May was a special month for me as I celebrated two years since I started my journey in Leaving Work Behind. It has certainly been a roller coaster twenty-four months!
But in many ways I feel like my journey is only just starting. While my freelance writing is going beautifully, I feel like there is a lot for me to do in terms of developing passive income streams. I can’t envisage my freelance writing income continuing to increase at it has, which highlights its (relative) lack of potential — the earnings are directly related to the number of hours I work.
Having said that, freelancing has been the cornerstone of my business since I quit my job and it will probably remain that way for many months to come. But what else can I do to grow my income? Read on to find out!
What Happened in May?
For the most part, May was about adjusting. I started the P90X Program at the end of April (check out my progress here!) and quickly found out that it was going to take a lot of my time up. That meant cutting back a bit on work, which took a bit of adjusting.
I also started work on the book that I mentioned in last month’s income report. I intend for it to be an invaluable guide for people who want to quit their jobs and build a successful online business. In short, it’s a big project and one that could potentially be a huge boost for this blog! Stay tuned because I’m going to be writing more about this soon.
Finally, I decided to resurrect my authority site and recruit one of you to help me build it into a profitable asset for my business! I’ve received a bunch of applications for the role so far and can’t wait to get started.
If I’m honest I didn’t expect anything too spectacular from May in terms of earnings. My hope was to sustain my income rather than build upon it. So how did I get on?
Monthly Income Report — May 2013
- Freelance writing:
- Income: $6,225.88
- Expenditure: $19.44
- Profit: $6,206.44 ($152 per hour equivalent)
- Income: $6.70
- Expenditure: $14.99
- Profit: -$8.29
- Affiliate Marketing (Leaving Work Behind):
- Information Products:
- Income: $897.01
- Expenditure: $44.44
- Profit: $852.57
- Income: $90.28
- Expenditure: $0
- Profit: $90.28
Total profit for May 2013: $8,318.71
Quite surprisingly, I have set yet another earnings record — my third in a row! It’s also the first time I’ve made in excess of $8,000, which is great to see.
However, I’m not particularly happy with these results. Don’t get me wrong — I’m delighted at how much money I’ve made, but with an eye on future goals and expectations I think the bottom line hides some potential weaknesses.
Let’s mention the clear positive first: my freelance earnings. I earned over $1,000 more than I did last month and my equivalent hourly rate was a fantastic $150. I couldn’t be happier with how the freelancing side of my business has developed, over the past few months especially; it seems to be going from strength to strength.
However, I cannot possibly expect to sustain these kind of earnings. The fact is that last month I let one client go and drastically downsized my involvement with another. Although that should result in a very healthy hourly rate (as they were my two lowest-paying clients), my total earnings are likely to be considerably less next month and beyond. I’ve made the deliberate decision to scale down my freelancing to just a couple of hours a day so I can work on developing those passive income streams that will take me beyond my current earnings “ceiling” imposed by an hours-for-pay freelancing model.
And what about those passive income streams? Well, my affiliate earnings are down ~$500 from last month and my information product earnings are down ~$250. That’s a total of $750 less earned when compared to last month. This poor result is masked by my freelance earnings, but I would be a fool to ignore them.
So what do I do? Well, I could try plenty of things, but my available time is limited. I think in reality I have to play the waiting game for the most part — I hope that the release of my book in 2-3 months time will have a huge effect on the traffic to LWB (and ultimately the money I make from it). Until then I must keep my head down and work on the tasks at hand.
I have a feeling that May could represent my peak earnings for a few months, but I am hoping that the work I do in the coming weeks will set a platform from which I can step up into new realms towards the end of the year. Only time will tell!
What’s in Store for June?
As I have already suggested, I plan to do less freelance work in June. That will give me more time to work on my authority site and my book — the two main projects I have on the go at the moment.
I have set myself deadlines for both projects (in August and September respectively) and I hope that doing so will help galvanize me into taking action and getting results.
I won’t lie to you — I’ve felt a little “stagnant” in May. Although my earnings are great and there’s no reason why they should decline in any drastic manner, I am hungry to keep stepping up. While I feel extremely blessed to be earning what most people would consider a very healthy income, I feel like there is potential for me to achieve so much more. The fast cars and mansions of my dreams won’t buy themselves 😉
To not shoot for the stars at this stage would be making a mockery of all the hard work I have done in establishing a platform over the past two years. Therefore, I only have one option but to roll my sleeves up and charge ahead. That is exactly what I intend to do in June!
I’d love to know what you think about my progress in May and really look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments section.