Are you curious about a 3-month delay? I explained it in my first income report.
At the beginning of September, I was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. We were going to try a new process for profit calculations. I couldn’t wait to get all the royalty reports from my customers. Going over those reports was a lot of work, but it was the kind of work I love. I still had to guesstimate the baseline for a few customers.
I did almost everything manually, going personally through each file, summing up the results for each separate market, then copying data from my customers’ AMS dashboards and comparing costs and revenues. Everything took me more than a week.
Then, my parents visited us, so I spent time with them. Plus, my hands were full with some unexpected opportunities. And I was catching up with my accountant, generating invoices, managing finances, paying my team, and doing dozens of other daily tasks. I remember that I was late a few days with publishing my income report.
I also prepared everything for my vacation. I left a pile of ad orders for my team, set up the email notifications about my vacations, and sent last-minute emails to a few customers and prospects.
It was a busy period.
In the middle of September, I went with my wife on a one-week vacation to Crete. I utterly enjoyed the whole experience. We booked a stay in a cheap hotel, but we only needed it for a place to sleep at night.
We got tanned, and I swam in the Mediterranean Sea and Kournas Lake. We went by foot to a nearby town along the coastline. We rented bikes for a day, and I climbed quite a steep mountain while my wife was enjoying herself at the lake. The views were magnificent.
We sightsaw in an old town in Rethimno, the third-largest city on the island. We visited a few restaurants and enjoyed local meals.
It was my first real vacation in two years. I didn’t even take my laptop with me. Hmm, if I discount the vacation in Bulgaria in 2017 when I had been working for about an hour per day and took my laptop with me, it was my first real vacation in six years.
On Crete, I checked on my few coaching clients three times and I wrote every day. But that was a pleasure, not work. And it didn’t disrupt our stay at all. Usually, I was writing on the beach.
In September 2019, I got a few opportunities literally out of the blue.
A Podcast Interview
The host of Your Quest for The Best contacted me and asked me about doing an interview centered on my book Directed by Purpose. His team had found me somewhere; he didn’t even know where.
We set the interview’s date for the first day after my vacation.
1,000 Copies of My Book
A lady working for Bellevue University reached out to me and inquired about my book on personal mission statements. They wanted to share this book with their customers for free. We exchanged a few emails and made the deal. She informed me that they will put my book in the hands of at least 1,000 people, and they paid me for that! I will also do a webinar for those readers in January.
The most mind-blowing part was that I got the PayPal payment while I was relaxing on Crete. On the same day, I got the confirmation of the date of the podcast interview.
Quora in Polish
Quora started their platform in Polish. I had been invited to be one of the beta-testers. I jumped on the opportunity.
Quora in English made the biggest difference for me when it came to exposure. Several thousand people follow me there, and I’ve been getting regularly over one million views per year.
If I could’ve got a fraction of this traffic on the Polish version, I would’ve happily accepted the chance. I don’t have the bandwidth to build my brand from scratch in Poland, especially without the leverage of Amazon. When it comes to self-publishing, Poland is still stuck in the Stone Age.
But if I could’ve leveraged Quora to get exposure on the Polish market, I could build my brand little by little over time. Hopefully, this will lead to some publishing/cooperation/speaking opportunities.
I have no idea how Kim Inglot or Bellevue University found me. Maybe via my blog, Quora, Medium, or my books on Amazon. I don’t know and don’t really care. But it worked exactly as intended. I have been putting my content out there consistently for the last 6.5 years. Yes, I wanted to help my readers; however, I also counted on this publicity effect.
Here comes the lesson: I got those opportunities because I persisted. I cannot count the number of authors I’ve seen in the last several years who gave up. It’s a lonely job. It’s a competitive occupation. Internet-democratized writing is like very few other lines of work. To give you an idea of how competitive writing is: A few years ago, only about the top 10,000 authors on Amazon.com made more than $10,000 a year from royalties.
But I persisted. I was out there. I outlasted my competition. Tony Stubblebine, writing about his startup CrowdVine said that his competition had many times over the amount of resources his company had, but he simply outlasted them. They put themselves out of business and his company thrived.
I did nothing special to generate or finalize those opportunities. I have been out there. And when people contacted me, I answered. I didn’t abandon my blog or quit my email hosting.
My only merit was that I kept selling my books.
A Broken Account
In the first week of September, my AMS account in the USA got corrupted. The third one in a year. I created the ticket for KDP support, provided the standard information. I haven’t heard back from them.
Well, I was too busy to push any further, and my team had a lot of ads to do for my customers without creating ads for my books.
Busy, Busy, Busy
Despite the vacation, the month felt busy and full. It kind of was. September 2019 was reactive instead of proactive.
I got a reminder from my previous proofreader about the payment I’d promised her for the last batch of articles she had done for me. Caught in all the activities, I simply forgot about it. It’s just one of several examples of reactiveness on my part.
After vacation, I played catch-up with the whole business. If I recall correctly, I calculated profits for the last customer in this last week.
I barely caught up, and the next month was right in front of me. I wasn’t excited about the prospect of profit calculations for my customers in the next month. I’ve already known how much time it takes.
The Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €3,155.6 ($3,439.6)
Coach.me fees: $119.97
Draft2Digital royalties: $45.18
PublisDrive royalties: $9.06
Audiobooks royalties: $80.62
PWIW personal coaching: $237.45
AMS service remuneration: $2,559.27
Bellevue University deal: $950.7
$69, Aweber fee
$114.43, royalties split with co-author
$2,501.1 Amazon ads
$500, ISI mastermind
$78.43; ISI mastermind pre-event ticket
$77, Business on Purpose monthly fee
$477.84, RAs’ remuneration (RAs = Real Assistants; my team)
$30, SiteLock fee
$95.09, an obligatory monthly fee for LLC
$70, my accountant’s monthly fee
Net Result: $3,505.91