Income Report for February, 2015 – The Tax Man, Debt...and Insecurity
37

Income Report for February, 2015 – The Tax Man, Debt…and Insecurity

Every month I publish an income report…why? Good question 🙂

1. Accountability

With all the shiny objects out there it’s easy to spend WAY more than you’re earning. Luckily I realized this early on and I’ve kept detailed records of my expenses ever since. That being said, I know that there are certain expenses that are NECESSARY when running a business. As much as I don’t want to pay for them, I need to pay for my email autoresponder, website hosting, and video hosting every month. It’s just a part of doing business. There are other things that I buy as well, but I try my best to keep my expenses SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than my revenue. If I can do that then I’m ahead of the game.

2. Integrity

On my show I ask my guests a lot of personal questions. One that frequently comes up is “How much do you make?”. I feel like I need to reveal my own income if I’m going to be asking others the same question. It only seems right.

3. Perspective

There are a lot of online marketers out there who fake-it-till-they-make-it. In other words, they fudge their numbers and exaggerate their earnings in order to establish false authority in their niche. My goal is that by watching my income grow slowly over time you’ll realize that there is no get-rich-quick button.

Here’s my results for February, 2015.

———————————————————————–

100,349 page views (+36,000 from January)

25,860 Youtube channel views (+1,597 from January)

131,530 minutes watched (-50,352 from January)

Aweber subscribers: 6,608 (+136 subscribers from January)

GetResponse subscribers: 5,548 (+393 subscribers from January)

Total email list subscribers: 12,156

Expenses

Easy Webinar 4.0: $521.17 – I’m using this software to set up auto webinars so that people can watch when it’s suitable for them

GoToWebinar: $150 – I use this for live webinars and training

Wistia: $139.84 – This is how I host my sales videos and course content. Normally I pay a lot less, but I had some spam traffic that unfortunately I have to pay for.

Dropbox: $99 – I use dropbox to backup my business

Facebook ads: $86.38 – Ad money spent for FB list building

Aweber: $69 – This is my list building software that allows me to email everyone when there’s a new interview

GetResponse: $65 – This is the autoresponder I use for my buyer’s list and solo ads

Traffic Planet Hosting: $50 – The hosting account that I recently switched to. It’s super fast and I’m very happy with it.

oDesk Virtual Assistants: $46.25 – I have some workers helping me with daily tasks that don’t need me. I’m trying to outsource more and more daily.

TimerLay: $39.95 – A fantastic tool for adding scarcity to your sales pages

Improvely: $29 – This is a tool that I’m using to track the lifetime value of leads

Skype: $19.99 for premium – I do all my interviews with Skype and Ecamm call recorder on a Mac.

Resell Rights Weekly: $19.95 – Reoccurring membership fee for the bonuses I add from my interviews and reviews

Schedule Once: $19 – A tool I use for scheduling coaching calls

WuFoo: $14.95 – A tool that allows me to take applications for my coaching program

Sendgrid: $9.95 – This integrates with Easy Webinar 4.0 and allows me to send reminder emails to my registrants in a timely manner

Amazon S3: $4.75 – I use this to host images and videos

Total expenses: $1,384.18 (+$732.20 compared to January)

Revenue

How To Get Traffic From Facebook Ads: $3,540.62 from review and interview with Reed Floren

Simple CPA Siphon (CLOSED): $2,349.69 from review and interview with Stephen Gilbert

Arbitrage Underdog RELOADED: $2,805.92 from review and interview with Tom E

Elite Video Evolution 2.0: $1,655.42 from review and interview with Ryan Phillips

Tube Sniper Pro 3.0 (CLOSED): $1,551.13 from review and interview with Joshua Zamora

Weird Niche Content: $1,188.69 from review and interview with Mark Bishop

Thrive Leads: $1,092.95 from review and interview with Shane Melaugh

Icon Lead Pro (CLOSED): $1,088.38 from review and interview with Lee Pennington

Timeline Optins (CLOSED): $922.09 from review and interview with Brett Rutecky

Digital Millionaire Mastermind (CLOSED): $914.99 from review and interview with Alex Jeffreys

Ultimate Traffic Monster (CLOSED): $856.90 from review and interview with Naidy Phoon

Easy Profits Explosion (CLOSED): $794.06 from review and interview with Stefan Ciancio

SEO Catalyst (CLOSED): $746.80 from review and preview

Video Sales Machine: $739.25 from review and interview with Matt Bush

2015 Traffic and Conversion Summit Notes (CLOSED): $672 from review and interview with Tim Castleman

Stakk (CLOSED): $475.50 from review and interview with Sam Finlay

Social Mobi Videos (CLOSED): $395 from review and interview with Karthik Ramani

Screencast Pro: $359.86 from review and interview with Joey Xoto

Online Wealth Academy (CLOSED): $222.05 from reviewinterview, and webinar with Mikael Dia

Viral Content Profits: $190.50 from review and interview with Ricky Mataka

HydraVid: $166.42 from review and interview with Walt Bayliss

Explaindio: $141 from review and interview with Nick LaPolla

WP Freshstart: $136.67 from review and preview video

Super Affiliate Machine (CLOSED): $132 from review and interview with Austin Anthony

The Magic Email (CLOSED): $114.24 from review and interview with Nathan Zadworny

The Fiverr Handover (CLOSED): $102.12 from review and interview with Fergal Downes

Video Maker FX: $85 from review and interview with Peter Roszak

Easy VSL: $72 from review and interview with Mark Thompson

Crowd Search Me (CLOSED): $69.75 from review and interview with Daniel Anton

Easy Webinar 4.0: $68.43 from review and interview with Casey Zeman

Video Jacker: $62 from review and interview with Chris Fox

Product Launch Incubator (CLOSED): $59.18 from review and interview with Emilis “Emka” Strimaitis

Rapid Mailer: $57 from review and interview with Sean Donahoe

Vidlify (CLOSED): $56 from review and interview with Radu Hahaianu

InstaHook Video Backgrounds: $54.40 from review and interview with Brad Scott

IMNow Webinar (CLOSED): $48.50 from review and interview with Keith Lynch

Absolute Jacker (CLOSED): $41.50 from review and interview with Ariel Sanders

Creative Post: $31.05 from review and interview with Guillermo Mata

Kindle Money Mastery: $30.46 from review and interview with Stefan Pylarinos

Fresh Store Builder (CLOSED): $28.50 from review and interview with Carey Baird

Tee Cash Boot Camp: $25.90 from review and interview with Andy Berard

Smart Blog Networks (CLOSED): $24.46 from review and interview with Simon Warner

Emergency Christmas Cash 2.0 (CLOSED): $24.14 from review and interview with Kristie Chiles

Hero Tower (CLOSED): $23.50 from review and interview with Ross Carrel

Azon Video Vault (CLOSED): $23.50 from review and interview with M. Bari

1K Whirlwind (CLOSED): $21.28 from review and interview with Barry Rodgers and Andrew Brocklehurst

Funnel Vision (CLOSED): $14.97 from review and interview with Dr. Ben Adkins

Solo Ad Business Blueprint (CLOSED): $11.60 from interview with Kate Rosenberg

Complete PLR Mastery (CLOSED): $9.28 from review and interview with Barry Rodgers

Inner Circle Solo Ads 3.0 (CLOSED): $9 from interview with Rob Stafford

Arbitrage Autopilot Profits (CLOSED): $8.76 from review and interview with Zak Loveday

Tee Blueprint (CLOSED): $8.50 from review and interview with Manny Hanif

Ad Factory (CLOSED): $8.10 from review and interview with Russ Schneider

Long Tail Pro: $7.60 from interview with Spencer Haws

Solo Ad Escape: $7.48 from review and interview with Kevin Fahey

CPA Warrior (CLOSED): $7.38 from review and interview with Fergal Downes

 

Total revenue from interviews: $24,353.47 (-$4,133.71 from January)

Private Coaching students: $4,885.22 – In this program I teach how to make money from affiliate marketing, list building, and product creation. If you’re interested in joining you can APPLY HERE.

Affiliate Income Secrets: $2,242.76 – My product teaching how I make money from affiliate marketing

Resell Rights Weekly: $69.85 – This is a website that has a ton of products that you can use as your own

Kindle earnings: $25

Total from OTHER streams of income: $7,222.83 (+$4,517.38 from January)

Total Revenue: $31,576.30 (+$383.76 from January)

Total Profit: $30,192.12 (-$348.53 from January)

taxesI’m a bit behind on getting this income report out…but better late than never…and the thing on my mind is this: taxes and debt.

In 2014 I paid the minimum amount necessary, which is 100% of the previous tax year based on my previous income bracket. I made $17,565 in 2013 and paid $2,484 in taxes, therefore I had to pay at least $2,484 to be covered against any penalties in 2014 (I ended up paying $3,500 to be sure). I didn’t make estimated payments every quarter as I prefer having as much liquid cash as possible, and I’d rather make interest on my money.

I made $177,434 in 2014 so I ended up with a significant tax bill. As an American living abroad I get a bit of a tax break, but I still pay a hefty self-employment tax. I estimated that I would owe about $20,000 to $30,000 in taxes, but that bill ended up actually being $38,000, plus $9,500 for my first quarter estimated tax payment for 2015. I learned about this in mid-February, and fortunately I had put aside $50,000 in preparation, so I was ready to pay it. However, my wife had other plans 🙂

hayatShe had started looking into buying our first apartment. She had her eye on a small 2-bedroom place close to her parents,which would be convenient for everyone once we have kids. After negotiating, the price was about $170,000. With the $50,000 that I had saved for taxes, we had $150,000 in cash to put towards it, therefore only having to take out a $20,000 mortgage. But of course I was hesitant. If I used the $50,000 I would need to make $44,500 (I had already paid $3,500) by April 15th. That seemed like a LOT of pressure.

I explained my apprehensions to my wife. But she asked, “how much did you make in January?”

I answered, “$30,000.”

“And how much will you make in February?” she asked.

“$25,000 to $30,000” I said.

“Ok, so at that rate, in March and the first two weeks of April you’ll make $40,000 to $60,000. You can do it. Trust yourself.”

I tend to doubt myself a lot, and I’m grateful to my wife for her faith in me. I swear, I couldn’t have done all this without her. After having my rankings for 750 Adsense websites that were making me over $100 per day WIPED out overnight from a Google algorithm update I’m a bit paranoid. I try to be prepared for disaster, and thats why I get a bit uneasy when I don’t have fluid cash reserves in the bank.

interestAnd the thought of taking out a mortgage, even for just $20,000, made me uneasy. I HATE paying interest. I have a couple credit cards with a spending limit of over $20,000. Some people think that’s a license to spend, but I just see it as a way of making money when I spend on everyday things by earning points that I can redeem for cash, plane tickets, or other fun stuff. So, I always pay off the full balance on my credit card every month….and reap the rewards for spending 🙂

If we bought this apartment I’d go from financially secure and in the green, to having $44,500 in unpaid taxes and owing $20,000 for my apartment. That’s a total of $64,500! Thats the amount that I needed to get back into the green again and be debt free.

So what did we do? We got the apartment…and the mortgage that came with it 🙂 Unfortunately we can’t move in until October (there’s a renter inside), but the rent money will pay for our current rent. We’re still not technically living “rent-free” as we’re making payments on the $20,000 mortgage, but hopefully in the near future one of the BIGGEST expenses in our lives will be a thing of the past. For me that’s TRUE wealth.
Stay tuned for my upcoming March income report where I’ll be talking about how being in debt and under pressure has affected my business…and my life.

In the comments below let me know your take on taxes, debt…and insecurity.

 

  • April 5, 2015
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 37 comments
Fergal Downes - April 5, 2015

You are a true entrepreneurial success story Mike. You lost everything with the google update but you have now turned that around to a $30,000 per month empire.

Keep it up mate,
Fergal

Reply
Richard - April 5, 2015

Awesome job Mike, thanks for sharing. As for taxes, money, investments, I suggest getting Tony Robbins book called Money Master Game. Get advice from Billionaires.

Congrats on the the real estate purchase, look to generate more revenue streams.

Richard

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 5, 2015

    Richard,

    Thanks for the advice. I read Tony’s book about a month or two ago…great read. The biggest take away for me was that you don’t need as much money as you think to be set for life living off interest and dividends. I think I calculated that I could survive off of $300,000 in the bank just off the returns…if invested wisely.

    Thanks for watching!

    Reply
Clive - April 5, 2015

Yay Mike – Congrats! Like you Google wiped out MY Adsense income a few years back which is why I have multiple income streams now. Not doing WSO’s these days so a future interview is unlikely but well done and more power to you 🙂

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 5, 2015

    Clive,

    I think Adsense websites are a great way to get started, but there are just way too many variables that can wipe you out.

    Are you done doing products in general, or just WSOs?

    Reply
huw hughes - April 5, 2015

Epic Mike just Epic! Buying a home was my greatest pleasure so far in life. You also show that being honest, open and giving value works wonders.

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 5, 2015

    It’s a big step, Huw, but one that I’ll be happy I did later on in life. Keep up the great work with your show 🙂

    Reply
huw hughes - April 5, 2015

Thanks Mike. The site is being revamped as we speak. 🙂

Reply
mehdi tihani - April 5, 2015

This was a great read. Huge congrats on your purchase Mike!

Your story is so motivating! I’m sure you’ll keep crushing it these next few months.

Mehdi

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 5, 2015

    Thanks, Mehdi…glad to see you believe in me. Good luck with your launch this week.

    Reply
Dan Dasilva - April 5, 2015

Mike always doing big things I see 😀

Love to watch your progress! Every month you just grow and grow and I LOVE to see the progress. Keep going big man!

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 5, 2015

    Thanks, Dan. Looking forward to watching how you build up your “Duplicate Dan” brand.

    Reply
Dr. Bo - April 5, 2015

I felt amazing when I saw all your reports and thoughts about your life and problems. Thanks for sharing all this and it is absolutely motivating to read such type of report. Please, keep doing it. Wish you each month to be better than the previous.

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 5, 2015

    Glad to inspire you, Dr. Bo. Good luck with your upcoming launch.

    Reply
Walt bayliss - April 5, 2015

phenomenal success Mike.
I absolutely love to see this.
#inspiring

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 5, 2015

    One of my favorites in the industry. You’ve supported me from the beginning, Walt…thanks!

    Reply
JImmy Mancini - April 5, 2015

Hi Mike! well done! I remember a couple of years ago when you interviewed me, that you were so afraid about starting again as you lost all your income from your adsense sites…look at you now! very happy for you!

Regards,

Jimmy Mancini

Reply
- April 5, 2015

Go read my tax email and come to me if you need further advice!

For the rest keep going like that! You are an inspiration for my IM every day!

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 5, 2015

    Michael,

    Thanks for the tax advice 🙂

    Reply
Jerry Roberts - April 5, 2015

No hype, lives way off the beaten path, doesn’t get to events to network every month or two, and likely can’t get a great broadband connection.

And all he has done is leverage a strong work ethic, an “everyday guy” personality, and continuous action to accomplish the Internet dream.

Mike’s story is a continuing source of inspiration.

Reply
Carl Topping - April 5, 2015

Hey Mike you have done absolutely amazing man. Your consistency has paid off and it’s great you have a supportive wife. As for your organisation well done, alot of people wouldn’t be so I’m sure. Keep it up man and hope everything runs smoothly as possible 🙂

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 6, 2015

    Carl,

    One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs is convincing their spouses that what they’re doing will actually “work out” in the end.

    When I first met my wife I was making under $500 per month. Now it’s $20,000-$30,000….and she’s been supportive the whole time 🙂

    Thanks for watching!

    Reply
Don - April 5, 2015

Great job Mike. Thanks for your transparency… it helps us all with the way to run a real business.

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 6, 2015

    You’re welcome, Don. I hope that my example can help show people that no one starts out making thousands per month. It’s a slow process…but it’s achievable.

    Reply
Karen Pottinger - April 5, 2015

Mike, I love your transparency and honesty in reporting your income. Plus, I just LOVE to watch it increase month after month! you are very inspiring and motivating – thank you for your willingness to share such personal information:)

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 6, 2015

    You’re welcome, Karen. I’m looking forward to seeing that product that you’re working on.

    Reply
Keith Williams - April 5, 2015

Mike, thanks for publishing your financial data. It helps put this internet marketing thing in perspective. It also shows, if one reads between the lines just a bit, that you do lots more than “drive your Ferrari to the beach where you sit and drink exotic drinks every day” as many would have us believe.
Which brings up a question: I’ve not seen you publish or even comment on your work schedule. Care to share a typical week’s work with us? I KNOW you’re not “making 30K each month while working only 20 min. per day from a coffee house.”
I really do appreciate it and intend to share personal info as you do —when/if I ever have anything worth sharing!

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 6, 2015

    Great question, Keith.

    I’ve been asked multiple times how much I “work” per week. Well, to be completely honest, I work all the time, but it’s not really “work” for me.

    For example, I love going through different IM products, watching videos, reading PDFs, going through case studies, testing out software. That’s technically “work” for me, but I enjoy it.

    As far as my work schedule goes…here’s what it looks like on a typical day:

    10am- Roll out of bed, have breakfast, check emails, check out what’s going on in Facebook world
    noon- Have lunch, get ready to record the day’s product review
    2pm- Record my review and post it to the website
    4-6pm- Do 1-2 interviews or presell videos for the week
    7-9pm- Check out upcoming product launches and choose which one I’ll promote
    10pm- Prepare interview/presell for publishing
    1-2am- Publish interview/presell video

    As you an see I do everything slowly throughout the day. If I had to condense it down, I could get everything done in 2 hours per day easily.

    I LOVE my job…and there’s nothing else I’d rather do.

    Reply
Wilco - April 5, 2015

Yet again awesome to see man – love it!!

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 7, 2015

    Thanks, Wilco. Looking forward to see what you put out when you get home from traveling.

    Reply
Kim Shaffer - April 6, 2015

Congrats on the new apartment!! It looks really nice. By October, you can fill the second bedroom!!!

Reply
    Mike From Maine - April 7, 2015

    Aunt Kim,

    Yes, and then you’ll have to visit 🙂

    Reply
Emma Powell - April 6, 2015

Always enjoy your insightful and honest posts

You got this =)

Reply
KENT FAVER - April 6, 2015

Thanks for another awesome report Mike. I especially love the segment on taxes. I can only speak for Americans, but I think most entrepreneurs or would be’s have no idea how difficult it can be managing your finance when your income skyrockets or plummets. Both are hard. I had an awesome 2013, and lost a dependent (aged out) – and had a similar scenario to what you experienced.

If you fail to plan out your quarterlies – you could be in for a heap of trouble come tax time. Thanks again.

Reply

Leave a Reply: