Income Report For December 2014
It’s been awhile since we publicly analyzed the income of my businesses. That’s been intentional. As we wrap up the income reports for 2014, I confess that I have mixed emotions for maintaining these income reports.
For awhile, I decided that I was no longer going to keep doing income reports. Then people told me how much reading them helped them in their own businesses.
On one hand, it is incredibly beneficial to see the growth (and the steps that it took to achieve that growth) of real-life businesses. They are also great for branding and for traffic. At the same time, it feels a lot like a bragging contest, and no matter how hard I try to keep disclosures on the income, people make certain judgments when they see how much you make.
Therefore, I need your help…
Tell me in the comments: moving forward, how can these income reports best serve you? Please let me know in the comments, because I’m considering making changes to their current format, or possibly removing them altogether. Or, heck, if you love them exactly as they are, please tell me that, too.
Now, let’s move onto the income report for December 2014…
Intro To Income Reports
Each month, I (Ryan) publish an income report from my various businesses and income sources. As you know, I generate cash from online businesses, and then I invest the profits into both other businesses and more traditional “investments”, and these reports record the results of my income sources and the investments.
Why share numbers and specifics?
In my years of teaching and practicing entrepreneurship, the most educational pieces have always been examples and follow along reports. Sharing the details of business seems to transfers theory into reality, and it is my hope that this will inspire you and educate you to be more free and more fulfilled.
There are a few things that you should know while reading these income reports:
1) I am terrified of details. Numbers are not my strength – creating new things is my strength. Reporting every dollar and expense would drive me crazy, so I often round or provide estimates; this is not to mislead or stretch the truth, it is because my brain is trained to get an overall picture, and then measure progress. The exact numbers often escape me, and I do not care to get them exactly right every time.
2) Only a portion of this revenue goes into my pocket. These reports are not intended to show you how much money I am personally making, they are to report on growth, challenges, and the things that affect both. I have business expenses, a handful of great employees, and wonderful partners who share in the workload and in the profits. If these reports were an attempt to brag about how much *I* make, I would have absolutely zero interest in doing them. Truth be told, I live on a very modest salary and invest the rest.
3) Both the highs and the challenges are shared. Wealth and freedom is not a straight line up – you will have bumps and setbacks along the way. If ever there is a reduction in the results that are being realized, it does not mean that something “does not work” or has failed, it is simply a reflection of the current marketplace. I will do my best to report on why certain numbers are up or down in a given month.
Why not share all of your business names and websites?
Sometimes, I will share the specifics of the businesses that I own, along with the products and services that they offer, but this (for now) will be the exception, rather than the rule. While I would happily share the details of everything that I do, I often protect certain details out of respect for my partners and for the protection of certain creative endeavors.
Men’s Health And Fitness Company – $254,000
My men’s supplement company is my oldest venture that started on Amazon.com. I’ve outlined exactly how this company was build in previous podcasts.
December was a strong month for this company, mostly due to an increased market share on our existing products. We did release a new product (our sixth), but most of the gains came from increased sales on old products. I’ve found products can take as long as six months to really gain traction in the marketplace before they reach critical mass, and some of our older products started to reach this market.
What finally got us over the hump on those products was reaching a competitive number of reviews compared to our competitors. For our products, that was north of 300 reviews.
We continue to deal with an aggressive amount of fraud in this business. If this trend continues, I have concerns about the long term health of Amazon as a company.
What’s next? For more than six months, we have been working on developing our own sales channels separate from Amazon. We have failed miserably. It has costs us tens of thousands of dollars, and we have little to show for it. Our main goal in 2015 is to address this. This past month, we changed personnel and hired someone to manage this process, and we’re confident that this person is the right one to correct this. In addition, we expect that our market share will continue to increase on our existing products, and we have a mass market product launch planned for the end of January.
Zen Active Sports – $23,000
This is the last time you’ll see Zen Active Sports in the income report. Why? We have sold the company!
We’ve outlined the growth of this company in previous podcasts, and now we can add “sold the company” to its history.
We enjoyed a nice Christmas bump in sales on our yoga products, and January is the last month that Sean and I will be in charge of this company. While I cannot disclose the details of the transaction at this time, I will share more after the close of the company.
What’s next? Selling the company. 🙂
NOTE: To hear the step by step plan that my partner (Sean) and I created for this business, listen to this podcast episode.
Supplement and Nutrition Company – $32,000
This company had a major breakthrough in December that was a huge shot in the arm.
Over the last year, this company has taken MUCH longer than we expected to be significantly profitable. This month, we decided to be aggressive and kick down doors to get to the next level.
We finally had that breakthrough in December 2014.
I’ll document our breakthrough in a future podcast, but it came from simply following the plan. We had previously attempted to be too fancy, but going back to the plan (and doing it aggressively) worked in our favor.
Most notably, a temporary price drop inflated sales enough to rank higher in Amazon’s algorithm. That spurred a lot of “a-ha” moments.
What’s next? We are keeping up the aggressiveness. We’re finally at a point where this company will break through to beyond $50k/month, opening up the opportunity to pay ourselves (finally!).
“Personal Brand” Revenue – $192,000
This section accounts for all “other” income resulting from my own products, coaching clients, and the like, and this month was certainly the best month in history for my personal brand.
Although I let go the one client that I kept on board, I had a major affiliate payment, as well as deposits made for my first small event in March.
This year, the emphasis of my personal brand will be on this blog and podcast, regular live events in Austin, TX (more on this later), and my private mastermind.
NOTE: Moving forward, access to the Tribe will be available to people who attend our live events throughout the year. More details for these events will be available in February, 2015.
Stock Portfolio Value: $36,000
My portfolio enjoyed a nice bump this quarter due to growth in my existing positions. Since my money is currently being invested into real estate, I have not added any additional cash into my portfolio in the last few months. That will change as soon as all of my rental homes are rented and producing revenue.
I am currently invested in the following:
I am skeptical of the market in 2015, but I will continue to follow my long term investing plan.
Real Estate Update:
My real estate holdings have been a bit frustrating lately, simply because several of them sit unrented at the moment. Each of these houses I have purchased for at least 20% below their market value and need approximately $8,000 in repairs on average (I buy all of my deals cash, with no mortgage). When they are repaired, their values increase by about $20,000 each, and they each have positive cash flows of about $500 per month into my pocket. But, right now, three of them sit unrented, although they’ve only been fixed up and ready for about thirty days.
One deal did fall through, as the bank was not able to obtain title from the previous owner (how that happened, I’m not sure), so I am looking to put that cash into one more additional property.
House Equity: $341,000 (according to Zillow.com)
Monthly Rents: $950.00 (three houses currently being prepared for rental)
Approximate September 2014 Revenue: $512,000
Over the next quarter, my goals are very clear:
1) Take the men’s health company from $250k/month to $300k/month. We also aim to build and optimize its own sales channel.
2) Open up regular events near my home in Austin, TX for you to attend to take your business to the $100k level and beyond.
3) Taking the Freedom Fast Lane to #1 in Business. You can help by subscribing on iTunes.
Curious for more on how this revenue is generated? Start your ten day challenge to get on the Fast Lane to Freedom.
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