It’s happening. I’m committing to making income reports again. Maybe not every month, but semi-regularly. The last one I did was in December of 2019 and it was just about reselling income, not anything of my other income streams.
This is a tough thing to commit to right now because my income is much lower than it has been in the past. Why? I’m still blaming pregnancy and having a baby, but my baby will be one soon, and I won’t be able to blame that anymore.
I’ve learned two things about my business, myself, and my income after having three kids.
First, I always go through a slump when I get pregnant because I get so sick and don’t do anything for at least 3-4 months. Then I always have a NICU baby (yep, 3 for 3) which is stressful and then there’s newborn life. Add on already having 2 other kids this time around, selling a house, moving, starting RV life again, etc.
The second is that I usually uplevel after having a baby. I don’t know if it’s the motivation, the extra mouth to feed, or what. First baby? I started the business that actually took off (reselling) and then second baby, my husband was able to quite and be a stay at home dad.
Who knows what the third baby will hold for our future, but I’m excited for it!
Truth be told, it’s been hard to focus and move FORWARD. I’ve just kind of been treading water up until now. Maintaining what I could, but not growing. But that’s all changing soon.
In my many years of online business, I’ve learned that it can be hard to build back up once your income drops.
But at the same time, I’m thankful for the income I did/do have! It truly carried me through my pregnancy and beyond while I worked minimal hours.
As you can see from when I found out I was pregnant in October of 2021, through when my son was a couple of months old, I didn’t work much. Notice that funny jump in April/May of 2021. My motivation SPIKES in 3rd trimester, and I always work a lot until right before the baby comes.
But as you can see, for the first 6 months or so, I was working a maximum of 10 hours a week. In November and December, I barely touched my computer. I’m so thankful for the mostly passive income I had to carry us through since we’re a one income household.
It’s so hard to be the one who has to carry the babies and be the bread-winner!
Now it’s just time to build back up. I know it’s coming. I like to say my income boost is “loading.” Online business is not generally a fast build.
I’ll spare any more rambling and get to it.
What did I earn last month from my online businesses? 💰
In April 2023, I made a total of $3,774. This is my gross income before any expenses, taxes, etc. This includes all reselling sales plus anything that got deposited into my bank in April. Anything earned in April, but not paid out yet will be counted later.
|Social Media Managerment
What was my profit? 💵
This isn’t easy because I calculate things a bit differently for reselling vs all my other sources. So it’s hard to give an exact number after expenses. Basically, with reselling, I use Vendoo to calculate the cost of goods, shipping costs, etc. on each item that is physically sold that month, regardless of when I purchased it (I could have paid for it a year ago). With my online business, my income and expenses are what come in/out of my bank account during that specific month.
So this number isn’t perfect, but my estimated “profit” (before paying taxes) is $2276.25. Not great, but I’ll talk about my thoughts on this shortly.
How much did I work this month? ⏱
I like to include this because it’s a big factor to consider. If I’m making this much working 60 hours a week, something need to change. It’s a good way for me to gauge things.
I figured I’d share a look at the whole year to date since this is my first income report, and I want to show how I’ve started ramping up my working hours. We spent the entire month at a farm in Florida where my husband worked a couple of hours in the morning for us to stay here for free. It’s a dream! There are goats, chickens, peacocks, etc. I go on morning walks with the baby and he excitedly watches all the animals.
My husband generally works until noon and then we all have lunch, and I work for 3-4 hours. Once we leave here in a few days, I can work a bit more because he won’t be gone all morning and can be with the kids (also get them out of the RV so I can focus better). But there will be other challenges like long travel days, sometimes being in places where the cell service is nonexistent, etc. Working on the road isn’t easy!
However, I do prefer to work a maximum of 6 hours so I can be with my kids and also because I have some chronic pain that tends to pop up after sitting at the computer for more than a few hours. So it’s always my goal to try and be under 4 hours under normal circumstances.
However, in this build-up phase, I’m more than willing to work more if needed. Though I’m still going to make sure I’m working efficiently.
Why almost didn’t go through with this post 😳
It’s honestly so bad and a little… embarrassing? I mean, I talk about making money online, and I support my family with this income! How can I be making so little? Obviously, this cannot support a family of 5 very well. Especially one that travels full time.
But, as I already rambled on about, I’m in a building back up stage. My income was higher when I was pregnant and not working because I still had that momentum and income flow from before pregnancy.
Now, it’s been a year or more of half-assing it, and it’s understandable if it takes a minute (ahem, a few months) to catch up.
Why I’m not freaking out 👍
First off, personally, we’re fine. We have plenty of savings and because we use the Profit First method, when I do have good months, it pads our Owner’s Pay account for any not-so-great months. It usually events out in the end as long as it’s not a long streak of low months.
Second, I know it’s coming. I know it’s loading. I’ve been working hard to get my income up without resorting to taking on a ton more client work which I know will just hold me back from building up my own businesses.
Plans for May 🗓
- Continue to publish a blog post each week. I used to try and get “ahead,” but I don’t like the idea of my blog post sitting around for a month so that I can publish on a consistent schedule. So I write one a week and sometimes, if I write two? I just publish two! That way, they can start to rank in Google, Pinterest, etc., instead of sitting in my drafts.
- Spend an hour a week on Pinterest. My account is doing ok, but it could be better. I really need to spend more time on there, but right now I can dedicate about an hour a week. This includes keyword research, designing pins, writing SEO-optimized titles and descriptions, and scheduling pins. I usually do it in 2 half hour sessions and get about 6-8 done per session. Right now, Pinterest brings me several thousand page views per month and brings over 30% of my pageviews, so it’s totally worth the effort, and I’m hoping I can grow more on there as well.
- Start back up on YouTube. I took a few months off because I was inconsistent for a while, and I honestly felt a little lost about where I wanted to go. Plus, it was messing with my head that so many people I knew in the same niche as me were blowing up, and I was barely creeping along. Plus, my income is down to about 25% of what it used to be, so that wasn’t very motivating. AND we didn’t have good internet on the road, so uploading videos was nearly impossible. So I guess it was lots of reasons. Now we finally have decent internet, and I have new motivation on where I want to go with YouTube, so I’m jumping back in.
- Reduce expenses. I can’t do much to reduce my reselling expenses, the money on inventory is spent, and it’s already at my fulfillment company who I pay to store and ship m y items. But I had about $1,000 in expenses for April for my online income streams. One was a $250 course, but I do have a lot of subscriptions that are nice but not needed. I’d like to reduce my expenses by at least $100/month by cutting out what I don’t really need/use. And not purchase anymore tools/courses at all this month.
New 12 Week Year 📆
Have you heard of the 12 Week Year? It’s a book, and I’ll confess: I haven’t actually made it through the whole thing. But I love the concept.
I’m starting a new 12 week year this month, and here are my two goals (which kind of intersect with what I have above for May, but it goes beyond that)
Goal #1: Revive YouTube 🎥
YouTube used to be a good source of income for me (up to $1,300/mo) AND it converts really well because it’s easier to connect with my audience. So many of my course sales, etc. come from YouTube.
- 1 video per week
- Side Hustle Summer Series (100 days of side hustles via YT shorts which I’ll likely repost to Pinterest and possibly Instagram/TikTok, depending on how I feel)
- The videos will be a combination of keyword research based topics try to rank for in search and videos I want to make. I used to focus just on videos that could rank in search, and I think that’s part of why I got into a bit of a slump.
Goal #2: Simplify & Optimize Digital Products 🖥
It’s been a long time coming. New pricing, new learning platform, everything. I’m simplifying, consolidating, and making it all more accessible. I love putting out new digital products and hope to do more in the future, but I need the couple I have to be better optimized and simplified before I move forward with any others.
- Move all of my courses and digital products to ThriveCart
- Review all courses/digital products and make any updates needed
- Finalize new pricing structure
- One last sale for “lifetime access” pricing for courses
- Check all funnel elements (landing pages, emails, etc)
Of course, I have other things I’m working on, but my biggest thing is getting my income back up and focusing on what I love doing the most: blogging and digital products. My ultimate goal is to hit $10k a month by the end of the year. Is that too much of a stretch? Maybe, but I don’t think so! I have 8 whole months!
I’m phasing out reselling 🙈
If you’ve been around for a while, you know I kind of built the Hustle & Slow brand on reselling content. I was a full-time reseller for a while, and then I was part-time, and now I’m phasing it out. For now, at least.
Although I have found ways to resell from the road using a fulfillment company, eBliss Reseller Solutions, I don’t have the time or energy to be sourcing on the road. I need to focus my time on my top business priorities, and even though I’ll probably resell off and on forever, it’s not something I can put my limited time into right now.
I have about 100 items left in my inventory and am going to sell it all over the next couple of months, then close out my account with my fulfillment company.
I’ll probably go back to making extra money decluttering, which is exactly how I started! In fact, I have a lot of baby clothes I need to list from stuff he’s grown out of.
Life/Travel updates 🚌
I thought it would be fun to include this since we’re full-time on the road right now. As I mentioned above, we spent the whole month of April at a farm in the Florida panhandle, and we loved every second except maybe the bugs and the humidity.
We leave in a few days, and although we’re sad to go, we’re excited to move north away from the heat. However, it has reaffirmed our goal of buying some land and having a farm/homestead of our own in the next couple of years. The whole point of us being on the road right now is to figure out where we want to buy land, so we’re all about this life!
Next up, we’ll be in North Carolina in an area we’ve been interested in checking out for a while now! Then we head north to see family in Cape Cod at the beginning of June. The next couple of months are going to be fun, and we honestly have no idea what we’re doing after that.
Random blog updates
- I’ve consistently posted a new blog post every week for the last 8 weeks! Before that, I was super inconsistent and was silly to expect it to grow at the rate I wanted it to. I’m up to a total of 108 posts, which feels like not enough for how long I’ve been blogging.
- My page views for April were 14,822. My highest ever was 31,000 in January of 2021. I hope to blow that number out of the water by the end of the year.
- I’m casually working on another blog. I really love writing and running a blog. My dream would just be to have a couple of successful blogs that make up the majority of my income.
Alright that’s it for April. If you enjoyed this update, I’d love to hear your comments below!