Alright it’s here. My 2018 year-end income report. Honestly, these are not easy for me to write.

For 2 reasons…

1. Because I HATE numbers, math and money…it’s something my inner being just fights against and it’s taken me years to be this deep in bed with my numbers. It’s SO WORTH IT and you’ll see why knowing your numbers is so important, but sharing certainly doesn’t come naturally.

2. I never want it to come across that I am bragging or that it’s like OH LOOK AT ME IM SO FANCY. My intention is always to pull back the curtain so you can see what running an online business is really like and that hey, maybe you are doing pretty damn well just where you are.

People are surprised when they see how much or how little we earn when I do these reports…it’s maybe not what you expected and that’s the point!

Which leads me to reason #3 these are tough and that’s vulnerability…

Everyone’s going to realize I am NOT successful and this entire ruse is going to be over!

Everyone’s going to judge me and not want to learn from me anymore!

I am not making as much as I “should” be making

The truth is, success is determined by each and every one of us. Our expectations are not the same as someone else. What someone makes in one part of the world is considered a King’s salary compared to another part of the world. Sometimes this is true even within the same country!

So take all of this with a grain of salt and remember my intention is to show the real behind the scenes of what goes into running this show so you know what you can expect as you grow, or can readjust your expectations, set goals, be inspired or whatever it means to you.

Alright here we go!

All numbers reflected are in USD

2017

Here’s what I made in 2017 total (before expenses): $71,626

Business Expenses: $23,649

Self employment tax: $6,072

Net Profit in 2017: $45,089

Key takeaways from 2017

This was the year my husband suffered his TBI induced mental health breakdown, my car got repossessed, he got out of the Marines and we had to move into a 1 bedroom apartment while we took care of his mental health issues. It’s the year my marriage fell apart, Ben and I moved to Maine and we ended up in Bali.

So $45K profit was kinda eh on paper but I was doing actually pretty damn well despite everything we were going through.

Ok so now get ready for 2018 because HOLY SHIT…

Agency Profit & Expenses

I’ve been running my online course creation agency The Content Bank for about 6 years, I just expanded it to a full blown team over the last year after all the trauma we went through. Here’s what that looks like…

Total Gross Agency Income: $70,994

This is the amount I made before paying anyone to do the work on the team

Agency Cost of Doing Business: $27,081

These are the expenses directly related to the projects, e.g. the graphic designer on the client’s project I had to pay

Virtual Assistant Internship Profit & Expenses

Total Program Income: $62,877

The amount of money in sales before any expenses from all my courses, programs, retreats, etc

Total Cost of Doing Business: $4892

How much I paid my team to help me run everything in 2018, note this is going up A LOT in 2019

Key takeaways from 2019 income

Can you see now how I got to the decision to close my agency and only take 1 on 1 consulting clients? The amount of money I am making in each business is almost the same but the expenses in the agency were CRAZY high compared to the digital products which I can do all myself if I really need to.

So to make up for the agency missing in 2019 I just need to make an extra $40K via consulting or with the courses which is totally doable when I am focused 100% on it.

Also the ‘expenses’ are called ‘cost of goods sold’ which I love the phrase of that. It means ’x is how much I had to spend in order to make y’ and flips how you think of your money!

Other Expenses

Just some snippets because the entire thing is super detailed…

Software, Office Supplies & Tools: $2916

Paypal Fees & Bank Fees: $1278

Education: $15,666

Debt: $1166

Travel: $17,460

Health Insurance for Ben & I: $1492

Owners Pay (me!): $30,986

Total Other Expenses: $75,528

Key takeaways from expenses

One thing I love about business is how we can mix our life in with it, so the ‘expenses’ are just ‘life’ to other people in traditional jobs.

We mix business travel with family travel so a lot of these come off the business but were also personal which is always fun. What I mean is, my mastermind is in Connecticut in America so our flights there and accommodation and rental car are taken out of the business. But we get to go stay with my family for a week or two (not charged to the business but also, no expense to us) while we are there!

Same for traveling around anywhere else in the world. I organize business around our family lifestyle so we can have integrity in how we run our expenses but also enjoy the tax write off. So we got to travel AND I still made a salary.

Paying for health insurance outside of America is WAY CHEAPER and comes out of the business!

The biggest thing you may have noticed is the education expense…OMG RIGHT? But seriously, that’s how I got to the profits we got to this year. Investing in my online education whenever I got stuck. Not trying to read books, free blogs, and other junk webinars to squeeze by with cheap or free info…actually paying a shit ton of money to INVEST in my career and OMG has it paid off.

Rubbing shoulders with the right people, in the right places all doing the same things means you are pushed ahead beyond your expectations. Your brain can only dream so big! You need help to reach the next mountain peak beyond sight!

Oh and see how I still have debt? This isn’t nearly everything. I still have a student loan and another card I am personally paying off…but has that stopped us from pursuing our dreams? Making big lifestyle changes? Using debt to up level and upskill? HECK NO!

One thing that bums me out is when women won’t do our program or start traveling because ‘we are trying to pay off all our debt UM HELLO working online and living in Asia is a FAB way to pay off debt?!

That’s why I so wholeheartedly believe in our programs and what we are doing to empower as many of you to work online as possible in 2019.

Total 2019 Gross Income
(amount before cost of doing business, before expenses):
$140,214

Total Net Income (amount after all the things, but remember a lot of those ‘things’ are travel, health insurance, childcare, education, and my salary): $34,843.06

YOU GUYS I ALMOST TRIPLED MY INCOME IN 1 YEAR?!?!?!

What This Means for 2019

Increase Charitable Giving

Our charitable giving was terrible in 2019. It’s honestly because we’ve never had enough extra money until this year and didn’t even think of it until I looked at this. We are starting ‘at home’ by the company sponsoring a child and non-profit expenses with a monthly giving to my CFO’s non-profit in rural South Africa called Rural Reach. Her husband is helping those living in rural areas without the most basic necessities so it was a no brainer (and automatically withdraws every month so I don’t have to think about it). If you want to sponsor a child in a very real way check them out HERE.  

More team, more $

Running a six figure company takes a TEAM EFFORT. I have a web developer, chief-financial-officer, chief-operations-officer, graphic designer, eCommerce admin, and 2 interns. Plus I hire copywriters occasionally. None of them are full time but may change this year. Even as my income increases, guess what else increases? Yep…team help. And team help requires more $.

Help more people

Making more money and being able to re-invest some of it continually back into my business means one major thing to me: I get to help more of you launch your online work dreams. I do not understand how God called me into something so incredible that I get to do this full time

If Nothing Else…

I don’t know if this made you go OMG I WANT TO BE HER WHEN I GROW UP or

“Wow, I am doing better then I thought” but if nothing else I hope you see the mo’ money, mo’ problems theme throughout because omg…as you grow your expenses and team grows and you NEED them to continue so there’s no way around it.

Avoid playing the comparison game though. I spend more on travel, team, etc because we love our little life. We prefer living in a small villa in Bali and traveling than me working 60 hours a week so we don’t have to hire anyone and avoid investing in tools. I’d rather pay for help and work less but it’s all about the lifestyle you want to create…not necessarily emulating mine. But at least now you have an example of what’s possible.

I never pretend to know everything, we are all just learning along together. If this was helpful for you then I’d love to know your biggest takeaway!

And for heaven’s sake stop messing around trying to work online on your own and just join 90 Day VA already HERE (enrollment closes January 31st so…seriously).

Until next time!

xoxo

Esther

CEO & Founder

Virtual Assistant Internship

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