Learning to Leap: October Income, New MvD Changes, and End of the Year Goals…

Each month I share the details of the income and expenses generated by this blog.  In this month’s recap, I also want to share my end-of-the-year goals – as well as a dozen or so recent updates I’ve made to the website in the past few weeks.

But first I want to talk about learning to leap. Or maybe being willing to leap.

Do you know what I’m talking about?

I’m talking about those moments in life where you are on the verge of something… big.

Something that feels right deep down – but wrong on the surface.

A life change, idea, job, decision, or relationship that has the potential to… change everything.

You with me, yet?

I’ve been leaping a lot recently. I’ve been leaping in my business (mostly behind the scenes) – and Courtney and I are getting ready to leap very soon in our everyday lives as well.

I’ve realized there’s a fine line between being frivolous and being caged.

Life these days seems to be about finding that line – and then taking a running jump over it.

What do you say… you ready to leap with me?

“It doesn’t work to leap a twenty-foot chasm in two ten foot jumps” -American Proverb

“Faith is a process of leaping into the abyss not on the basis of any certainty about where we shall land, but rather on the belief that we shall land.” -Carter Heyward

“The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” -Agnes De Mille

“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.” -Henry Miller

“I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames.” -Les Brown

“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” -Henry David Thoreau

“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.” -Cynthia Heimel


New Man Vs. Debt Site Changes…

So I’ve been a busy little bee behind the scenes recently. For the last few months, I’ve been wanting to do a little house-cleaning around here. I finally got around to knocking most of the to-do’s off the list!

If you look around, you may notice some of these changes:

  • “5 Barriers to Freedom… (and how to destroy them)” Email Series – Now when you sign up for email updates for the blog (new graphic at top of the sidebar to the right), you’ll get access to a free email series I’ve put together. It’ll be delivered every couple of days straight to your inbox. You’ll also be the first to receive new blog content as it goes live.
  • Email subscriptions delivered through Aweber – The “Militia” Newsletter is no more. Instead, I’m using Aweber to deliver full posts to subscribers (as well as the email series above). I’ll still be providing exclusive giveaways (as was the case with the newsletter), but they’ll be fewer and larger!
  • Combined the “Store” and “Products I Love” pages – I’ve redone the Store page to highlight both the premium resources I’ve created as well as a few resources that I use and recommend. You’ll find “My Premium Guides”, “Unconventional Guides”, and “Man Vs. Debt Runs On” sections in the new condensed Store.
  • New “Where Are We?” Page – By popular demand, I’ve added a page called Where Are We? This page not only displays our current location, but also provides a quick recap of our travels. I’ve also provided links to many of my “travel-based” posts – as well as past episodes of the Do What You Love Show.  Check it out to get caught up!
  • Updates to “About MvD”, “Our Stuff”, and “Our Finances” Pages – I’ve updated a big portion of the beginning of our About page – mainly clarifying the “message” of the site.  For the “Our Stuff” we are working on getting a full up-to-date list of possessions as we speak.  “Our Finances” has been updated with a list of these “income/expense” reports, as well as old links to post which contain personal budgeting transparency.
  • Facelift to the Man Vs. Debt Facebook Page – The facebook page for Man Vs. Debt got a fancy new welcome graphic (thanks Dustin) and several updates. It’s a great time to join us over there!  🙂  I’ll be sharing more pictures and video in that space over the next few months.
  • Full ArchivesAlso by popular demand, I’ve created a Archives Page with dates and links to every single content-based post I’ve published here on Man Vs. Debt.  It’s a great list to skim over if you are newer!
  • “You May Have Seen Us In” Graphic – In the sidebar to the right you can see a new “You May Have Seen Us In” graphic that shows off some of the places we’ve been mentioned – both online and in print editions. It’s something I’m proud of and have been wanting to feature for a long time!

In other words, take a stroll around and let me know what you think about the new changes. They’ve taken up some of my time the last few weeks, but I’m glad to have the far majority complete and ready to go!

October’s income/expenses…

Net from UYF Sales:  $179.29

  • Total Guides Sold (Oct):  17
  • Income (less Paypal fees):  $258.68
  • Affiliate Payments:  -$79.39

Net from SYC Sales:  $2752.79

  • Total Guides Sold (all versions):  76
  • Income (less Paypal fees):  $3271.16
  • Affiliate Payments:  -$518.37

Additional Income:  $1850.45

Direct Expenses:  -$1249.51

  • Blog World:  -$615.22
  • Website tech work: -$270
  • HostGator:  -$143.52
  • Design:  -$55.48
  • GoDaddy:  -$38.23
  • Guides:  -$34.95
  • Aweber:  -$29.00
  • Skype:  -$18.00
  • Shipping:  -$15.17
  • E-junkie:  -$10.00
  • DropBox:  -$9.99
  • VodBurner:  -$9.95

Net (Income – Expenses):  $3533.02

Over the last 8 months of monetization, this brings average to: ~$2050/month

Note:  If you have any questions about the list above, leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to clarify them.  🙂


Finishing 2010 With a Bang!

Last month was a great month for me. Sell Your Crap rebounded from my launch blunders with steady sales throughout the month. It’s likely to slow down at least another 50%, but I’m extremely happy of the feedback/results that are being generated (and it’s ability to bounce back as a product).

I’ve been quick to share some of the lower income months over the past few, so I’ll take time to celebrate some of my recent wins. November has already passed the income levels of last month in just the first week thanks to a couple of early-month payments from affiliates and partners.

In October, I also began working with a couple new consulting clients – a few individuals and personal finance company, which means that December and January will be extremely solid months as well.

In all honesty, I had planned to roll out public consulting and speaking as part of these “site updates”. I wanted to have a space on the blog where I offer a couple packages for people looking to work closely with me. As it turns out, I’ve pushed it back – at least a little while – as my plate has just filled up really fast.

Consulting and speaking are two things I’m insanely passionate about right now. The process is really fulfilling for me. This is one area that I always wanted to pursue more, but didn’t feel like I was “ready for it” from a business perspective.

I’ve realized that’s complete bullshit. This is something I love doing and something individuals and companies have echoed that they receive enormous benefit from. People are coming to me and asking for it. I’d be a moron to not accept fulfilling work based on silly mental barriers.

So it’s time to leap… to step up and fill that role more – it really is a win-win.

In other words, don’t be surprised if I sneak in a “Work with Baker” page soon.  As soon as my schedule clears up, I may this emerging side of my business more readily available.  🙂

Other upcoming “Man Vs. Debt” events:

  • My only “launch” for November won’t actually be through Man Vs. Debt itself. I’m joined forces with one of my closest online allies, Karol Gajda, to partner on a top-secret project. It’ll go live late in November – but will be separate from MvD.
  • Announcement of the next “adventure” or chapter of our personal journey – if you will. As I mentioned, Courtney and I are working on a big leap in our personal life, as well. This is taking a lot our time right now – more details in a week or two.
  • More killer content. As you may have realized, I’ve been pouring a lot of energy in the last few weeks into creating large, content-focused, resource posts. I want to continue this trend to close the year out with:  10,000 subscribers, 10,000 twitter followers, and 1,500 Facebook Fans.  These numbers are just benchmarks to help motivate more great content.  🙂

How can you close out 2010 with a bang?

Whether your working on personal or business goals… we have 8 weeks left in 2010. We’ll all set ambitious goals in a couple months for the new year – but what about right now.

Diet? Finances? Clutter? Time with family? Business?

Don’t wait for the New Year… let’s get some momentum now.

Leap with me…

photo by r’eyes

61 thoughts on “Learning to Leap: October Income, New MvD Changes, and End of the Year Goals…”

  1. Yeah! I like the 1 email list approach as well, and the new sidebar looks killer. I’m really enjoying following the business side of your blog.

    1. Yeah, it’s more simple for me – more simple for subscribers. Allows me to focus on creating great blog content, which is always a good thing. 🙂

      I appreciate the support, man. Can’t wait to hang again (soon hopefully).

    1. Jason, you can have Aweber import your RSS Feed and then develop a custom template to send it out to your list. The basics are easy, but the development and testing is a little complicated.

      I hired David Wang from The Click Starter: http://theclickstarter.com/services

      He was amazing, I strongly recommend him for this. 🙂

  2. I appreciate your transparency with regard to income and where it comes from. Good luck in the coming months with your new ventures, both personal and professional! Cheers!

  3. Interesting to see all the categories add up! Im going to checkout the E-junkie and try and implement it to my e-books process. All the little changes and tweaks really take time and add up to some big changes. Good Work Adam!

    1. Thanks, Zach! E-junkie is a great platform for most people to start selling and affiliating with genuine products. I think you’ll love it! 🙂

  4. Taking leaps, eh? How timely. 🙂 Guess I really *do* need to quit the not-so-great job, even without a dedicated backup plan… (And maybe I’ll even venture out on some different blog ideas. I dunno. First things first I guess, haha.)

    1. Meg, you know I believe in you. I don’t know whether quitting the job is the best thing for you, but I *do* know if you really commit yourself to the car passion you can rock it!

  5. Adam, this is an excellent post. Congrats on the launch of Sell Your Crap! I’m proud to promote it. I look forward to hearing more about your life changes and I love the changes you’ve made to the blog, particularly the travel page. I wish you and your family the best with your transition!

  6. Adam:

    Thank you so much for your transparency. This post has reminded me that finishing the book that I am working on will take a leap, because, frankly, it is just too easy to put off otherwise.

    1. I’ve found the “creating” is 100X more valuable (at least money-wise) than any other activity. It can’t start until you get the “Creating” finished! (I have to continually remind myself of this!)

  7. Baker,

    Since I started following your blog earlier this year, I have a learned a TON about finances (and blogging) from you. Even moreso, I have learned the inherit benefits to being more transparent in life (and in business).

    Good luck to you, Courtney and Milligan in your upcoming decision and I am sure soon to be travels. I can’t wait to hear what is around the bend for your fine family.

    Keep it up!!

  8. Fantastic blog, love how you shared your finances. That’s such an enormous insight for a newbie. It does beg the question though, how many hours did you work?

  9. Wow man I’m blown away that you could make this much off the internet. That’s very impressive and speaks of your hard work and the quality of the stuff you’re doing in this space. It’s funny because I’m following you not to get advice in finances but because I’m fascinated with you as a person – your passion and talent as a storyteller.

    1. Martyn, I have many friends and allies making MANY TIMES this. I’m actually new to monetization and am VERY careful about how I try to implement it.

      The sky is really the limit – trust me on this. The key for me is to ensure I’m genuine throughout the process – rather than trying to double my income (which I could) at the expense of my current audience. That’s not me. 🙂

  10. Hey Baker! Glad to know things are doing great for you and I’m glad to have played a small part in it. I’m working hard to close of 2010 with a bang–I’ll race you!

  11. first, that photo is amazing. second, i’m on pins and needles waiting to hear what the new leap is for you, courtney & milli. a trip to se asia? i’d be happy to show you around siem reap, cambodia! third, yes to speaking – you’re good at it & you want to do it? no-brainer. lastly, keep up the good work, baker! it’s a pleasure reading your blog.

  12. Hey Baker,

    It was nice meeting you at Blog World this year – too bad you don’t play Halo anymore or I’d suggest we meet up online to pwn some noobs lol.

    Anyway, I was going to offer a suggestion for you. I think you could make more money with your Sell Your Crap product if you created dedicated websites for each product.

    I’ve tried both methods and I’ve found people are much more likely to buy if you’re using a separate website that is focused entirely on selling your product.

    Hit me up via email if you want to talk more about it. Congrats on the month though 🙂

    Peace out


    1. Thanks for the tip, Chris. It’s definitely something I want to do, but admittedly it’s not high on my priority list (probably should be higher). 🙂

  13. it’s so cool to see people grow online, it never amazes me enough how much someone can do on the web. Thanks man for showing us that anyone can make it online if they put some effort into it. The upgrades look nice and quite helpful too. I wish you much success to come bro!

  14. Great post Baker! And congrats on the success of SYC! As for your challenge of leaping now and building momentum for the final weeks of 2010, I’m leaping with you!!! Keep up the great work 🙂

  15. I absolutely love, and can 100% relate with the line:

    “Something that feels right deep down – but wrong on the surface.”

    It’s so exciting to feel like you’re on the verge of something big…and so frustrating to be fumbling around with all the details and nuances on the surface.

    I enjoyed this post for a lot of reasons — I celebrate your growth and successes (go you!), you inspire me to get the unecessary she-hawhht out of my space and my life, and your gracious sharing of your “numbers?” It really motivates those of us who are scrambling like mad to help people and (admittedly) hoping that we can actually make full-blown livings off of our expertise.

    You inspired my last blog post even (OK, you and a couple of others…) http://bit.ly/b6toJV

    Keep on moving. You guys are inspiring a lot of us!

    Cheers, Jenny Foss (JobJenny)

  16. I think it’s awesome that a growing body of my favorite bloggers are doing some massive changes toward the end of the year rather than waiting till New Year’s per se.

    The 5 barriers to Freedom looks interesting and I signed up for the email list to check it out. Congrats to you and a nice month of income on the blog.

    To respond to your question about taking the leap…hmm, well it’s a big leap for me I guess. As the sole wage earner in a family of five I don’t have the gall to just leap as I need the health insurance and regular income and I don’t think my savings would last me more than three months right now but I’ve devoted a lot of income lately to training with Ashley SInclair’s Action Studio, Dave Navarro’s MasterMind and Laura Roeder’s Creating fame and am using that to rebirth my website, exiting the Minimalist living niche, which is beginning to feel overcrowded and stale, and getting into what I love, which is coaching, consulting and teaching.

    Thanks for being an inspiration, Baker and good luck to you,

    Take care,
    – Charley

  17. Good post. IMHO, making any kind of progress at all – personally or in business requires taking a few leaps. The thing about taking leaps is that they also require some personal responsibility. If you take a leap that turns into a mess, it isn’t the fault of the other guy or President Bush or President Obama or the economy. It’s yours. Own it. You made the decision to leap into or out of something and it turned out badly. Bummer. Learn from it and move on. If you play the blame game you can’t learn from your mistakes because you don’t consider them your mistakes.

  18. That’s some big bucks there Baker! Well done!

    I think you DMed me on Twitter and wanted to connect? I responded. Shoot me an e-mail if you’d like to follow up.

    The Yakezie Scholarship initiative is launching this week, so I’m busy working on that for now.

    Cheers, Sam

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  20. Awesome stuff there Baker, good to see you are more than on track for November as well. How do you do so well from freelance writing and what the heck do you do! That’s not bad at all from freelancing efforts.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

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  22. Hi! This is such a great article and I am sure a lot of money saving enthusiasts are going to benefit from this. Keep it up! I am Diana Mathew, an Australian Entrepreneur, ebook author (The Money Tree by Diana Mathew) and a Saving Money guru.

  23. Adam: Congratulations on your progress and cheers to moving forward and crushin’ it!

    Last year I attended a “Startups Uncensored” event out here in my hometown. The person who organized it is big on Startups and getting people to do what they love. He asked me what I was passionate about and I gave him a quick answer… Then I started elaborating and second-guessing myself. He stopped me and said “if speaking and coaching is what your passionate about, focus on that because nothing else matters. Just do what you love.” The conversation went something like that anyway.

    You’re gonna make mistakes. Things won’t always go as expected. But you do your best, you work hard and the rest sorta takes care of itself.

    Here’s the guide that helps me:

    1.) Clear Goals,
    2.) Hard Work,
    3.) Unwavering Focus

    Figuring out the first part is the tricky one (for some people anyway). The rest comes easy when you love what you do and you know where you’re headed 🙂

    P.S. Great to meet you in-person at Blogworld Expo (we met along with @lkr at the Sitepoint party). Hope you’re well!

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