This time last month, I was feeling pretty frustrated. September was a disappointing month for traffic, income, and my level of productivity. Fortunately, October was a whole other story!
Although I haven’t been waking up quite as early as I was in September, I’ve cut myself some slack. An extra sleep 30-45 minutes of sleep each day has come in handy as I’ve been working a ton more hours and also happily making more money. I’ve forgotten how much energy can drain out of my batteries just by sitting in an office on someone else’s clock.
This leads me to my biggest news from October: I went back to work for a former employer! This is the same company where I was under crazy amounts of stress in recent years and where I was denied a promotion in 2013 that I felt I strongly deserved and eventually got. They wanted me to come back a few months ago, which I first declined. It just didn’t feel right at the time.
Was I crazy to go back? I thought about things a lot since I initially turned them down. With September being a disappointing income month, and me failing to get any other new and exciting job opportunities, I decided to change my attitude. When they unexpectedly asked me to come back a second time, I wisely negotiating a better hourly rate and dove back in.
Luckily, it’s actually been rather fun being back – I can choose my own hours (part-time), I don’t have to deal with any nasty clients anymore, I get to see some of my favorite colleagues again, the projects I’m working on are challenging and enjoyable, it’s certainly nice to be wanted, and the extra money is pretty darn fantastic. Working there as a contractor feels like “easy money.” Being able to just show up and already know how to do everything and all the key people is super convenient. Since these types of opportunities don’t always come up that often, I decided to strike while the iron is hot.
New Here? Welcome! Be sure to check out my about page and read how I got paid to break free from a grueling desk job earlier this year. I publish monthly income reports to track my progress and push myself forward.
2015 Goals Update
I have three main career goals for 2015. In each of my income reports, I provide a quick update on my progress:
1) Goal: Grow More Traffic
I was relieved to see that Untemplater’s traffic rebounded in October from the strange, unexplained dive in September. Year over year traffic is starting to head back upwards again too, phew.
I had a nice traffic spike up a few weeks ago when I announced I was going back to work for my former employer. It was interesting to see which readers were open or opposed to the idea of going back to their prior employers. I especially liked hearing one commenter’s story who went back to work for her former employer on a six-month contract that turned into two years.
October vs. September:
Year over Year:
2) Goal: Land More Freelancing Gigs
As already mentioned, I picked up more work at my former employer, which is going to be quite profitable while it lasts. My contract is good for six months, but it’s possible they won’t need me that long. Thus, I’m taking on as many hours as I can manage now while they have the need for me and the budget.
I continued teaching music lessons in October, which I’m proud of. I had one new student sign up, but he declined on additional lessons after that. Oh well. At least I got paid for my time! While I was disappointed, I didn’t let it bother me more than a couple minutes. 🙂 You can’t please everyone and some people just aren’t willing to commit to practicing and paying for private lessons. It is what it is.
On a sour note, the client I signed an SOW (statement of work) with in September has totally fallen off the face of this earth. I was supposed to get my first assignment in October, but after following up with her several times and not getting any responses, I’ve written this off. I’m annoyed because it was going to pay well and we signed a contract, but I have to move on. There will always be unexpected aspects of freelancing that pop up and clients that fail to come through. But fortunately for me so far, the pros of contracting outweigh the cons.
3) Goal: Build More Affiliate Income
I feel good about the affiliate and advertising related income I was able to bring in for October. I’ll be curious to see how things go the rest of this month and into December with the holidays coming. It’s crazy that Thanksgiving is next week already.
It’s a good time to promote Amazon products with people starting to think about holiday shopping, but I’ve found their payouts to be horrible unless you have a niche product review type of site with a lot of traffic. Speaking of holiday shopping, I should start thinking about what I can buy for my family online over Black Friday weekend. I refuse to go to any stores because the chaos is totally ridiculous but I like taking advantage of good sales on the web.
As always, a big thank you to everyone who signed up for a service or made a purchase using one of my links.
Income Report October 2015
Onwards to the October Income report…
Total Revenue Streams = $11,266
- Editorial, writing, online marketing $4,000
- Project consulting $1,280
- Teaching music $195
- Dividends & Interest income $488
- Rental income $100
- Prosper P2P investment income $12
I had a nice inflow of dividends in September from several investments in my portfolio. But the volatility in the markets definitely hit my performance.
ADVERTISING & AFFILIATE: $5,191
- Affiliate Partnerships: $3,010
- Advertising other: $1,828
- Contextual Advertising (Adsense): $237
- Bluehost: $90
- Unconventional Guides: $20
- Amazon Associates: $6
- Genesis $0
- Profitable Online Store: $0
Expenses = $(4,325)
- Aweber, Marketing, Subscriptions, Fees: $(295)
- Meals & Entertainment – business: $(225)
- Quickbooks: $(50)
- Travel – business: $(40)
- Hosting, web related: $(30)
- Supplies & misc: $(30)
- Outsourcing: $(0)
- Living expenses: $(3,260)
- Meals & Entertainment – personal: $(345)
- Travel – personal: $(50)
PROFITS: $11,266 (Income) – $4,325(Expenses) = $6,941
I feel good about October, especially in comparison to September! lol. It was a bit of an adjustment picking up a bunch of extra work hours for the first few days, but my body is adjusting and seeing dollar signs is a huge motivation. Perhaps I love money more than I realized, ha. I recommend reading a fun article Financial Samurai wrote – It’s OK To Love Money.
Although I do not want to get addicted to caffeine, I’ve savored a few delicious caffeinated chai teas in the afternoons at the office. I’ve discovered I get much sleepier working in an office environment versus at home. So I’m re-reading a post I wrote, 20 Ways To Fight Afternoon Drag At Work Without Caffeine. 🙂
I’m planning on using my extra income from October and November to invest more in the markets, send money to my parents, do a little bit of traveling, and save for a new laptop. If I can find a good deal on a MacBook Pro I might consider getting one over Black Friday, but my old precious MBP is still alive without too many crashes so I might still delay.
What I need to figure out before I get a new laptop is how to migrate off of Aperture (which I am dreading). If any of you are photo nuts like me – are you using Lightroom? Please let me know what you think as I’m not really digging Apple’s Photos app for the volume of pictures and libraries I have, nor am I thrilled about the monthly cloud subscription service for Lightroom. I still feel a bit weird about having my photos stored in the cloud. I’m a bit old school that way.
Anyway, I hope October was a great month for you and that you’re gearing up for a nice holiday season. It’s sneaking up fast.
Take a free mini course on how to create your own online store – If you’ve been thinking about starting an online business, you should consider starting an online store. Check out this free mini course on how to get started creating a profitable online store. You can also sign up for the full course and get access to over 70 hours of step-by-step videos instruction that guide you through the entire process. Steve is an incredible instructor and I’ve met him in person too.
Try your hand at freelancing – Motivated to become a freelancer full-time or just want to make some extra cash on the side? The possibilities are endless! If you’re a creative person, it can be quite profitable to learn how to sell your products. Like to write as much as I do? Find out how to get published, earn money as a writer, and have flexibility and fun working on the road. You can also work on building your brand by creating your own website the easy way with Bluehost for super cheap. Whatever your interests are, focus on building your skills and developing your own unique niche.
Get help managing your money – Wealthfront is an excellent choice for those who want the lowest fees and can’t be bothered with actively managing their money themselves. Don’t let your cash sit around doing nothing. Unsure how to invest in the markets? Not a problem – Wealthfront will invest it for you! Opening an account is free and only takes a couple minutes. Wealthfront charges $0 in fees for the first $10,000 and only 0.25% for any money over $10,000. Get started with as little as $500. Put your cash to work so it doesn’t lose purchasing power due to inflation. Learn more.
Break free! If you’re burnt out of your day job, believe that you have options and can turn your career around. I didn’t believe I could escape for the longest time, but fortunately I wised up before I destroyed my relationships with family and my health. I never would have thought I could negotiate a severance package and get paid to leave a job I grew to hate, but I did! Learn how you too can get paid to leave your job like I did and open your eyes to new opportunities.
Untemplaters, how was your October? Did you do anything fun for Halloween? Are you staying in town for Thanksgiving or hitting the road?