With most career paths or businesses, you can search online to find out what could be expected in terms of income. But running an online business is pretty new and unknown territory.
I hope to show you with these income reports just what is possible when you build an online business! It’s my hope that if you dream of running an online business too, these reports encourage you to work towards making that dream into your reality!
Skiing vacation in France:
This month my fiancé and I packed our bags and headed south! We planned a ski trip to the French Alps and I looked forward to it ALL year. Last year we went to Austria to go skiing, but it was cut short and we had to head home after just 2 days when my fiancé broke his shoulder on one run. So I was itching to get back on the hills!
We knew it was late in the season to go, but it’s was the only time when my fiancé had holidays, so we figured we’d see what happened. I picked the ski area Chamonix because it’s the highest in the French Alps (therefore the best chance of still having snow in April.) We had a beautiful view from our hotel on Mont Blanc (the highest peak in Europe) and as it turns out, we basically had the hotel and all the hills to ourself.
We quickly learned that it’s mostly the British and French which ski in the French Alps, and neither of those countries have holidays in April. Germans who do have holidays at that time always head to the Austrian Alps (closer to home and also German-speaking) so we had France to ourselves!
The hills were emptyyyyy, we never waited in a line and could easily get a seat in any chalet on the hill!
The food at our hotel was beyond amazing, we went to bed every night pleasantly stuffed full from mysterious french dishes, red wine, crème brûlée, and chocolate mousse.
What I’ve learned though is that business is just about always on the brain and it’s hard to escape even while on vacation. I was skiing down the hill debating what to do about the people who have bought my courses, defaulted on their payment plans and ghosted on our emails reminding them to update their card. (Often these people have also taken the entire course within the first 30 days before their 2nd payment was due.) It will be a big achievement the day I can block these issues from my mind while on vacation.
I then spent two of the most productive work weeks I ever had, followed by another week mostly off.
Denmark & Austria:
This time my mom was coming to Europe, so I packed up my carry on again and we headed to Denmark and Austria together. I normally write blog posts and schedule them in advance (which is my secret to always publishing consistently btw – more on that here) but I’ve been just scraping by to get them out the past few months. On the trip to Denmark & Austria I wrote a blog post a day to get caught back up, so some work did still happen while on that trip.
Lastly, we locked down a dream location for our wedding and met with potentially the most pleasant and happy human I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with in a long time, the priest who will marry us! Now those 2 major items are checked off the wedding planning list, I’m going to chill a bit before moving on with the next wedding planning to do’s.
Reflected on the Q1:
If you’ve read the income reports and business recaps for the past 3 months, you know that everything seemed to get in the way of me being able to work as much as I wanted to and I felt behind on all of my projects. Well, at the end of every quarter I look back and take stock of my goals. (Wanna know exactly how I do this? Check out My 3 step goal setting, tracking & achieving process! and How I outline my business plans for the New Year.)
I was actually completely blown away at just how much I actually DID accomplish in Q1. (Which just goes to show the importance of checking in on your goals once a quarter.) I was feeling so badly about myself and how ineffective I was being until I properly looked at what I accomplished.
In Q1 I: Set up an investment account and started purchasing index funds/started saving for retirement, got a new business insurance, hired and onboarded a bookkeeper, worked with my lawyer to tightened up some legal docs, pivoted my business direction, refreshed my website and rewrote my site copy, updated my email welcome sequence, cut ties to Canada for tax purposes, figured out a VAT payment issue, fixed a Teachable invoice issue, set up FOUR evergreen sales funnels, interviewed and picked a Facebook ads manager, and surpassed my income goal for the quarter of $70,545.
I thought we hit our email subscriber growth goal, only to find out that we had a ton of robots on our list, so that’s one of the things I didn’t accomplish for the quarter.
Overall though, looking back I’m really pleased with the progress made in Q1.
This month I actually got to start working on my podcast and I was LOVING every moment of it! First up I took a course on podcasting from the expert, Pat Flynn. Anytime I need to do something new in my business, I find the absolute expert on the topic and buy their online course. I’m luckily at a place in my business where I have a budget for this type of thing and so I really can hit the ground running while working on something that’s completely new to me. I wasted no time Googling and searching through articles online about how to start a podcast, I just went through the course and everything I needed was in it.
I did Pat’s Power Up Podcasting course and would def recommend it to anyone else who is starting a podcast. It truly covers everything from start-finish on what you need to know and how to do things to launch your podcast right!
Once I finished up the course, I got on to actually setting up my podcasting process, completely automating the guest inviting, scheduling & educating process, lining up my first 20 episode ideas, picking my music, getting an intro recorded by one of those fancy announcer people, recording little promo calls to action to place throughout the shows and my outtro.
I then started reaching out to guests, outlining my solo shows and then I recorded my first show, edited it all together, played it and was SO pleased. It sounds killer if I do say so myself!
Getting to work on something new and creative honestly had me bouncing out of bed to work every day. I was so excited and had such amazing energy every day because I was truly so stoked about what I was working on. I definitely snuck in some work time on the weekend because I was so excited about what I was doing.
After learning how to podcast through Pat’s course, I fully finished 2 episodes. Pat recommends having 3 published on launch day and 2 more fully completed, recorded, edited, uploaded to the podcast host and show notes done before launching, so episodes can come out consistently. So I’ve got 3 more to record before I can launch! I realize I’ll be done those justttt around the time when we’re launching my Square Secrets Business course in May, so I’ll likely hold off on launching the podcast until that course launch is over.
So expect to hear me shouting from the rooftops about the podcast launching in early June!
This month I also picked the charity I’ll be donating a portion of profits to and set up a recurring monthly donation!
I always knew that I wanted my business to be a force for good in the world, but I’m honestly pretty skeptical of a lot of charities. Often times, I’ve learned that the money doesn’t really help the people intended. I have no problem with charities paying their staff well as that’s how you get and keep good staff, and I also have no issue with charities spending money on marketing as that’s how they get more people involved in their cause, but I also wanted my donation to really help the people intended.
I’ve sporadically donated here and there from business profits, but wanted to pick a cause and a charity I’d support month after month.
I debated between a few different causes I’m passionate about and eventually picked the Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation. Right when I made the choice, I knew that it was absolutely the right one.
I worked as a camp staff for 9 amazing summers during high school and university and got to see first-hand what an impact a week away from a troubled home could do for a camper. The Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation enables children from low-income homes to go enjoy a week of just being a kid at camp, and that’s something really close to my heart.
I now feel even more genuinely excited with every sale the business makes, as I know it’s not just myself, but also benefitting some really deserving kids who have so far been given a pretty tough hand in life.
My virtual assistant Mary has been with me for almost a year, and for the past few months she’s also been working on building up her own business! For the second half of the year she’s planning on hitting the road and traveling Europe and Asia while running her business. She’s just about outgrown her VA role and has graduated on to being a business owner herself, so we’ll be on the hunt for the perfect replacement for her in June.
(We’re only advertising the role to our email list as we want to hire someone who is already familiar with my business, so if you’re not an email subscriber yet, you can get on the list here!)
Facebook ads manager
I did it! After umming and ahhing over how to run FB ads best for almost a year, I finally took the leap, signed on the dotted line with an ads manager and paid a deposit. We’ll be starting ads in June!
I spoke with another Squarespace course creator recently who wasn’t able to get ads to have a good enough ROI to keep running them recently, so I’m very curious to see if we’ll be able to break even and then make a positive return on them.
FB ads and a good manager definitely don’t come cheap, but I fully believe this is not something to hire someone who’s new and only half knows what they’re doing. I’ll be spending over 16k for the first 3 months, so keep your fingers crossed for me.
Coffee with Holly:
When I first moved to Hannover, Germany I googled ‘English Hannover bloggers’ or something like that, to see if here was anyone like me in the city. It turns out there’s a grand total of 1 other North American who runs an online business here. Holly Becker from decor8 has built a truly killer business, all while living in a foreign country, far away from her target market.
We met up recently for coffee and I absolutely had the feeling of ‘ugh, finally’ as I got to talk to someone in my city about online business and blogging who really gets it and has a solid business running.
Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield-Thomas
One of my favorite things about Denise is her unapologetic attitude towards doing things that go against what society accepts for women. This article nails it: I’m a self-made millionaire, and this is EXACTLY how much help I have at home. In this book Denise expanded on some things she does which society says you can’t, which I loved. I also got a few really great recommendations on practical steps to take when it comes to sales, awkward money conversations and recovering lost payments.
Going to be honest, this book is just about as much pictures as it is content. So while it did have some solid takeaways for discovering your life’s purpose, it will also double as a nice piece of coffee table decor.
Traction by Gino Wickman
I heard about this book during this solid podcast episode from Jenna Kutcher. I’m only part-way through it, so I’ll keep you posted in next months recap on how valuable it is.
(Those are affiliate links!)
Square Secrets course: $13,586.00
Square Secrets Business course: $9,296.00
SS + SSB course Bundle: $1,500.00
Total April Income: $25,043.99
↑Those area affiliate links!
There you go! That pretty much sums up the month of April!
If you want to see the behind-the-scenes of the business in real-time, def come hang out on Insta, as that’s where I show you what I’m up to and working on every day.