Friday, 1 June 2018

Income Report: May

This is the last month for this income report in its current format. The reason? I've got myself a job. Back to the grindstone and all that.

But it's not the end of my money making ideals. Now my goal is to work towards replacing my full-time income. Or at least create income streams that allow me to have a sustainable portfolio career that gives me choices. Because that's what my version of financial freedom is about. Choices.

So there will be some changes to how my income streams look. Some elements may fall by the wayside to some extent, including my resume writing. Others, such as my coaching work, will from next month get added. I had originally framed this income report exercise as being about online income, which is why the coaching wasn't really mentioned. But now it's really about me growing my portfolio of hustles in general.

I still see plenty of value in this exercise - possibly even more than before. It's all about being able to make money without having to rely on a boss, company, government, etc. So if I ever get the "Thank you for all your efforts, but..." conversation, I'll be suitably in control of my future.

And that's the irony of getting back onto the hamster wheel of work. I'm more focused on using my free time wisely and know it's time to revisit the ton of income-generating resources I have collected.

As I've mentioned before I'm a massive fan of the Side Hustle Nation podcast hosted by Nick Loper and found great value in his recent book Buy Buttons. Definitely, worth checking out if you're new to this game - or even if you're not new but have got a little stale (like me). Going forward, I'm certainly going to be anchoring some of my approach to ideas from here.

Anyway, how have things stacked up?

Resume Writing: $2,346. This has been my best month income-wise for resume writing, which is ironic given that I'm going to have to drop a lot of it. This has been a major income provider for me in recent years, both in terms of directly consulting for one specific firm but also the spin-off work that I've benefited from (see below). It has served me well and I'm keen to keep this as part of my income arsenal.

Conference Project: $3,500. I mentioned before that one-off projects count if they are related to my online businesses. Well, this one related to my resume writing again. It involved working for three-and-a-half days at a finance industry conference and paid pretty well. Actually, very well as far as I'm concerned. Unless it takes place on a weekend, this type of gig will disappear now that I'm going full time. But at least I know my capabilities and can use it in the future.

Additional Writing: $130. My regular blog writing about careers continues. It doesn't especially pay that well ($0.07/word - and I miscalculated on my invoice so undercharged) but it's great branding for me and my career-related services.

Stock Dividends: $108. One strategy I will continue to build upon is my dividend yield strategy. This is about buying high dividend yield stocks to benefit from the cash flow. I'm not being as diligent as I should be. That is, I could be screening the stocks far better than I am. But so far it's worked out fine and I keep reinvesting the cash so as to buy more stocks.

Ebooks: $6. I started the month pretty strongly in that I sold three books in the first week ("pretty strongly" in my world anyway...). It was only the first proper month of my third book (Cryptocurrency Job Hunting for Non-Techies) to add to (The Simple Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile and Craft a Winning Resume). I know that I need to market them but I simply haven't made the time. My hope is that seasonally the summer months are a good time for job hunting books, with all those graduates looking for roles all at the same time.

Amazon Merch: $0. It's not really happening at the moment. I'll still keep plugging away.

Amazon Affiliate Income: $0.04. I've finally made some affiliate income! I know this is an area I must build upon. This is the classic passive income stream. It's not really anything to write home about but I've brought some pennies in. If I can do that then I'm pretty sure I can do a lot more.

Total: $6,090. (my best month and well ahead of my $2,000 monthly target. Even if I stripped out my one-off gig, it still came to $2,590 so I'm happy).

Looking ahead

Before I look ahead, I think I should at least celebrate how far I've come to achieve my best income month. A lot of my efforts came out of necessity as I tried to find my footing "between jobs". But I've always put it in the bigger picture context of financial freedom.

My very first income report was for May 2016. So I've had two years to look at my progress.

I achieved the princely sum of $974.50 that month, of which $800 was resume-related. In May 2017, I made $1,489, with $1,353 from resumes. Yet my resume income alone for May 2018 almost matched my entire income for May 2016 and May 2017 combined.

The bottom line is, I've tried to consistently work towards building income streams. It hasn't been easy or straightforward. But I've seen some progress. And if I can do it, anyway can do it.

And so to now. It may take a week a two to sort out the new rhythm of work, but I'm going to push ahead with my portfolio career efforts.

One of my first tasks is to do a proper inventory of all my hustle interests to see whether they are worth the effort. I need to look at my ROE (return on energy, in this case) and make some hard choices. It also means putting in more efficient processes.

The goal is to still build passive income streams. They tend to require more effort and/or money upfront than the traditional "selling your time for money" approach, with the expectation that they'll pay in the long run and you'll be sipping pina coladas on a beach before you know it...The good thing about having the job in the background is that it gives me the money buffer to help with this, even if it takes away the time.

So I think I'll take a piecemeal approach this month and target a couple of websites I own to see whether I can properly monetize through Google Adsense.  That will probably require some blogging and such. I may also market the ebooks - but I've got to work out whether the effort is worth the return.

Regardless, I'm certainly going to see what I can get out of Buy Buttons - so much to learn from this book.

It's all change but fundamentally it will all stay the same...a portfolio career.

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