Cash Flow

  • Revenue Goal: $4,000
  • Total Revenue: $3853
  • Total Expenses: $1167.37
  • Net Profit: $2,685.63
  • Owner Draw: $1500

This was a relatively expensive month. My business typically has very low overhead, but quarterly taxes were due January 15, I paid a contractor to design my new workbook, and I decided to (finally) upgrade my laptop with an extra hard drive and new RAM. Fortunately I didn’t have to pay for my IT consultant’s time because I’m married to him. 😉 It’s worth noting that these expenses really out to be distributed over the entire year, and/or the remaining lifetime of my current laptop, but I record when expenses actually come out, not when they’re incurred.

Time Breakdown

Work Time

  • Hours Worked: 67
  • Weekly Average Work Hours: 16.75
  • Billable Hours: 20
  • Non-Billable: 47
  • Billable Percentage: 30% 

Volunteer and Personal Work

  • Writing Class (live classes and readings): 9.33 hours
  • Actual Writing: 8.75 hours
  • Blueprinting: 0.83 hours
  • Mochi: 9.3 hours
  • Crisis Line Volunteering: 6.5 hours

I took advantage of school being in session (and also scrambled in terror against the possibility it might close at any time) to go pedal to the metal with my business. All of my clients took about a week or two to get up to speed (and, you know, existential threats to democracy didn’t help), which left me with an unprecedented block of time to work ON my business. I also unexpectedly booked a speaking opportunity, which meant I’d be in front of way more people than I usually am. So I did some long deferred updates to my website and rammed a new freelance pricing workbook through the development process. (I’m very proud of the result, though!) 

All of this resulted in an extremely low (for me) billable percentage, around 30%. I’m usually a lot closer to 50-50. But I actually didn’t feel too fried because my billable rate is now high enough to cover my unbillable time. (Shameless self promotion: learn how to pay yourself for admin and business development in Why You’re Undercharging!) And it was useful to keep in mind that an evergreen product should continue to generate revenue for me over time.

Hourly Rates

Overall Hourly Rates

  • Overall Hourly Rate Before Expenses: $57.50/hour
  • Overall hourly Rate After Expenses: $40/hour
  • Target Hourly Rate: $60/hour

I’ve become a time-tracking monster and I’m particularly attentive to my hourly rate. At this stage in my life, I generally cannot get more time to work, at least not without making some sacrifices in the self-care and family-care realms. So I have to make sure that the time I’m working generates enough revenue

I looked at my overall hourly rate, which is my total revenue divided by total hours worked. My target internal hourly rate is $60/hour, which I think of as what I’m paying myself to do the client work AND run the business. Before expenses I was actually only a little under that this month even with my low billable/non-billable ratio. This suggests that my prices are pretty close to where they need to be but probably could be higher.

Hourly Rates By Project Type

  • Hourly Rate Products: $188/19 = $9.89/hour
  • Hourly Rate Course Creation: $2650/10.5 =$252.38/hour
  • Hourly Rate Marketing: $890/7.25 = $122.76/hour
  • Hourly Rate Teaching: $100/1.5 = $66.67/hour

I also wanted to look at my hourly rate for different project types, so I took my revenue from each of those categories and divided by the time spent working in that category. As you can see, creating my digital workbook this month had a DREADFUL hourly rate. I just want you to remember that the next time someone trumpets about “PaSsIvE InCoMe” from digital products. It’s a ton of work to develop a product (if…it’s a good one) even if you’re not *quite* as fussy about it as I was. (“I want automatic calculations and auto-generating printable pages in this PDF, and I want them NOW!” may or may not have escaped my mouth. Fortunately the designer I work with is a saint.) But, if I do the work to market this product properly, it will continue to generate revenue for me for a long time. (Read more here about passive income options that might actually be passive.)

Monthly Achievements

My Plum Planner has a nice monthly reflection format that I like a lot and will borrow here.

I started:

  • Growing my audience and credibility
  • Putting my brand out there
  • Noticing more about everyday life thanks to my writing class

I finished:

  • My first pricing workbook
  • An audio course on pricing (available soon from Listenable)
  • Updating my website (for now)

(I particularly like this section because I am way better at starting things than finishing, hence my chronic string of unfinished projects.)

How I succeeded:

  • One of my clients fully presold her course using a sales page I wrote
  • I demonstrated my expertise and credibility through a panel discussion and a webinar
  • I followed through on producing two digital products that I could have easily abandoned because they weren’t making me revenue immediately
  • I organized and managed my time well through day-theming
  • I increased my capacity by onboarding my new team member
  • I created and executed a sustainable social media strategy (and I now have a process that I can delegate to my team member!) and saw my social and email audiences grow as a result

How I could have done better:

  • While my product was ready to launch, I don’t think my audience was, so the launch results were disappointing
  • I didn’t meet some of my volunteer commitments as well as I would have liked

Priorities for February:

  • Finish (aka start lol) production on my video course for Terrain.io
  • Improve my sales funnel for Why You’re Undercharging
  • Speak on at least 1 podcast and 1 IG live with a collaborator
  • Follow through on my blog and social marketing strategies
  • Write 5,000 words in my WIP novel
  • Pitch *something* for publication

That’s a wrap on January! Here’s hoping February is…more normal?

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