Early Exit #20: October Finances (6 month review)
Has it really been 6 months already?
You’re reading the Early Exit Club — a newsletter about leaving the 9-5 workforce to build a $20k/month solo business by Nick Lafferty.
Last week: The first 30 days (with a new client)
Next week: The first 30 days of freelancing (and what I got horribly wrong)
Today: Money updates!
Hello again and welcome back to this month’s episode of the Voyeuristic Solopreneur where I reveal how much revenue I made last month and where it came from.
I’m writing this on Halloween night in bursts between my doorbell ringing while eating too many Reeses Cups.
Like last month this update includes several lowlights and one highlight.
The Lowlights 🥺
🔴 Down 40% (29k → 17.5k)
This number continues to decrease because my best page has fallen off the first page of Google.
I am only one person and my attention is focused on my consulting clients which means I can’t focus on my website as much as I’d like.
And that’s ok.
While I wish this number was going in the opposite direction I also promised to show y’all the good and the bad of working for yourself.
For me that means having to accept declines in one area so that I can give 100% of my focus to consulting.
🔴 Down 30% ($3k → $2k)
With declining website traffic also comes declining affiliate revenue.
However, I’ve recently started working with one of my favorite brands (more on them next week) and this number should start to go up again 👀.
Newsletter Income 😱
I’m not turning on the paywall but I’ve negotiated my first sponsorship for this newsletter.
I am extremely picky with who I will accept sponsorships from and I’m literally starting with my #1 choice.
My promise to you is that I’ll only work with sponsors that I have personal experience with.
🔴 Down 30% ($1.6k → $1.1k)
I finally did it: I removed all display ads from my website 🎉
But wait, why did I still earn income here last month?
I get paid on a Net 65 basis which means all of this was earned two months ago.
Long time readers will know that I’ve often debated removing all banner ads from my website and this month I did something about it.
One benefit of declining website traffic is it made the ads less financially tempting.
A quick break for Solopreneur of the week then back with the good stuff: my consulting income.
Solopreneur of the week: Jenni Gritters
Every week, business coach and freelance writer Jenni talks about the psychology of self-employment. She digs into her own journey as a freelancer, shares case studies from her coaching practice, and offers exercises to help you push through mindset barriers. Recently, she's written about inner-child work as it relates to business, the first time she experienced existential doubt about her career, and how to actually say yes to more support.
The Highlight 🤩
My willingness to accept a decline in affiliate revenue is offset by the continued growth in consulting income.
That yellow bar has also kept me quite busy: October was my busiest month for client work.
I signed a new client and stopped working with another client.
And right now I wouldn’t have it any other way.
On my drive to the gym today I realized a subtle benefit of my current path: I’m meeting a ton of CMOs / VPs / Heads of Marketing and they’re getting a first hand look at my skills.
Until now there were exactly 4 VPs of Marketing who deeply understood the value I bring to a company: my four former bosses.
Shoutout to Laura, Rebecca, Nicole, and Mark — you’ve all had a tremendous impact on me (both as a human and as a professional).
But in the past 6 months I’ve at least doubled that number: each of my clients is another director+ level marketer who can speak to my abilities.
If I do my job right (and I’m trying my absolute best) then each of those people is a potential referral to more consulting opportunities down the road.
And that’s my entire sales strategy as a solopreneur. Wow my current clients to keep the door open for introductions and referrals down the road.
So far so good!
Wait, before you go
With the end of the year fast approaching I find myself thinking ahead to next year.
What goals do I have for myself, this newsletter, and my business?
While I figure those out, one thing will stay the same.
I am committed to being as freaking helpful to you as possible.
You, the newsletter subscriber.
You, the person I met on LinkedIn.
You, the former colleague.
You, the consulting client.
You, my friend.
So if there’s anything I can do to help you, please reach out and ask.
See you all next week,