of earnings. My hope was to sustain my income rather than build upon it. So how did I get on?
Monthly Income Report — May 2013
- Freelance writing:
- Income: $6,225.88
- Expenditure: $19.44
- Profit: $6,206.44 ($152 per hour equivalent)
- Income: $6.70
- Expenditure: $14.99
- Profit: -$8.29
- Affiliate Marketing (Leaving Work Behind):
- Information Products:
- Income: $897.01
- Expenditure: $44.44
- Profit: $852.57
- Income: $90.28
- Expenditure: $0
- Profit: $90.28
Total profit for May 2013: $8,318.71
Quite surprisingly, I have set yet another earnings record — my third in a row! It’s also the first time I’ve made in excess of $8,000, which is great to see.
However, I’m not particularly happy with these results. Don’t get me wrong — I’m delighted at how much money I’ve made, but with an eye on future goals and expectations I think the bottom line hides some potential weaknesses.
Let’s mention the clear positive first: my freelance earnings. I earned over $1,000 more than I did last month and my equivalent hourly rate was a fantastic $150. I couldn’t be happier with how the freelancing side of my business has developed, over the past few months especially; it seems to be going from strength to strength.
However, I cannot possibly expect to sustain these kind of earnings. The fact is that last month I let one client go and drastically downsized my involvement with another. Although that should result in a very healthy hourly rate (as they were my two lowest-paying clients), my total earnings are likely to be considerably less next month and beyond. I’ve made the deliberate decision to scale down my freelancing to just a couple of hours a day so I can work on developing those passive income streams that will take me beyond my current earnings “ceiling” imposed by an hours-for-pay freelancing model.
And what about those passive income streams? Well, my affiliate earnings are down ~$500 from last month and my information product earnings are down ~$250. That’s a total of $750 less earned when compared to last month. This poor result is masked by my freelance earnings, but I would be a fool to ignore them.
So what do I do? Well, I could try plenty of things, but my available time is limited. I think in reality I have to play the waiting game for the most part — I hope that the release of my book in 2-3 months time will have a huge effect on the traffic to LWB (and ultimately the money I make from it). Until then I must keep my head down and work on the tasks at hand.
I have a feeling that May could represent my peak earnings for a few months, but I am hoping that the work I do in the coming weeks will set a platform from which I can step up into new realms towards the end of the year. Only time will tell!
What’s in Store for June?
As I have already suggested, I plan to do less freelance work in June. That will give me more time to work on my authority site and my book — the two main projects I have on the go at the moment.
I have set myself deadlines for both projects (in August and September respectively) and I hope that doing so will help galvanize me into taking action and getting results.
I won’t lie to you — I’ve felt a little “stagnant” in May. Although my earnings are great and there’s no reason why they should decline in any drastic manner, I am hungry to keep stepping up. While I feel extremely blessed to be earning what most people would consider a very healthy income, I feel like there is potential for me to achieve so much more. The fast cars and mansions of my dreams won’t buy themselves
To not shoot for the stars at this stage would be making a mockery of all the hard work I have done in establishing a platform over the past two years. Therefore, I only have one option but to roll my sleeves up and charge ahead. That is exactly what I intend to do in June!
I’d love to know what you think about my progress in May and really look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments section.