March 2017 Income Report – $1,539

If you’re like “wait a minute” where is February’s income report, I definitely skipped it. Not on purpose, but life happened and now all of the sudden it’s the end of April. I was way too overwhelmed to go back and do one for Feb and March, so here we are. But, I will tell you my overall Feb income was $535.62 with a net profit of $117.58… Yeah, yikes.

A part of me feels like I failed because I’m supposed to be making progress here and while I worked my ass off in February, looking at the numbers feels like I took a step backwards. That though is the reality of owning a business and the whole point of the transparency behind My Story to Making $10K a Month journey where I’m inviting you to follow along while I figure out how to make 5 figures every 30 days. Some months you make more. Some you make less. Drop your email below to get more detailed updates on my journey and strategies!

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I can tell you that March enters 4 figures which has me doing my happy dance over here! I’ve still got a long way to go (confession – one day last week I had a balance of -$4.70 in my bank account), but this is progress!

A transparent business and blog income report that isn't about making 6 figures (...yet)

March Income – $1,539.00

Marketing Services – $825.00
Story Strategy Sessions – $175.00
Digital Product Sales – $189.00
Brand Features – $350.00

March Expenses – $623.75

New Desk & Chair – $262.10
Media Temple (for website hosting) – $70.00
Quickbooks Payments Fees – $51.30
Thinkific (online course hosting) – $49.00
Meals + Entertainment (for business) – $44.98
ConvertKit – $29.99
G-Suite (formerly Google Apps) – $20.00
Bank Account Service Charge – $26.47
Tailwind (for boosting Pinterest traffic) – $14.99
Zoom (for video conferencing) – $14.99
Stripe Fees – $13.77
Acuity Scheduling – $10
Paypal Fees – $9.16
Akismet – $5
Uncategorized Expenses – $2.00

Net Profit: $915.25

Owner’s Withdrawals – $730.00

When I last left you with my January Income Report (totaling $815), my main focus was on creating conversations around and securing enrollments for my group program From Struggle to Shine (all on using your personal story to do more of the heavy lifting for you in your brand).

I’ve spent so much time over the first few months this year trying to figure out how to have authentic conversations around my program that felt good to me. The thought of waking up every day and selling didn’t make me excited about my business. I know, I know it’s probably my money mindset and blah, blah, blah and to be a business person you have to be able to sell. I get that, and I agree with it, but it was costing my sanity.

If you remember, just emailing about the program wasn’t making me much progress. I’m definitely much better on the phone. Give me 10 minutes and I can show anyone what superpower their story has given them (which they then need to learn how to leverage when brand building). But having the flexibility of my days restricted by scheduled phone conversations just isn’t a lifestyle I can get on board with.

What does success mean?

In my overbooked calendar, I realized, to me, success doesn’t even mean freedom, it means flexibility.

It means being able to drop what I’m doing if Shaun comes home from work early so I can spend my time with him. It means being able to drive my sisters to school when they miss the bus (which happens way more often than it should). It means not scheduling a workout, but being able to head to barre or yoga whenever my energy drift off and I need a boost. It means being able to write and blog when I feel inspired (which I was doing virtually none of earlier this year). It means going out into the world and having experiences instead of being tied to my computer.

That wasn’t the life I was living. That wasn’t the life I was going to get to live if I continued on the path of filling my program either. Note – From Struggle to Shine is hands down the best thing I’ve ever created. I will absolutely run it again, but when I’ve accomplished flexibility in my other current commitments and can have the program be the only restrictively scheduled thing on my plate.

And so, once again, I needed a different strategy.

As I mentioned in my January Income Report, I made an online course! Not a regular course, but an easy to implement, action inspiring educational quickie. In 60 Minutes to a Stronger Brand (60MSB for short), you learn the fundamentals of how to style your story in a way that creates an attentive audience, energized messages, and the support you’ve been looking for (which is very much in line with the strategies I lay out in FSTS, so it was fairly easy to create – minus figuring out how making a course worked technology wise).

In March, 7 people purchased the course at the pre-sale price of $27. That’s $189 for something I can keep driving people to purchase. I didn’t even do a big launch. I didn’t build a lot of hype of the course. I just kind of slid it out there because I had no idea what I was doing. The first week though after launching the sales page I heard radio silence and thought I had another flop on my hands (note to you – sales are almost never instant on anything).

I don’t quite have the selling through an email list thing figured out yet, but I can see the potential and I’m into it. I did create a free 5 day course on how to create conversations on social media that’s grown my email list about 150 subscribers since launching it. I do need to revamp the way I lead into 60 Minutes to a Stronger Brand at the end. The free 5 day course is super valuable and I’ve gotten great feedback, but it focuses on social media and might not be enough of a connection to the content on storytelling in 60MBS. So, I’m currently working on a 5 day challenge called “Spark Your Story“. This is for people who are interested in telling their story and just can’t seem to bring themselves to do it. It’s much more of a prerequisite for 60MSB than the Crickets to Conversation course is, so I’m interested in seeing if that increases course sales.

In the mean time, I certainly can’t put all my eggs in this basket. One thing I loved about hosting From Struggle to Shine were our group mastermind sessions and webinars. It’s one thing to communicate with people online, but I love the energy of seeing faces and how well people seem to connect with me once they see me on video (I so never expected to be excited about doing video type things, but you never know until you try!).

However, never do I ever attend other people’s webinars. They do like 30 minute introductions (if I’m already signed up for your webinar, I know your story… Also, stop saying “hi” to everyone that shows up, okay?) followed by 10 minutes of useful content and 45 minutes of promoting/selling their thing. Um, you can barely pay me to sit still for 60-90 minutes let alone expect me to do it for free lol.

Enter my $5 Master Classes. They’re to the point with no BS and are only 30 minutes long. I just started this and they are going splendidly. After the live class, they turn into $10 Trainings to get me another revenue stream. Microtransactions (where users can purchase virtual goods via micropayment) are becoming more and more popular. This concept of hosting $5 Master Classes is so freaking simple. It’s minimal work on my end to provide you with a maximum benefit at a price point you love.

I never thought such a simple idea would take off like this, but you gems are eating these up. This just goes to show, as I’m learning, simplicity wins. I’m excited to dive into how these are going more in my April income report!

I also missed blogging and creating content for brands with cool stories SO much and I need to feed that passion or I’m going to explode. And so, I had a really cool idea that I started profiting from in March. I’m rounding up brands that are connected through similar stories (I’m starting with brands that were built by entrepreneurs dealing with depression, brands built by entrepreneurs struggling with anxiety, and brands built by entrepreneurs touched by suicide and then opening up to other topics) to show that your struggles don’t define your potential. Everyone’s attracted to fun fashion and pretty photos, so let’s use those to cultivate mighty conversations on stuff that deeply matters.

This is going to be a stigma shattering, shaking up what everyone else in the industry is doing kind of series, so if you have been impacted by depression, anxiety, or suicide and have a product based business, let’s chat! – allyn@allynlewis.com

Takeaways:

Creating an online course and developing passive revenue streams absolutely takes a ton of work. However, I love building my community. If I could get paid to hang out in the Gem Nation Facebook Group (access below) all day, I would totally do it because I love interacting with my tribe and encouraging people to piece together their stories! I’m really digging the concept of being more accessible to my people while still making money.

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Ask yourself what success looks like to you and make sure you’re taking steps that get you closer to instead of further from that lifestyle.

What I want you to know is, there’s always another way. If something doesn’t feel right to you or you feel like you “have to” instead of “want to”, try something else. Whenever your business starts to feel like a chore, that’s a sign that you need a change because when you feel like you’re working in your business instead of on your business, burnout creeps up real quick.

There’s no right way to run a business or grow a brand. There’s only YOUR way and if what you’re doing isn’t working for you, stop doing it. Get outside of the box. In fact, demolish the box.

Whatever you’re struggling with, brainstorm as many crazy ideas for getting out of whatever it is. When you have 20 crazy ideas in from of you, the mildly crazy ones begin to seam realistic and doable and packed with potential. You would’ve never came up with them if you weren’t thinking without boundaries.

Try it. I dare you.

Photo By: Ryan Riggins (Unsplash)
  • Samantha Munoz

    I really enjoyed reading this. Your $5 master classes sound like a great idea, a low price point (and low time commitment too!) to build the trust, and to gain some profit quickly. It wouldn’t make sense for me to do an income report on my blog (my audience would be like umm what does this have to do with kids books?) but I think I need to do a breakdown every month like this for myself. You have inspired me!

  • Rebecca B

    Great post, Allyn!! <3 Congrats on your big income jump from Jan & Feb to March! You're doing great!. These income reports (and the book Profit First) have inspired me to be much more conscious about my income! I'm going to be doing my own income reports to myself in my journal 🙂
    Also my March income sucked despite the MASSIVE amount of work I put it. I totally understand your Feb feelings.
    -Bex