Monday, 2 October 2017

Income Statement: September

September didn't quite go as planned. But working for yourself doesn't really do linear performance.

The one thing I'm most disappointed with is the fact I haven't completed my second eBook. It's not as if I actually have much to write. It's simply that I haven't closed out my own proofing process, prior to sending it onto a professional to do a better job on it.

That said, I was inspired to start writing my third eBook (yep, I do have a habit of jumping from one shiny object to the next). So I'm about a quarter of my way through book #3. I' m still keep to build momentum in this area, though sales in September were pretty poor again. Time to find more ways to do free marketing.

My standard resume writing gig kicked back in and was probably back to average levels, after last month's lull. But I'm also looking to build opportunities with organisations rather than individual resume writing opportunities. I realised this when a private client and myself decided to part ways - he wanted a lot of changes to the work I had done, and I couldn't see the economic rationale for spending all this time on one individual. I learned that the decent sized one-off contract from during the summer was exactly what I should be seeking more of.

I'm now in my "detox" period. What started out as a nutritional overhaul twice a year, has now turned into a more holistic purge across my life. That includes a massive re-evaluation of my online/offline income streams - what I'm working on, what my ROI looks like for everything I'm doing, how to squeeze more time and money out of my current situation. As I've suggested before, I need to tighten up my measuring capabilities. I would like to think that when I do this review next month I would have at least moved the needle a little bit. But I seem to say that most months....

In the meantime, I need to work on Christmas income opportunities online (I think I may struggle to get much done from a Halloween perspective), and simply keep refining my business model and number of viable income streams.

A snapshot for the month:

Resume Writing: $1,360
Dividends: $0
eBook sales: $4 - Well, it's still selling (Craft a Winning Resume ) but now is time to really step up, look at online courses and all other kinds of opportunities.
Prolific Academic: $0

Total: $1,364 - Nothing major to write home about, but it's still ticking along. 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Income Statement: August

So August was a bit of an odd one. I've been busy. Too busy with non-work related stuff. And quite frankly it was summer so I didn't expect much

I guess the main thing to come out of it all was the completion (well, almost) of one-off sizable contract. I wouldn't say that it was overtly exciting or something I aspire to do a lot of. But as writing gigs go it was pretty damn fine!

My standard resume writing gig has very much been on the back burner and I would guess that I probably only made about half of the previous month's return. But the important thing is that I'm finding new ways to diversify my income. And it's a hybrid online / offline approach. I'm finding new ways in which to take this whole thing seriously.

I still must, must, must get my second eBook out. I really have no excuse now. But I'm reasonably happy with the momentum I've seen in my first. I've sold some and in fact more than the previous month, so I must be doing something right.

I've already started thinking about Christmas and how I should be looking to monetize online. I remember saying the exact same thing a year ago, but now I have a far better sense of what I can work on. Watch this space.

So I still need to keep testing what works and measure the effectiveness. But my next focus is to get my next eBook out in September but it's all looking very encouraging ahead of my next book launch, which is planned for August.

A snapshot for the month:

Resume Writing: $500 (early guesstimate). Probably something like that. Don't really know.
"One-off gig": $5,200. Yep, a bit of a windfall gig working with a university. If I can work out ways to extend my relationship with them then who knows what's possible.
Dividends: $0
eBook sales: $6 - Disappointing that I didn't beat my previous month's figure, but at least it's still selling and there are plenty of spin off ideas to consider for the book (Craft a Winning Resume ).
Prolific Academic: $7

Total: $5,713 - Yep, it's incredibly distorted by the gig I did for the university (and nothing like any of my previous months), but now I know I can get that kind of project, why shouldn't I look for more? 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Income Report: July

Yep, focus (or lack thereof) is still a big issue for me. Admittedly, I have had the small matter of a wedding to arrange so my enterprises haven't been front and centre for me, but I'm looking at different ways in which to stay connected with my ultimate goals.

That has been in part through conversations with other like-minded people: fellow entrepreneurs/solopreneurs, my brother, and basically anyone that will listen. It's important to voice it so that a) it continues to be part of my narrative, b) it gets so ingrained in my lifestyle that it's actually part of me.

I've taken my foot off the pedal on the resume writing element this month, but I have a very busy August to manage in terms of the one-off sizable contract I have to complete that month.

What I'm most proud of is the momentum I've started to build up with me eBook sales. It's still not anything to get excited about (eight sales over the month), but it's the fact that I'm starting to see a pick up in purchases. I'm guessing that that's had something to do with increased promoting on Twitter, which has attracted more individuals to its page on Amazon.

I need to keep testing what works and measure the effectiveness but it's all looking very encouraging ahead of my next book launch, which is planned for August.

So, as a snapshot for the month:

Resume Writing: $1,000 (early guesstimate). Lower than normal months but I'm working on bigger and better gigs at the moment.
Dividends: $0
eBook sales: $16 - My challenge is to beat myself month to month. And the best thing is the book (Craft a Winning Resume ) is something I actually know something about, so when I complete the follow up I hope to see loyal buyers get that as well.

Prolific Academic: $4

Total: $1,020 - I'm probably underplaying the figure but in the bigger scheme of things I'm genuinely excited at the prospects of my businesses. 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Income Report: June

I almost find myself dreading my monthly check-in here. Over the months and years I read a ton of income reports that are all singing, all dancing, espousing "financial freedom" and a laptop lifestyle. They make it seem so easy. Their efforts so linear in success. Well, it's safe to say I haven't seen that version of the story as yet.

But the important thing is for every one step back I'm seeing one-and-a-half steps forward. It's not the narrative that the online entrepreneurial masters would like to sell, but it's the real world.

It's a tough slog. Tough in terms of focus, tough in terms of execution, and of course tough in terms of getting results.

We're in the midst of the quieter July months and I should be taking this time to re-evaluate what I'm currently doing and how I can be more effective, more impactful in coming months. The trouble is the TV and the fridge are such attractive distractions when you working from home...

So, how did my month look?

Although this report is meant to be all about online related income, I did have a big win offline that will keep me busy in August. It's resume writing for students at a local university. It's a decent sized contract as well. So there's been some progress on my consulting side.

But back to my online element. On top of my normal online resume writing, I've sold a few more ebooks, which is great - it's all about momentum. It's not going to help me retire any time soon. Still, I've started on the follow up and I'm hoping to sort out 10+ ebooks over time.

Elsewhere, I've also had another dividend payment from my investments. I keep forgetting this element of passive income, and it's something I'm going to build upon as I invest a bit more in dividend-yielding stocks.

Resume Writing: $1,730 -Better than a lot of months and it's helped me get the university gig, so I'm still happy
Dividends: $40
eBook sales: $6 - Get Craft a Winning Resume to improve your job hunting opportunities.
Prolific Academic: $7

Total: $1,783

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Income Report: May

It's been a pretty busy month for me. I seem to have fallen upon a few offline gigs that I never would have  fathomed a month ago. Freelance resume writing (on my writing terms), for example.

The eBook revolution hasn't quite happened but the goal is still to write them. I've sold some of my resume writing book so long may that continue.

In fact my goal is to overwhelm my niche of resume writing with 10 in total. Ok, "overwhelm" is a bit of a stretch but the idea is to have different books providing different angles and different cross selling opportunities for me in the same space. It will take a while because fundamentally it would mean writing 100,000 - 150,0000 words in total, but it's the direction I want and need to go for. If I can finish the year with two more, I think that should be my minimum hope.

In the meantime, my broad resume writing has continued on apace and remains a cornerstone of my online-related income. In fact, I should really simply call it 'freelance' rather than 'online' because that's what it ultimately is. But my goal is to do a lot more online. That's the focus.

I had a bit of a problem with a PayPal payment - I couldn't access some money so I phoned the help desk. Who knew that they give you money for the inconvenience? They added $30 without me even asking! It won't be a regular payment, and probably won't happen again, but I'm going to record it here as a reminder that if there are any customer services issues that deserve compensation there's no harm in asking...

Also, I noticed that I had received a dividend payment for some investments I have. $100 I hadn't realised I had coming. It's a reminder that I need to get to grips with knowing what and where all my random assets are. And given that this is the passive world that I am looking for, long may it continue.

Anyway, for May:

Resume Writing: $1,353 - Not as good as I thought it would be. I think I'm being "busy" and not "effective". So I need to reappraise (again) how much time I take on getting the resumes done.
Dividends: $100
PayPal: $30
eBook sales: $4 - Get Craft a Winning Resume to improve your job hunting opportunities.
Prolific Academic: $2

Total: $1,489

Not as good as recent months but in an odd way encouraging in its own way. It's the most diverse my income streams have been...

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Income Report: April

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

I love the saying but it's also very pertinent to this whole Income Report process. Every time I get to the time of the month to write a new one, I realise that I'm broadly writing the same old, same old. 

There may well be progress but it's slow. And there's often a fair bit of familiarity about it all. And for many months it really was pretty much the same. 

Thankfully, I've finally got my first ebook up and running. It's not pulling up trees at the moment but at least I've started.

I need to be patient and not get sucked into assuming that all those others making big bucks online (or at least so they tell us) have taken a long while to do so.

I've given myself a target. I've got a 90-day challenge going on, where my goal is to have tangible online and offline income streams properly set up. I don't expect to be kicking back with a pina colada and getting ready to retire, but I hope to be able to show to myself that I'm genuinely on the right path.

So my goal is to have something worthwhile to write when I get to August. I'm working on a couple of eBooks, looking at how to monetize through a few websites and want to expand a few different areas.

In the meantime for April:

Resume Writing: $1,760
eBook sales: $4
Prolific Academic: $6

Total: $1,770

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Income Report: March

I've finally managed to make a few inroads into the world of passive income. Ok, we're talking extreme baby steps. But there have been steps nonetheless!

I've finally completed my ebook and have sold a few on Amazon! I probably haven't been that sophisticated in how I put it together and have promoted it. But it's all part of the learning experience.

The important thing is my book is basically all about what I do on a daily basis: resume writing. It's not a book based on conceptual thinking or things that people have Googled. The tips, tricks and techniques are ones the company I work for applies.

So it works.

As for elsewhere, I've continued to do a lot of resume writing work - everyone from graduates all the way up to Executive Directors. So that's very steady. I've also been working slowly on other ebooks related to career hunting and finance.

So I've got a bit of momentum. Little by little though.

I"m still working on reviving my Fiverr account and waiting to get my Amazon Merch account authorized.

Monthly income in a nutshell:-

Resume Writing: $1,800 (vs. $1,525 the previous month and $1,094 the month before that)
Prolific Academic: $2
Ebook: $4

Total: $ 1,806

I'm excited that I have my first passive income product out there. Now time to build more opportunities.

And if you're looking to improve your resume, check out my ebook, Craft a Winning Resume 2017

It give proper, workable tips on how to master the art and science of writing a powerful, impactful resume. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Income Report: February

So my quest for financial freedom continues....

We're only into the second month of the year and I'm starting to see signs of progress.

The money is most definitely not flowing and yet, and there's still too much of a default back to my tried and trusted income streams. But I have put down the seeds for future income. This is slow and steady and hopefully I'll see the first elements of income in March.

I've been reviewing some of my previous areas of interest - Zazzle and Fiverr - and I'm going to reinvigorate them over the next month.

It's not worth beating myself up. Slow and steady, and I'll have these blog entries to continue to show how I've progressed (or not).

As for February, it was a relatively straightforward month for income - up on December and January's figures but effectively down to one income stream.

Monthly income:-

Resume Writing: $1,525 (vs. $1,094 the previous month)
Other: $0

Total: $ 1,525

Slow and steady...

March will certainly have a different story to tell!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Income Report: January

New year, new dawn...blah, blah, blah

It's been a good start to the year. Not in terms of money made, as that's still a slow and steady thing, but in terms of investment for the future.

As much as I'm hoping to show an obvious improvement in income month on month, as important is to make sure I invest in skills and products that will pay off in the future.

Had I shown the discipline a year ago, who knows what may have happened.

Anyway, this month has seen me invest in two spaces:

  • Financial modelling
  • An ebook on resume writing
Yes, they are very different areas but I figured that I could use the modelling across a range of opportunities: business consulting, investment analysis, project management and so on.

The ebook is more naturally aligned with my passive income goal. Hopefully, by the end of February, I'll have it listed on Amazon and I'll be counting the pennies roll in...

As for January, it was a relatively unspectacular month for income and a slight dip on December's number.

Monthly income:-

Resume Writing: $1,094
Prolific Academic: $3

Total: $ 1,097

Slow and steady...

Hopefully, next month I'll be able to provide more input on my projects and more progress overall.