Hello & welcome to another edition of "The Dough Report", where I talk about how much I made and spent in the past month. Additionally, I like to branch out a little and also include thoughts on money, savings and all things financial in general. Why? Because I feel that apart from sharing how much we make, talking about everything else related to our finances is also slightly taboo. Let's change that! I'm curious to find out more about how everyone else is managing their money and I'm guessing you're too.
If you're new around here, it might be best to have quick read through the income reports I published previously to find out what exactly I'm doing here and why. Basically, each month I'd like to share the following: How much I earned, how much I spent/invested into my business and on what and what I learned during that month. So let's get to it.
June 2016 Earnings:
- Social Media Projects: 1.682,50€
- Copywriting: 1.100,00€
- Consulting: 1.267,50€
Total Revenue (excl. VAT): 4.050,00€
June 2016 Expenses*:
- Adobe Creative Suite: 8,50€
- Google Apps: 4,00€
- Mailchimp: 8,50€
- FB Ads: 50,00€
- Website Hosting: 46,10€
- Phone & Internet: 45,00€
Total Expenses: 162,10€ (*Not included: social insurance, taxes, rent, utilities)
Net Profit: 3.887,90€
FYI: Please bear in mind that the sum you see above is definitely not the amount of money I get to spend this month, as at least 50-66% of it goes directly into a savings account set up specifically for future tax and social insurance payments.
Right. June has been a great and busy month, overall: we've done quite a few food tours and I had tons of fun with it. The people are incredibly nice and have the most interesting stories to tell, the food is delicious and we even had luck with the weather so far. I wasn't able to focus as much as I wanted on building my coaching business, though, so that's definitely something I want to focus on for the rest of the summer. I've tried quite a few firsts in the past 12 months - sending out newsletters on a regular basis, publishing income reports, doing talks and holding workshops - and I really want to continue with that so I made a list of things I want to try out in 2016. Hold a webinar, launch an online-course, teach a class on entrepreneurship or work on a few products focused on personal branding and development. Obviously, not all of it is going to be a tremendous success and that's fine by me: I promised myself at the beginning of this year to just go ahead and experiment a little.
One of the main reasons why self-employment seems to suit me so well is that I get bored quite easily, which - contrary to a lot of people who say this is because they're just so damn smart - I'm not that proud of. It's not that I can't focus or follow through, it's just that after working on something for a longer period of time (sometimes a few weeks, sometimes 3 years) it's not as much fun as in the beginning. Now, when you're a brand manager for cat food, you can't just be like "This was fun, kitties, but I'd rather focus on building a social media platform for cat owners now because I realized that people would be really into this and no one's done it yet." Being your own boss makes it a lot easier though to test out the limits and boundaries of what you used to think your job is going to be - it just seems more fluid.
To be completely honest, this is how I see it: If you manage to find people who are happy to pay you for what you are selling and satisfied with your work, you're in business. Whether you used to be a kindergarten teacher who now sells online courses on Instagram or a social worker who is now a creative content coach - if you're awesome at it, who cares what you've originally set out to do?
For the past 2 years, I have taken a few hours at the beginning of July to look at my finances for the first half of the year. How does it compare to previous years? How much income did each project I have worked on generate? But also, how much did I enjoy working on it? How much did I learn while doing it?
Even if you're not interested in doing income reports, I would totally recommend carving out a morning or afternoon, iced tea and a plate of your favorite summer fruits nearby, to ask yourself the following questions:
- How do you feel about the amount of work you put in during the last 6 months?
- If it was it too much: Why do you feel that way? Was it worth it? Why/why not?
- If it was not enough: Why do you feel that way? What held you back?
- Which client/project has been your favorite one and why?
- Which client/project has been your least favorite one and why?
- How did you invest in yourself in the first half of 2016?
- What are you proud of?
Maybe you don't need to ask yourself these kind of questions because you already know the answers to them - if so, good for you! Others sometimes struggle a little with reflecting, so it's nice to have something to go by when reviewing your business (and your life, really). I find that for me, answering them sets the tone for the second half of the year: Do I want to step it up and really squeeze the most out of it or am I happy with taking things a little slow and focusing on other things besides business? Am I happy with the direction things are going or do I want to change?
Now's the time to take stock AND take action. If you need any help at all with that, get in touch! I'd love to help.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR