Friday, 3 November 2017

Income Report: October

You can only fool yourself so much.

Over the last month or so I've been detoxing. It's an exercise I started about 10 years ago - twice a year, three to four weeks at a time. Initially, it was all about the food, the drink, the cigarettes, the really not very lifestyle I was living. It was about cutting out dairy, meat, alcohol, certain sugars and so on. It was about getting in tune with fruit and veg. Every time I've done it, my body has felt better for it.

In more recent years, I've expanded my interpretation of detox to include cutting back on Facebook, doing more meditation and focusing on my mental/emotional/spiritual health. It's never meant to be perfect or about living a life as a monk. I probably could have done a bit more exercise this time as well. But one thing's certain, it sure as hell gave me a bit more clarity this time around.

You see, I'm very good at "playing" at stuff. It's all about tinkering at the edges rather than getting stuck in. The trouble with that is, I've kind of been fooling myself. I haven't pushed on with much of what I've talked about in previous blog posts and have kept on spinning the plates, hoping that some great masterplan would fall into place.

Well, this month has given me more headspace to observe what I've been doing. And some of it needs to change - and some of it has already started to change.

Firstly, I've been talking about finishing an ebook since August. Well, not only did I finish it, I got it edited, formatted and got myself a brand spanking cover (check out my ebook on how to write a LinkedIn profile). I realised that I've talked about passive income for a long time and yet I haven't committed time to building the assets. My goal is to make sure that changes. 

For one thing, I am now juggling the creation of two more ebooks, one of which I want to convert into an Udemy course by the beginning of next year.  I also noticed that my Zazzle account hasn't brought me any joy but I'm going to promote my wares in the run up to Christmas, simply using designs that I didn't market last year. 

I also thought it was time to have a look at my Google Adsense account. I've got a few websites but I never found the time or energy to see whether I could make any money out of them. I finally sorted out linking an account this week and earned a grand total of about $0.15 in a week. That may not sound like much but given that the account had been close to dormant for a couple of years, that's progress!

And I've also pitched for two writing gigs - one would be great for branding, the other pretty good on the cash flow front. We'll see what happens but it's time to focus (again) on diversifying my writing income.

On a separate tact, I also accepted an offer for at least one speaking engagement, maybe two. It's unpaid but it will get me great exposure. I keep telling myself how much I hate public speaking (though probably don't) but it's exactly the thing I need to do to get me out of my inertia and stupor.

Completely detached from this, but still in the passive income space, is something that has been lingering for a while - "scrip dividends". These are essentially where you reinvest the proceeds of a dividend back into the stock that you are holding. The rationale behind this is that research has shown that your returns based on dividends being reinvested tend to far outstrip the returns you make when you take the dividend in cash. Even though I've known this principle for years, it was always "too much hassle" or "I don't know where to go to find out" type of thinking by me. But with the clarity that a financial freedom goal should inspire, I got it sorted. 

Will this momentum last? Probably not. But a ball in motion stays in motion. So my hope is that I keep genuinely and honestly chipping away in a way that I can actually see tangible advancement when I  look back in six months time.

Resume Writing: $2,080. Not a bad month in terms of the numbers. I also switched from PayPal to request getting paid into my international bank account. I had thought that my original approach made sense, but having done the sums I noticed that PayPal really does take a fair bite out of my income. That and the currency conversion. The new approach will hopefully save me a little bit here and there.

eBooks: $4. A fairly quiet month and probably reflective of the fact that I haven't marketed my earlier book on resume writing or my new book on LinkedIn profiles. I want to put the marketing on autopilot, but for now the books are out there and time to write some more.

Dividends: $103. Even though I've signed up for the dividend reinvestment process for one stock, a couple of dividends slipped through the net and went straight into my account. That's fine by me, and a sure sign that my passive income strategy actually exists.

Google Adsense: $0.15. Yes, it's as good as nothing but it's the first money I've earned this way so I'm going to shout it from the rooftop!

Prolific Academic: $0. I haven't touched it for a while but no doubt there are still a few dollars here or there to take advantage of.

Total: $2,187.15

Not bad. One of my best months for these hustles I think. December is definitely going to suck so I better get my head down and make November look good!

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