A year ago, January 2010, I wrote the post “I’m Gonna Kick Some Major Ass in 2010… Bet on it.“
At the time I wrote that post, I was making $200/month from this website. But I had a plan.
I set many goals of all different varieties. I proclaimed 2010 would be a year of confidence.
I didn’t hit many of my smaller goals, but when it came to the core business goals – I stated:
- Gross $48,000 in 2010. (DONE)
- Become an A-list Blogger. I defined this vague goals as media mentions (DONE), large guest posts (DONE), collaboration w/ A-listers (DONE), and full-time income (DONE).
- Become confident/well-known for use of video. (HALF-DONE) I made leaps and bounds this year in video – but want to go even bigger.
- Position myself for speaking/book launch in 2011. (DONE) I’m positioned – whether I *do* it or not is another question.
I also stated at the beginning of the year, that I wanted to launch three products/services:
- Unautomate Your Finances. (DONE)
- Sell Your Crap Online. (DONE) I dropped the “online” and changes the scope a bit.
- Blogging/Branding/Networking Workshop or Consulting. (DONE) I went with consulting over a product (for now).
Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done.
Like I said, I wasn’t perfect (check out the post for where I fell short) – but I was pretty damn good at my core business goals. I’ve never slumped away from sharing my failures on this blog – and you better bet I’m going to take time to celebrate our successes over the past year.
For you statistic and list freaks – here are some things you may enjoy:
In 2010, Man Vs. Debt had right at 500,000 visits and just under 1,000,000 pageviews. During the year, my single highest day was only 5,000 visits or 1% of the total. Meaning much of the traffic and views were more consistent than the previous year (where I had a couple huge spikes).
My top 2010 business moments:
- Launching Unautomate Your Finances. It gave me the experience and confidence to do everything else.
- Attending SxSw. I made incredible connections and friendships – and decided *this* was what I loved doing.
- Launching Sell Your Crap. After a huge burnout, I rebounded and turned a failed launch into my most successful product.
- Featured in USA Today (print edition). Early in the year, this gave me confidence to push harder and pursue more media mentions.
- Taking a chance on Only72.com. This is the most profitable work I’ve ever done – and radically opened my eyes to possibility.
Most Popular Articles created in 2010:
- 26 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 26 Years of Living
- How to Suck at Launching a Product
- 11 Reasons to Ditch your Television
- 25 Inspiring Blogs to Help You Sell Your Crap, Pay Off Your Debt, and Do What You Love…
- When to Quit Traveling
Sites that sent the most visitors (actual sites/blogs):
Net from UYF Sales: $468.56
- Total Guides Sold (Dec): 29
Net from SYC Sales: $1372.65
- Total Guides Sold (all versions): 30
Additional Income: $38,378.49
- Only72 Sale: $30,866.33
- Consulting: $5567.43
- Freelance Writing: $1801.60
- Unconventional Guides: $132.32
- Amazon: $10.81
Direct Expenses: -$1313.77
- Affiliate Payments: -355.47
- Products/Research: -$218.94
- Website tech work: -$198
- Virgin Mobile Mifi: -$150.49
- Food/Meeting People: -$129.97
- Vimeo: -$59.95
- Aweber: -$49.00
- Shipping: -$39.53
- GoDaddy: -$23.21
- Design: -$20.92
- Call Recorder: -$19.95
- Transcripts: -$18.40
- E-junkie: -$10.00
- DropBox: -$9.99
- VodBurner: -$9.95
Net (Income – Expenses): $38,905.93
Over the last 10 months of monetization, this brings average to: ~$6000/month
Obviously, there are some things to comment about on this month’s report. Guide sales stayed pretty consistent, with Unautomate turning up a bit and Sell Your Crap cooling off a tad.
Well over half of the consulting income was from a corporate client for work I did in November. The other 30-35% is from new individuals and businesses taking advantage of the newly launched public consulting page. Even with just this increase, I would have had a nice December.
It no secret that the Only72 launch that Karol and I coordinated was a raging success. We raised over $33,500+ for charity:water and – yes – I made just over $30,000 from the sale as well. That’s several times what I had hoped when I sacrificed my time and efforts to help coordinate it.
I learned three lessons with that experience. First, it pays to take great opportunities when they come up (and have the flexibility to do so). Second, if you really take time to make something win-win-win, people will respond – radically. Third, my blog is not my business. I’m my business.
Note: For those of you that are new to the blog, I encourage you to go back and look at past income reports for the year. I’ve had months all over the map – both insanely low and – now – insanely high. One month in either extreme is not the complete picture.
2010 Income/Expense Year Totals
Below are the numbers for the entire year, pulled from my bank account and paypal account. This shows you more of the overall flow that 2010 had for me.
At the beginning of the year I was making less than $200/month with a few affiliates. To say this year has been life-changing would be an understatement.
In these numbers, I’ve decided to include things that I didn’t in the monthly reports (like laptops, cell phone, food/drink, etc…). It’s much more thorough of the real income/expenses. I’ll be including all of these expenses in reports in 2011 – but monthly reports will be a little more detailed in their breakdown.
2010 Income: $72,179.06
- Digital Products: $20,142.40
- Unautomate: $10,120.00
- Sell Your Crap: $10,022.40
- Affiliate Marketing: $7,142.84
- Freelance Writing: $7,970.10
- Consulting: $6,057.39
- Only72 Launch: $30,866.33
2010 Expenses: -$19,026.28
- PayPal Fees: -$1,178.33
- Includes fees for all PayPal sales/transactions
- Travel, Fares, Lodging: -$2,342.81
- Includes travel, food, gas, parking, etc…
- Equipment/Tools: -$4,061.05
- Includes laptops, office supplies, products, books
- Communication: -$2,755.97
- Includes cell phone, mobile wifi, skype, recording, etc…
- Technical Work: -$1,388.30
- Includes dev work, tweaks, and changes to website
- Design: -$2,396.11
- Includes website, sidebar, eBooks, guides, software
- Website Management: -$962.51
- Includes hosting, domain names, aweber, dropbox, etc…
- Misc. Fees/Costs: -$308.11
- Includes bank fees, shipping, and misc. charges
- Affiliate Payments: -$3,633.09
2010 Net: $53,152.78
Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with how things unfolded. It wasn’t always easy – in fact there were many moments I nearly gave up – but I’m glad I stayed the course.
2011 Business Plan: What’s up my sleeve?
2010 was the year of Confidence for me. That’s what I said at the beginning and that’s what it ended up being. I built confidence in a lot of ways throughout the year.
The word for 2011 is a bit different:
It’s time to take the gloves off. It’s time to stop holding things back. It’s time for me to step up into the potential for myself, this site, and our message.
I’m going to go all out. And I promise it’ll blow your mind. It’ll be some of the most amazing content you’ve seen online – or it’ll be one of the most spectacular failures you’ve ever witnessed.
But it won’t be in between.
Let me give you an example.
For two years now, I’ve resisted having a “system” or a “method” of attacking debt. I’ve tried to avoid being viewed as a guru – in attempt mostly to please everyone. I knew if I took a harder stance I could positively affect more people – but I also knew it would come with backlash from a small minority.
Trolls would nitpick – people would accuse my motives – and my online brand would crumble beneath me.
Of course, that’s all bullshit.
I was simply scared of taking a stand. I was scared of backlash. I was scared of being wrong.
But my fear has put a lot of restraints on how our message and community spreads. The first step was confidence. I believe in the message, the approach, and my content more than ever. Now, I’ve simply got to unleash it into the world.
You Vs. Debt
That’s what it looks like. “You Vs. Debt” is going to be the next evolution of the brand – the next project to kick off 2011.
It’s going to be the most complete and thorough guide to freeing people from debt on the internet.
It’s not going to be an eBook. It’s going to be bigger and better.
It’ll be a full membership course w/ dozens upon dozens of videos and modules. I’m hiring a professional video filming and editing company and flying out multiple people to coordinate the project.
As I write this – Matt Cheney (whom I’m working with on this) and I are installing systems to upgrade the buying, affiliating, technical support, and sales process.
Each module will be broken down into several videos covering very specific, tangible segments of attacking debt. Nothing left behind. Each one will be professionally edited to be – not only enjoyable – but life-changing in the content.
Each video will have specific action items, including worksheets, questionnaires, budgeting forms, a tracking tools. Each video will have audio versions for listening on the go – and full transcripts for those that prefer to read.
For the first time in my life, I’ll be investing not only months of my time, but tens of thousands of dollars to ensure the content is not only the best anywhere – but that the production quality is unmatched as well.
Help Me! 5-Minute Survey (pretty please w/ sprinkles)…
Part of this process is input from you – which is my most important asset when shaping the specifics of the modules and content.
If you are as excited about this next project as I am – or if you think someone you know could benefit from this – you can help my taking this 5 minute survey. I can’t express enough how value it is for me to get this feedback. I’d really appreciate 5 minutes of your time.
At the end you can compare your answers to others who have taken it.
Other Specific 2011 Goals
For me, 2011 is going to be about the following big picture goals:
- Keeping my options open to take advantage of life-changing opportunities (for both myself and for the community).
- Expanding the Man Vs. Debt team with a few passionate individuals. I want to team up with people who have strengths in areas where I am weak – in order to really unleash our message to the world this year.
However, I know measurable goals are usually the best. So – once again – for you stat junkies:
- 200,000 in Revenue.
- Grow subscribers from 9,000 – 25,000.
- Pageviews from 1 Million to 5 Million.
- Meet 10,000 people in person on the road.
- From 30.5% body fat to 17.5% body fat
- Launch a charitable arm of the business.
Lastly, there are a few people I want to thank personally for 2010. There are several dozen people who have helped change my life and business this year, but three people in particular stand out above all others.
First, thanks to Karol Gajda and Corbett Barr. The three of us have spoken weekly for the entire year. Karol and Corbett have specifically and tangibly helped me many times more than anyone else. I have so much respect for their business minds (and friendship) it’s silly. They double-handily kept me from quitting midway through the year. I owe them a lot.
Second, special thanks to Chris Guillebeau. Chris has been the best mentor I can possibly imagine. Thanks, Chris, for your friendship and advice this past year.
What about you?
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest I’m not the only person alive in 2011 (let’s hope).
Where do you fall into things?
Is this the year you become debt-free? Is this the year you quit your job… double your sales… start a side business?
Is this the year you start a family? Start a charity? Initiate a movement?
Is this the year you start traveling? Start investing? Sell the excess crap in your basement?
What barriers are holding you back?
Let’s crush them into tiny pieces.
I’m gonna unleash some ass-kicking again in 2011… Who’s coming with me?